Item 1: Samsung’s Milk service hit with layoffs
Samsung’s Media Solutions Center America, which is responsible for the company’s Milk Music and Milk Video services, has been hit by layoffs and a key exec departure over the last couple of weeks, Variety has learned. These events have occurred as Samsung executives take a closer look at many of its business units, which could spell trouble for the company’s content plans going forward.
Item 2: How Apple’s music service will beat Spotify
With Apple set to unveil a new music streaming service next month at WWDC, Touch ID may very well be the company’s unsung hero and most strategic asset in convincing users to sign up for what will reportedly be a $10/month subscription.
While precise details surrounding Apple Music remain murky, early reports suggest that Apple will offer new users of its streaming music service a free 1-3 month trial. While that will undoubtedly convince millions of users to give the service a spin, convincing users of any free or ad-supported service to opt for a monthly subscription plan is extremely challenging.
And this is precisely where the magic of Touch ID will rear its beautiful head.
Item 3: It’s weird how much Windows 10’s music app looks like Spotify
Microsoft has been previewing some updates to its music and video apps for Windows 10 recently, but it looks like bigger changes are on the way. The software giant has revealed a new look and feel for what appears to be an upcoming release of the music app for Windows 10. A screenshot posted on Microsoft’s support site shows a dark-themed app that looks very similar to Spotify.
Via The Verge
Item 4: Tidal still isn’t winning any friends
In late March, when a group of A-list musicians gathered in Manhattan to show support for Jay Z’s new music streaming service, Tidal, expectations were sky-high. The music stars, many of the brightest in today’s pop constellation, were selling an artist-owned streaming service that they affirmed would “forever change the course of music history.” But a lot has happened since then.
Tidal CEO Andy Chen was replaced in early April. Kanye West, Jay Z’s best pal and label mate, deleted all of his tweets about Tidal after its app tumbled out of the App Store’s top 700. Even though West — in true Kanye fashion — later reversed course and tweeted his support for the service, the damage had already been done.
Item 5: A new Spotify/Starbucks partnership
Starbucks, which has a long history as a music purveyor within its larger mission of caffeinating the world, today announced a partnership with on-demand music service Spotify. The alliance is trumpeted as a “First-of-its-kind music ecosystem.”
Starbucks rewards regular customers registered in the My Starbucks Rewards (MSR) program with occasional free drinks, and the reward concept anchors the new partnership. First, Starbucks employees will get free Spotify Premium subscriptions — that’s 150,000 new Spotify sign-ups. To motivate use, the employees will access special tools in Spotify to help program in-store listening.
Item 6: Have you heard about this thing called Hoopla?
Hoopla, an online content borrowing and streaming service, gives library card holders access to more than 300,000 titles — movies and TV episodes, as well as ebooks, audiobooks and music albums.
You can peruse the virtual stacks on your computer via Web browser, smartphone or tablet, and on Android, iOS and Kindle Fire HDX devices. If you want to check something out, you can stream videos or download your content.
And the best part? It’s free, just like checking out something at the library.
Via USA Today.