The Pros and Cons of Spotify

spotify-logoWe’re starting off the new year with something a little different. Welcome to the first in a series of articles where we take a look at major music tools and social platforms, from the perspective of both artists and music fans, and think about where they excel and where they need to improve. Obviously our first port of call is the music titan that is Spotify. It has become synonymous with streaming the same way Google has with search engines, and has changed the music industry forever, but is it for better or worse? Continue reading

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Belwood Music is now on Spotify!

You can now follow us on Spotify where we’ll be bringing you regular playlists of the best featured music on the site, some highlights from our favourite artists and spotlight stars, as well as the perfect soundtrack for whatever mood takes you. First off lets get things started with Belwood’s playlist of some of the best songs of the year!

Spotify has teamed up with Tinder

Yes, you read that correctly! Popular “dating” app tinder has worked with music streaming giants Spotify to incorporate new music related features. Users can now add their own personal ‘anthem’ to their profile as well as choose to display their all time favourite artists or current crazes. Users can also combine their Tinder and Spotify profiles to search for potential matches based on music tastes. You don’t need to have read High Fidelity to know that music can make or break a relationship and the new features show that Tinder clearly have their priorities in order.

Stagnant Streams: How streaming killed the charts

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Let’s be honest with ourselves, for as long as the charts have existed they have had to be taken with a pinch of salt. “Chart topping” music and good music rarely coincide, and any institution that gives Mr Blobby a number 1 single can’t be said to represent the best music in the country. Even so chart placings remain a source of pride for up and coming artists who rightly celebrate them as a milestone. However with the new rules in place to allow streaming figures to contribute to chart positions it could end up being the final nail in the coffin for this longstanding music institution. Continue reading

Restricted Access Albums: A worrying trend

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These days more than ever music is all about business. Less about the art and more about the money, which has sadly gotten far worse since the advent of streaming services. A world where all music is readily available to everyone at the touch of a button is a music mogul’s worst nightmare. As such the industry has been coming up with more and more nefarious ways to squeeze some extra pennies out of us, the latest of which involves making albums only available to an exclusive group. Continue reading

Beatles discography added to streaming sites

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Christmas has come early for fans of the Fab Four. The entire Beatles back-catalogue has been added to streaming services worldwide including Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music and Deezer. Thus far ‘Let It Be’ is the most streamed track. ACDC added their music to streaming services earlier in the year, whereas modern artists such as Taylor Swift and Adele have resisted allowing their music on the sites. Odd that it’s the old artists that are more open to embracing the future of music.

Apple unveils new streaming service

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During a conference in San Francisco it was announced Apple Music will launch at the end of the month and will be available on all Apple devices. The system’s unique features include a 24/7 radio station hosted by former Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, A supposedly more advanced music recommendation system, a social network that allows fans to connect with artists and siri compatibility to allow voice commands. Whilst I think this new service is miles ahead of rival service Tidal, it is still behind Spotify as only Spotify offers an ad-supported free service. Work needs to be done to make sure the new Apple music and it’s features are to the highest standard if it is to live up to it’s subscription fee.

Tidal streaming service relaunch

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The music streaming service Tidal, which was bought out by rapper Jay Z, has been relaunched and rebranded as being owned by the artists. The co-owners of the business, including Beyoncé, Kanye West, Rihanna, Madonna, Daft Punk, Nicki Minaj, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris and Alicia Keys, hosted a conference in New York. Their aim was to create a better platform for music streaming which provided high quality audio and where a greater percentage of the profits go to the artists. Continue reading

Islands in the Stream: Thoughts on Spotify

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This week I had my first experience with Spotify. It’s taken me a while to get with the times but I thought it would make writing album reviews far easier (and cheaper!). The music streaming service has a rapid increase in users in recent years. Last year saw over a 50% increase in it’s usage and the start of music streaming’s contribution to the song and album charts in the UK. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular, a vast expansive library of music ready to listen to free of charge at the push of a button. It’s the next big step in the evolution of music, but what does it mean for the industry as a whole? Continue reading