Spotify is first music streamer to reach 100 million users

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Spotify
Spotify is the largest music streamer in the world.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Spotify now has more active users than any other music streaming service on the planet, but when it comes to paid subscribers, it looks like growth has stalled.

The Swedish music streaming service revealed today that it now has 100 million active users — up from the 75 million it had last year — however its paid subscribers total hasn’t budged since March.

SoundCloud takes on Apple Music with new subscription service

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SoundCloud Go is yet another music streaming service.
SoundCloud Go is yet another music streaming service.
Photo: SoundCloud

Apple Music’s competition in the music streaming battle just got a little fiercer today with the introduction of a new subscription service by SoundCloud.

The new SoundCloud Go service costs $10 per month, giving you unlimited access to the YouTube of Audio’s vast trove of indie content without ads. You can also save files to listen to offline, but that might not be enough to take on Apple Music and Spotify.

Pandora is considering selling itself

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Pandora is finally catching up.
Pandora is finally catching up.
Photo: Pandora

One of Apple Music’s biggest competitors is looking to sellout.

Pandora, the music streaming service with more users than Spotify and Apple Music, has reportedly been meeting with private parties regarding a possible sale of the company after experiencing its slowest amount of growth ever last year.

The greatest Xmas gift you can give: Apple evangelism

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The holidays are the perfect time to spread the Apple love.
The holidays are the perfect time to spread the Apple love.
Photo: Jack Mayfield

As an Apple fan, there’s a great gift you can bestow upon your friends and family this holiday season. The amazing part is, it’s free.

I’m not talking about the free tech support you’ll inevitably dole out to befuddled relatives (Cult of Mac’s how-to section can help with that, BTW). I’m talking about evangelizing for two of Apple’s least-loved products — and this gracious act will also goose the greater good.

Good news for Apple: Free music services must pay higher royalties

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Tired of Apple Music's playlists? Try something even more indie.
Free services must pay higher royalties.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

In news which could well be good for Apple Music, but bad for rival free streaming music services, the federal Copyright Royalty Board has ruled that ad-supported internet radio companies such as Pandora must pay higher royalty rates to artists and record labels.

Starting next year, Pandora, iHeartMedia and others will pay 17 cents for every 100 plays of a song on their free tiers. This fee will increase over the following four years in line with inflation.

Rdio marches to death playing the high notes

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The Rdio app just got better than ever. Photo: Rdio.
You won't be able to stream from Rdio on Christmas this year.
Photo: Rdio

Rdio made the date of its demise official this morning. The streaming music service as we know it will cease to exist on December 22 — just six days from today — at 5 p.m. Pacific time. Rdio sent around an email to its users to let them know the specifics of the shutdown.

“Rdio is being acquired, and the service is shutting down worldwide on December 22,” the company wrote on its Goodbye page. “We’re excited to bring great music experiences to even more listeners in the future as part of the Pandora team.”

Pandora earnings hit a bum note thanks to Apple Music

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Tired of Apple Music's playlists? Try something even more indie.
Apple Music is claiming victims.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

With Pandora CEO Brian McAndres dismissing Apple Music back in July as nothing to worry about, Pandora stock took an after-hours beating yesterday, falling by as much as 21 percent to just $15.25.

The reason? A poorly-received quarterly earnings report, thought to be the result of would-be customers trying (you guessed it!) Apple Music instead of the ad-supported Internet radio company.

Unlock the music box with a 6-month subscription to Pandora One [Deals]

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Get 6 months of Pandora One, with zero ads, more 'skips', and improved audio quality.
Get 6 months of Pandora One, with zero ads, more 'skips', and improved audio quality.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Pandora basically invented a whole new way of listening to music when it unveiled its brand of personalized internet radio. While many of us use the freebie version of Pandora’s service, with limited functionality and regular ads, right now you can get a great deal on a 6-month subscription to Pandora One, their top tier option, for just $24 at Cult of Mac Deals.

Pandora CEO thinks Apple Music will have no negative impact

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Pandora's not worried about Apple Music.
Photo: Pandora

You couldn’t blame the folks behind non-Apple streaming music services being worried when Apple Music was announced — but according to Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews, there was nothing to worry about.

Pandora’s Q2 revenue came in better than expected at $285.6 million, largely thanks to solid growth on the advertising side, which increased 30 percent year-over-year.

Kahney’s Korner: Apple could learn from the Amazon Echo

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Leander Kaheny likes his Amazon Echo and wonders what if Apple created such a device.
Leander Kaheny likes his Amazon Echo and wonders what if Apple created such a device.
Photo: Cult of Mac

I’ve had the Amazon Echo sitting on my desk for the last couple of months and it’s an odd device – and I actually think it’s pretty great.

It’s a voice-controlled, speaker-cum-shopping tube that can go in your kitchen, living room or bedroom. You use it for simple queries like, “How’s the weather?” or “How is my commute? or “What is Barack Obama’s middle name?”

Listen to me interact with this device on this week’s edition of Kahney’s Korner.