Digital round up: Spotify apps, VEVO’s MTV deal, Google Play and Audiogalaxy’s return

By | Published on Friday 9 March 2012


What a busy week for digital news it was – after all those festival line-up announcements last week, it was the digital dudes filling our news lists this time. Here’s a few stories we haven’t had chance to cover yet…

First up, Spotify told the Music Apps: Beyond The Hype conference that its users had spent 13.1 million hours using its apps since the streaming music platform allowed such things last year. The Guardian points out that’s just 1.3 hours per user, which probably means a small community has embraced the Spot apps big time, but most people are yet to see the point.

Certainly the Spotify app channel still seems to be something with more potential than current use at the moment. But the streaming company certainly sees the app thing as a major part of its future – probably rightly – with the firm’s Director Of Platform Sten Garmark tell The Guardian: “We have to turn ourselves into the OS of music. We are in the middle of a transformation from being an app ourselves to being a platform”.

Elsewhere in streaming music, VEVO and MTV announced a new deal, which brings official videos from the VEVO library to the music broadcaster’s websites. VEVO and MTV actually had a similar deal once before, but not since 2010.

It was reported last December new negotiations were under way, and a deal was confirmed earlier this month, with videos represented by VEVO now already appearing on MTV sites. MTV already has a deal with the one major not participating in the VEVO party – Warner Music – so the broadcaster now has all the big boys on board.

Over at Google towers, the web giant launched a new brand called Google Play, of which Google Music, the Google eBookstore and the Android Market will all be constituent parts. The new platform will also incorporate the web firm’s digital locker service.

Some wondered if the rejig was a bid to give a new boost to Google’s music download platform, which seems to have run out of momentum following its much hyped launch last year. Though Google bringing together all its digital content assets might be more linked to the company’s plans to enter the digital device market with a one-stop entertainment centre of some sort.

And finally in this quick digital update, Audiogalaxy is back. One of the early digital music brands, the original Audiogalaxy – a file-sharing service – appeared in the very first edition of the CMU Daily in 2002 as it reached an out of court settlement with the Recording Industry Association Of America, which basically rendered its original business model redundant.

Work on a Warner Music-backed attempt to launch a licensed P2P service through the US colleges followed, as well as an involvement in Rhapsody, but all that went quiet a couple of years back. But now a new Audiogalaxy has launched offering some sort of cloud-based digital-locker play-back set up, seemingly with scan and match functionality, so users don’t actually have to upload all their digital music files to enable remote listening.

We’re still not 100% certain how the new look Audiogalaxy works, but it will be interesting to see whether the new service forces the brand back into the pop courts. Although the new service is licensed, all the deals are with collecting societies and royalty agencies, so on the sound recordings side that’s SoundExchange, which licenses online radio style services such as Pandora on behalf of the labels in the US. It remains to be seen if the big record companies believe the Audiogalaxy v3.0 service can operate under such a licence.

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