It's been a battle for Microsoft to increase its Windows Phone market share, which sits at a distant third place behind Android and iOS. By the numbers, only around three out of every 100 smartphones is running Windows Phone, so it's no wonder app developers take their sweet time developing updates. That's also true of Spotify, which just unveiled a refreshed experience for Windows Phone users with what it claims is the best looking version yet.
Millions subscribed to Spotify after Taylor Swift pulled a disappearing act
Can a streaming music service survive without the likes of Taylor Swift and her latest 1989 album? The answer is a resounding 'Yes!' as evidenced by Spotify's latest head count. In a blog post this week, Spotify announced that it's up to 60 million active users, 15 million of which are paid subscribers. The last time Spotify revealed user numbers was in November of last year after Swift decided to yank her music off the service.
Spotify responds to Taylor Swift's decision to yank her albums
Taylor Swift, the country-turned-pop music star decided to pull all of her songs off of Spotify right as she released 1989, her first pop-only album. In doing so, she called the streaming service a "grand experiment" and voiced other disparaging opinions about the service and streaming model in general. In response, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek pulled a Jerry Maguire and showed Swift the money. As in, more than $2 billion.
Sometimes the Windows Phone platform gets forgotten or otherwise overlooked by developers. Such has been the case with Spotify, which has been serving up free tunes to Android and iOS users for some time now, but hadn't extended the same courtesy to Windows Phone. Well, that changes today -- Spotify has finally brought the free mobile music experience to Windows Phone users around the globe.
Spotify is the latest company to fall prey to a hacker attack and has launched an investigation into the data breach. Based on initial findings, only one person's data has been accessed, and that information didn't include any password, financial, or payment information. Nevertheless, Spotify says it's erring on the side of caution and plans to roll out an updated Android app, which should show up in Google Play and Amazon Appstore over the next several days.
Streaming music service grows its paid membership amid increasing competition
Today is a day of celebration for Spotify, the spunky streaming music service that just crossed the 10 million paid subscriber milestone. Including freeloaders, Spotify is home to more than 40 million active users across 56 markets. That's not too shabby for a service that first launched in 2008, and has only been available in the U.S. since late 2011 (first as an invite-only and then to everyone by the end of September).
Looking for another reason to go back to school? Think of the discounts! We're seeing a growing trend in special student pricing for a variety of products and services, such as Razer's 20 percent promotion on 2013 model Blade laptops and Amazon's Prime service. Even Spotify is sharing the love with students -- if you're in school, you can subcribe to the company's ad-free premium service for $4.99 per month, which is half off the regular price.
Rocky Marciano never lost a bout during his professional career, and so far in our own sanctioned cage fights, neither has Spotify. The spunky streaming music service handily dispatched Rdio when we tossed the two in a ring two years ago, and more recently, Xbox Music took a beating, losing four out of five rounds. Google, however, has come out swinging with a promising music service of its own. Will there finally be a new champ?
Note: This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of the magazine.
We audition several streaming music services and give you the low down on each one
A candidate for the world's oldest known instrument is the Divje Babe Flute carved from the femur of a cave bear over 40,000 years ago. Replicas proved it was capable of two and a half octaves, or three if overblowing. Over time, musical instruments would become more sophisticated, as would the songs, but one thing that hasn't changed is the inherent love of music that nearly all human beings seem to possess.
Love or hate Windows 8, you have to give Microsoft credit for its tenacity. Most companies would’ve tucked their tail between their legs and run home crying after the disaster that was Zune, but Microsoft doubled down to bring a better-than-before effort rebranded as Xbox Music to its Live Tile-equipped ecosystem. With unlimited music streaming and the ability to buy individual tracks, Xbox Music looks like a hit on the Surface. (Get it?) But how does the new contender stack up to Spotify?
Note: This article was originally featured in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.