Given the breadth of our catalogue, it is a fun (albiet daunting) task to pull together some of our favorite tracks of the year so far. So, we did it and you’ll love it!
We have a little bit of something for everyone. If you fancy some chill but cheery blues/jazz/gospel don’t miss the lovely Ruthie Foster. Need more metal in your life? Obvi Nuclear Blast‘s Meshuggah is included in the mix. Perhaps you want a fuzzy romantic indie tune? Radiation City‘s “Find It Of Use” will do it for you. Fancy some mildly offensive entertainment? Check out Bobby Light (AKA Rob Dyrdek)’s satyrical track “Do You Right” that has all the youngins dancin’.
Decide for yourself what your favorites are… We’ve got links to both Spotify and Rdio below, as well as our friends at ShareMyPlaylists — or you can listen to the playlist right now by just clicking Play below!
Well folks, the time has come. Verizon is to shut down its MP3 business. Starting this Sunday, April 1st (it’s no April Fool’s joke my friends!), RealNetworks will halt its ingestion of new content from Verizon. Current content in the Verizon MP3 catalogue will continue to be available until the service completely shuts down on May 17th, at which point all MP3s in the Verizon catalogue will be no more than a memory. However, ringtones and ringback tones will continue to be available, for all callers’ and being-called’s listening pleasure.
But that’s not all!
On a lighter note, Verizon FiOS just rolled our their new Facebook Timeline. With it, they launched new entertainment hub features, which means more opportunities for artists to build and promote music programs. With almost 80,000 “Likes” on their page and a renewed focus on programming and content, that’s definitely good news and bodes well for the development of an engaged social community. You can expect collaborations with Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody and more in the forms of playlists, live streams and video content.
One of FiOS’ big advantages is their targeted markets, which allow for increased success with geo-targeted promotions. So take the time you need to mourn the end of Verizon MP3s and meet us on the next boat with the exciting opportunities ahead with Verizon FiOS.
Indeed, $3.5B is a lot of money. But there are many persuasive arguments to the effect that Spotify is worth it, especially in view of its growth relative to other players in the digital music space, including and especially iTunes. Matt Rosoff of Silicon Valley Insider does a very nice job identifying the cases for a $3.5B Spotify.
I want to point out something else: that Spotify, at this point in its 6-year history, needs to lay claim to enough money to make good on its goals. Right now. Here’s why, as I see it.
Their goals are, as explicitly stated or implied by their actions, extremely ambitious. The company seeks to:
Become the leading streaming service for global consumer music discovery and ad-supported consumption
Become the leading paid subscription music service for consumers worldwide
Become the “OS for music” via its app platform
That’s all. Then add the fact that these goals find the company swimming in the same waters as the following companies:
No? Well it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on at SXSW and cut through all the noise, so I’ve put together some documentation of what The Orchard crew was up to for SXSW 2012.
Some members of our team arrived for Interactive to touch base with some of our tech partners and fellow nerds. Among the many were our friends at Webdoc, Fanbridge, Topspin and Rdio. We hit up some panels, tried to squeeze into the Al Gore + Sean Parker keynote and checked out the Google Village whenever we had a spare moment.
This only touches on all of our festivities at SXSW but we do want to thank everyone who attended The Orchard’s Day Party and all the amazing showcases hosted by some of our favorite labels. Signing off with some of our staff favorites from SXSW 2012 (Poliça and Vintage Trouble took the top):
Among the cornucopia (yes, I just made a Hunger Games reference) of announcements made at SXSW was one by the streaming platform Rdio. What it unveiled was a completely new design by Wilson Miner that promises a faster, simpler and more social listening experience.
Not that Rdio wasn’t awesome already… Free to use and easy to share with friends, the digital music service is one of the best streaming services out there right now. Not only does Rdio think as a consumer (no ads, embeddable playlists, ease of discovery), it also listens to what they want. That’s what this slew of changes is all about: getting the listener what it asked for.
Here’s what you’ll find in the new and improved version:
A new look and feel — More than just a boring spreadsheet of songs, new Rdio puts music and people front and center.
All in one place — Spend less time navigating. Music, playlists and your network are in one view.
Add entire albums to playlists — One of Rdio’s most-requested features is now a reality.
Browse even faster — Find music at lightning speed because pages remember your place. Browse a continuous stream of albums, explore one and easily return to the place you left off.
Listen with your network — From the People Sidebar, see what your network is listening to in real-time and listen along with one-click.
Let your network inspire your listening — Wondering if you’ll like an album in the charts or why it appeared in your Heavy Rotation? Under every album, hover over photos to see exactly who listened to it.
Sharing made simple — Drag and drop music into playlists or collection and share with others on Rdio without missing a beat. Music can also be shared on Facebook, Twitter or via email.
Create private playlists – In addition to public and collaborative playlists, now private playlists can be created and shared with just a select few.
Easily discover people to follow — Check out Rdio’s latest music influencers in the People Sidebar and find others to follow such as artists, critics, record labels and brands.
As of last week, the new Rdio is available to all subscribers and is currently available in the US, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal and Denmark. If you’re not a subscriber, you’ll have to wait a few more weeks – or get a subscription if you want to skip the line! For more info, check out Rdio’s press release or watch the snazzy preview below: