Apple Music is ruining Spotify’s negotiations with record labels


Spotify is struggling to lockdown deals with record labels.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Negotiations between music streaming service Spotify and all three major record labels have hit a snag lately and Apple Music is a big reason why.

Spotify’s licensing agreements with Sony, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group have reportedly been on a rolling month-by-month basis for much of 2016, yet the companies haven’t been able to hammer out long-term deals yet because Spotify isn’t willing to share as much revenue as Apple Music.

Amazon could beat Apple to $5 per month streaming music


Cheap streaming music could be another selling point for Amazon Echo.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Amazon is looking to launch its own Amazon Echo-exclusive streaming music service, and according to a new report the company might beat Apple to the much-sought-after $5 per month subscription price point.

For those who don’t remember, one of the big rumors about Apple Music was that the company wanted to charge users five bucks a month, based on the idea that the average iTunes user spends $60 per year on downloaded music, which translates to $5 per month.

How to make Amazon Echo default to Spotify or Pandora

The Amazon Echo lights up when it recognizes you are making a request.
It's easier than ever to get the Amazon Echo to play tracks from Spotify Premium.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Barking out a song request at my Amazon Echo smart speaker, then hearing the track magically start playing, makes me feel like I’m living in the future.

Unfortunately, that feeling evaporates when the song isn’t part of the relatively skimpy Amazon Prime Music catalog. If it’s not there, Amazon’s AI assistant Alexa queues up an annoying 30-second sample — and that makes me realize I’m living in the very buggy present.

Luckily, you can fix that. Here’s how to make Amazon Echo default to Spotify so you don’t get stuck with those annoying song and album previews.