Apple Music and Spotify make up 80 percent of U.S. streaming subs

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Apple Music charts
Streaming subscriptions in the U.S. have come a long way!
Photo: Apple

Streaming music has come a long way! According to a new report, the number of people now paying a monthly music streaming subscription in the U.S. is around 51 million. That’s close to double the number at the end of 2016!

In total, last year, streaming music services accounted for 65 percent of the recorded music revenue in the U.S. Spotify and Apple Music combined dominate “at least 80 percent” of the domestic music streaming market, and other platforms — including ones belonging to big names like Amazon and Google — are already, “falling surprisingly far behind.”

EU may finally allow Apple to buy Shazam

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Shazam iPhone
The wait for Apple to acquire a popular music-identification app is almost over.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has been trying to buy Shazam since last December, but the deal has been held up for months by regulators in the EU. That’s reportedly just about to change.

It’s likely Apple wants this music-identification app as part of its ongoing battle with Spotify.

Apple Music adds new ‘Coming Soon’ section

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Apple Music
Apple Music was mysteriously absent from the WWDC 2018 keynote.
Photo: Apple

Staying on top of your favorite bands’ new albums just got a little bit easier, thanks to an Apple Music update that adds a “Coming Soon” section to the iOS app.

Apple began rolling out the new feature, which showcases new music expected to be released in the coming weeks, to Apple Music users today. Here’s where to find it – and how to use it.

Spotify meets iPod shuffle in this clip-on music player [Deals]

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Play all your favorite Spotify playlists with this water-resistant personal music player.
Play all your favorite Spotify playlists with this water-resistant personal music player.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Things happen in cycles, and portable music is no exception. After records, tapes and CDs came the iPod. The iPod shuffle took the form of a small, screenless clicker. With the dawn of streaming services, portable music storage became less relevant — or so we thought.

Spotify negotiates lower royalty rate with major music label

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Spotify
Spotify is currently leading the streaming music battle.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Spotfiy has managed to negotiate a reduced royalty rate with Sony Music Entertainment, and is also in talks with Warner Music Group, claims a new report.

In return, Spotify will reportedly hold back albums to paying subscribers for two weeks before making them available to customers on Spotify’s free tier. A similar multi-year deal was agreed with Vivendi’s Universal Music Group earlier this year.

Tesla wants to create an Apple Music rival for its cars

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Apple Music
Elon Musk wants his cars to come with their own streaming music service.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tesla is considering launching its own streaming music service, and it’s already in talks with players in the music industry about doing so.

According to a new report, Tesla has held conversations with all the major music labels about launching its service — which would come bundled with its cars, as opposed to being a standalone service like Apple Music.

Apple Prime? Here’s why it might be a great idea

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money
Would an Amazon Prime-style service work for Apple?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple should take a note out of Jeff Bezos’ playbook and launch an Amazon Prime-style subscription service, claims an analyst for Goldman Sachs.

“We think Apple should launch a subscription bundle as a way to reinforce iPhone loyalty and leverage it into content,” Simona Jankowski writes in a new note to clients. In the brief, Jankowski and colleagues ponder the potential of a $50 monthly subscription that would get customers the latest iPhone plus other services like Apple TV, Apple Music and freemium access to the iTunes library.

Apple Music and Spotify offer user-uploaded remixes

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Apple Music
Dubset Media brings legit remixes to listeners and ensures musicians get paid.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Music and Spotify have started offering users access to unofficial, user-uploaded music remixes, courtesy of a deal with Dubset Media Holdings.

The company uses algorithms to sort out licensing and royalty payments for musical remixes. It’s an incredibly complicated problem to tackle, since a single remix might have upward of 600 different rights holders.