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Music

  • YouTube now ranks the world’s hottest tracks in its ‘music charts’

    YouTube might be a video streaming service first and foremost, but it's also the world's most popular music distribution tool. So with that in mind, the company today announced new YouTube charts specifically to showcase popular music. "At YouTube, we understand the importance of showcasing and celebrating the hottest artists, songs and music videos from around the world," the company wrote in a release. "The new charts are based purely on the number of views and are a reflection of the success achieved by artists on the world's most expansive music platform." The company claims that the charts will be the "new...

  • Q1 2018: Spotify now has 170 million monthly active users

    Spotify is now a public company, and will now release financial results every quarter. For number lovers, rejoice, but for those who'd like a music analogy instead, they made it rain. Okay, not really. On Wednesday the Swedish streaming music company published its first set of results. And the numbers weren't a stellar as investors had hoped. For one, the company announced that it ended the quarter with 170-million monthly active users. Although that number's up by 30% year-over-year, the company has quite a bridge to cross to reach its forecast 208-million subscribers by the end of 2018. Premium subscribers were up by...

  • Google Play Music dies in 2019, according to YouTube Remix rumour

    While you were transfixed on Google's swanky new Gmail redesign, news emerged that it may pull the plug on another service. According to Droid Life's "reliable source", Google Play Music -- the company's music streaming service competing against the likes of Apple Music and Spotify -- will be canned, in favour of a service dubbed YouTube Remix. Users currently on Play Music will also be herded onto Remix as early as 2019. It's not a new rumour though. There's been plenty of talk about Google's plans to mash its Play Music offering with YouTube. In December 2017, the company was reportedly set...

  • Drake and Jeremy Loops rule Spotify’s first month in South Africa

    One month after Scandinavian streaming service Spotify launched in South Africa, we now have an idea of what locals love listening to. According to company statisticians, Drake is the most streamed international artist in South Africa between 13 March and 10 April 2018 and also owns the most streamed track: "God's Plan". XXXTENTACION comes in second, while Post Malone ranks third. Notably, Marshmello (fifth, behind Kendrick Lamar) is the only EDM artist on the list, while all others are predominantly R&B or hip-hop artists. Oh, and Ed Sheeran props up the table. But popularity varies per city too. While Capetonians loved Nigerian...

  • Spotify thinks it’ll have 208m users by the end of 2018

    Just days ahead of its IPO, Swedish music streaming company Spotify has published its first ever guidance document for prospective investors and anyone who just wants to understand the company's self-image. The IPO, or initial public offering, will be the first time Spotify's shares will be available for public purchase. And if you need a specific date, pen that particular milestone for 3 April 2018. For you number lovers out there however, here's how many users the company believes will join its service this year. Spotify forecasts modest user growth for the first three months of 2018's financial year (Q1 2018). It...

  • Spotify’s testing a voice-command and search system

    Spotify is reportedly testing a voice-command and search system for those who prefer talking to their devices. Just a small subset of users have received the update, the company told TechCrunch, but it has massive implications. For users, it means telling the streaming service to "Play my Daily Mix 1" or "Show Drake". The service will then oblige, by either selecting and playing said playlist, or producing the artist page for Drake. (It won't however show him playing Fornite, you'll need another app for that.) For Spotify, this lends further credence to the company's audio assistant ambitions. While the limitations of a screen...

  • Here’s how Spotify hopes to take over South Africa’s ears

    The music geeks at Spotify on Tuesday officially switched on access to the service for South Africans, giving the country yet another streaming music platform to complicate their lives. But is this such a bad thing? Competition is healthy, especially when said competition has different selling points and business models. For Spotify, it's entered the market with (an initially small) focus on local content, its widely-used free-tier, and a relatively affordable monthly premium if you really like it. "We have had the continent in our sights for a while and are finally able to offer South African fans access to all...

  • It’s official: Spotify is now live in South Africa [Update]

    The streaming music world's worst kept secret is finally confirmed to be true: Spotify will today launch in South Africa, the company's representatives confirmed in an email to Memeburn. The news comes after numerous taunts and hints, including a rumoured Vodacom partnership in 2014, an oh-so-revealing job posting last year, and an invitations to a media event in Johannesburg last week. South Africa will be the Swedish music streaming service's first foray into Africa, as it looks to bolster its 160-million user base. But gaining users may not be so easy. The South African streaming market is congested, with the likes of...

