In the Age of Beats and Spotify, Winners – and Opportunities

There is an accelerating transformation of music listening; that much is clear. And if you change the way people listen, you will change the way people produce. So who and what wins in this brave new world? Let’s consider. The month of May brought still more signs of tectonic shifts, with Apple buying Beats and Spotify showing no signs of slowing. The Apple acquisition of Beats can’t really be measured in dollars, because Apple has so much cash on-hand. (US$150 billion – and expect that dry powder to start getting loaded into cannons.) At least unlike Facebook or Google, Apple …

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Streaming DJ, Now a Thing: djay for iPad Adds Spotify, Automix, Could Turn Music Upside Down

Remember downloads? Remember CDs? Remember vinyl? Add to that – streams. Because Algoriddim adding Spotify to djay is earth-shaking. Sure, Pacemaker did this in February. But that app was thin on some critical features DJs need, and the Spotify integration was lackluster. This is different. djay is a mature, full-featured DJ app – maybe not a known name like Traktor or Serato, but widely popular and brimming with features, plus a UI that casual DJs find easy to use. It’s also one of two mobile apps (Traktor for iPad being the other) that people seem to actually DJ with. So …

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Two Pacemaker – Spotify Screenshots That Show For Serious DJing, Downloads Are Here to Stay

Sometimes, images say it all. Pictured below is what happens when you try to use Pacemaker’s Spotify functionality on the iPad without an Internet connection. Tracks simply don’t play at all. Even though Spotify Premium users have offline access to their tracks when listening one at a time, you won’t be able to DJ that way any time soon. Above, you’ll see that you can’t record mixes even with an Internet connection if you try to use a Spotify song. But given how many small, boutique labels and independent artists rely on enthusiast DJs to care enough to download their …

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Tapping the icons in the center of the decks pulls up cleverly-designed, elegant interfaces for cues, beats, and effects.

Mixing Spotify with iPad, Pacemaker Might Be DJing’s New Killer App for the Masses [Hands On]

It’s been a while since digital DJing has seen a bona fide major hit. Traktor continues to dominate the scene. But Traktor is still software molded for the professional DJ, and particularly those in the club scene. When Traktor came to the iPad, it saw a significantly-streamlined interface, but the underlying functionality remains geared for the professional user – so much so, in fact, that it’s possible to exchange libraries and hardware interfaces between the two. That’s a good thing for Traktor’s intended audience, but it leaves open a window in the market. Even arguably more consumer-friendly software like Algoriddim’s …

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iTunes Radio, and Apple’s Solution to the Future of Music: Stream, then Buy

While they were busy not killing the Mac and the Mac Pro, it seems Apple also had some ideas about how to not kill music. Amidst hair pulling and gnashing of teeth over how streaming will impact the future of music business models, Apple’s answer is spelled out in their press release: “It’s the music you love most and the music you’re going to love, and you can easily buy it from the iTunes Store with just one click.” Whether iTunes Radio specifically works or not, this seems an obvious model. Music recordings as a business work so long as …

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The record lives. Drip.fm co-founders Sam and Miguel merge subscription ease and affordability with high-quality downloads you keep, and even closer connections to artists and labels. Think "fan club," not "utility company." Here, Sam tells CDM how it came about. Photo: Will Calcutt.

Saving Downloads, Fans? Sam Valenti IV Talks Ghostly’s Drip.FM As Label Roster Grows

PK: In the digital age, subscription services or “all-you-can-eat” music gives passionate listeners nothing if not flexibility and a wealth of music. But they can also distance music lovers from labels they care about – and the reliance on streaming threatens to sever the special relationship you have with albums that are really special. Drip.fm is different. Founded by Ghostly International, it has the affordable monthly subscription rate – but with actual high-quality downloads you keep. First launched with some of Ghostly’s boutique-quality electronic music, it has since expanded to some big names. Today could be a watershed moment for …

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Carrying her musical life on her back - in more ways than one. Zoe Keating, by Nadya Lev for Coilhouse. Photo courtesy the artist.

Zoe Keating, Cellist Who Exposed Her Musical Finances, Talks Music Making, Distribution [Interview]

She shocked the music business by revealing she wasn’t making money on Spotify – then shocked them again by revealing she was making money on our own. Now, CDM’s Matt Earp talks to cellist Zoe Keating about surviving as a creative musician, and keeping the music coming. Hint: “exposure” is not necessarily the key to survival. -Ed. Zoe Keating is an avant-garde cellist, a Canadian transplant to San Francisco who now lives on its far outskirts. Her sound slips back and forth between the classical and electronic worlds, conjuring sylvan images and dusty warehouses with equal clarity. Two self-released full-lengths, …

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Whatever the implications for labels and artists, Facebook users have spoken, giving connected listening a big thumbs-up. Photo (CC-BY) JOHANNES FUCHS resp. GOIABA.

As Facebook Users Hit 1 Billion, Music Listening is Socially-Connected Online [Numbers]

Facebook is bragging about one number, in particular – one billion users – this week. But they’re also releasing some other hard numbers on how people are using their service. Much has been made of how Facebook has transformed social gaming and, via Instagram specifically, photography. But just on Instagram’s heels is none other than Facebook app Spotify. According to analytics site AppData, Spotify is ranked #12 with 22.1 million users, calculated as a monthly active figure, just behind Instagram at #4 with 33 million. Pandora has about a third of that, while other apps lag far behind. It wouldn’t …

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Moogfest in 2011: bands space aliens can enjoy. Photo courtesy Moogfest.

Moogfest Lineup Busting at the Seams; Hear a Massive Playlist of Artists [Spotify]

Okay, perhaps Moogfest has a built-in advantage in its theme. Affection for Moog among synth aficionados is akin to affection for chocolate or unicorns – perhaps not universal, but darned widespread and passionate. But looking at the lineup for Moogfest, it’s apparent how the name of just one early pioneer of electronic musical instruments can resonate across genres. The festival, which once began as a humble gathering of a few names in music, continues to expand its roster of artists as the weekend of October 26-27 approaches in Asheville, North Carolina. And while electronic music fans might balk at the …

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Radio in an Online Age, Made Tangible: Skube Are Smart, Last.fm + Spotify Speakers

Computers give you sophisticated ways of connecting to online music. But do you ever miss that physical object of the radio? Or wish that a speaker could be just as smart when, with a sigh of relief, you’ve pressed the laptop lid shut? Skube is a design experiment from Copenhagen focused on making portable devices more connected and communal sharing easier. They’re speakers that you might consider members of the Internet of Things, using Arduino and Xbee wireless networking to make the device mobile while piping sounds from Spotify and Last.fm. Here’s some demo footage of the speakers in action: …

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