  • Is Spotify launching in South Africa next week?

    Well well well. It seems that Swedish music streaming giant Spotify may finally make a play in South Africa. The company today sent out invites for a media event taking place in Johannesburg next week, and we're promised there will be "some news to share". Coy? Extremely. But this isn't the first time Spotify has teased us with news regarding its South African presence. In 2014, there was a suggestion that Vodacom was set to partner with the streaming music service. But again, this was more wishful thinking. In September 2017, the company posted a job placement for a South African music editor. "You...

  • Budget Speech 2018: Yes, Malusi Gigaba just quoted Kendrick Lamar

    After President Cyril Ramaphosa quoted Hugh Masekela during his SONA 2018 finale, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba likely thought he'd do something similar to rouse the nation. His pick? The admirable Kendrick Lamar. But while the multi-Grammy winner is held in high esteem across the world, it's Gigaba's delivery of "Alright" that Twitter didn't quite enjoy. "We gon' be alright," he quipped, quoting complete with hand whip and before announcing an increase to sin tax. The social network broke soon after. I'm done with this budget speech, did Gigaba just quote Kendrick? ūü§£ūü§£ūü§£ #BudgetSpeech2018 #Budget2018 ‚ÄĒ Sakkie Ntloko (@sk_shred) February 21, 2018 That Kendrick quote was...

  • A list of Quincy Jones’ recent name drops

    Music industry legend Quincy Jones has been making waves this week following the release of two interviews that showcase his extraordinary life. From partying with Frank Sinatra to frequent dinners with Elon Musk -- Jones has lived a life many wouldn't believe possible. So, without further ado, here are some of the most famous people Jones name dropped in his interviews with GQ and Vulture, just in case you wanted to reevaluate your relatively bland life. Frank Sinatra: close friends; drinking buddies; tried to set him up with Marilyn Monroe ("Marilyn Monroe had a chest that looked like pears, man"); when he...

  • South African talent litters Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther soundtrack

    Last night, Kendrick Lamar dropped the track list for the curated¬†Black Panther¬†soundtrack he produced and South Africans couldn't be more excited. Black Panther The Album 2/9 pic.twitter.com/MqhsEcj6iF ‚ÄĒ Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) January 31, 2018 Local acts¬†Babes Wodumo, Sjava, Yugen Blakrok, and Saudi are all featured on the 14-track album that includes major international acts like The Weeknd, Khalid, SZA, Future, and Lamar himself. Early last month, Lamar dropped the first single from the album, an upbeat collaboration by him and up-and-coming R&B artist SZA. But the South Africans eager to hear tracks like "X", "Opps", "Seasons", and "Redemption" -- all of which feature homegrown...

  • Social data suggests the 2018 Grammy Awards may have got it wrong

    To say not everyone is happy about the winners at the 2018 Grammy Awards would be an understatement. In fact, based on commentary from both sides of the fence, I'd say that this edition was among the most divisive in recent years. Bruno Mars walked away with the big three honours: Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. But while the songs and album did sell like hotcakes in 2017, the awards handed out on the night deviated considerably from internet opinion and data provided by Google Search and Twitter. Song of the Year winner...

  • YouTube ‘Remix’ music service to launch in March?

    YouTube is readying its own music streaming service for debut in March 2018, according to a report by Bloomberg. The service, which is known within the firm as YouTube Remix, serves to hush music industry big-wigs who have been longing for a larger slice of revenue from the world's biggest video service. But Remix's existence isn't set in stone just yet. The Alphabet-owned company continues to slug it out with music companies Universal and Sony, and music video distributor Vevo for new content deals. There's also the question of how -- and if -- Remix will tie into Google's other streaming music service,...

  • MTV EMAs 2017: the winners, the reactions, the tweets

    Last night, media monster MTV hosted the latest edition of its annual European Music Awards (or EMAs) in London. Although likely forgotten by most, #MTVEMAs did trend through much of Europe late Sunday. In South Africa, we were a bit too concerned about the weekend's sporting failures. Taylor Swift was nominated for six awards, but as we all found, nominations don't always mean guaranteed wins (especially when it comes to a social media-based voting system). On that note, we've rounded up some of the winners on the night, and their reactions as told through their Twitter and Instagram posts. Best Song and Best...