Spotify gaining leverage over record labels, indie games having their own feature in the App Store and Uber with a successful start to 2017.

In this week in review, we’re covering all things music and tech that should have landed on your doorstep. Hear our take on the latest industry news as we have our say and discuss what impact it’ll play on the future.

These are the headlines grabbing our attention this week:

A recent article from TechCrunch discussed the current relationship between Spotify and major record labels and delved into the future of the music streaming service. With now over 50 million paid users, Spotify sits at a position within the market to empower a voice against major labels. As it stands, Spotify is currently forced to pay 70% of its revenue to labels in order to fund royalties on music. 

It was acknowledged that over the past years, Spotify has been pushing five different methods to pressure labels into considering better deals on royalties, they include:

  • Dictating the top 40
  • Spotify’s scale in comparison to record labels
  • Diversifying beyond just music
  • Creating access restrictions
  • Becoming a label

Are we potentially reaching a new dawn where labels will become dependant on Spotify? With our best interest in music tech, it’s going to be interesting to see how the growth of Spotify continues, as well as what new ventures they pursue.

If you’ve visited the App Store recently, you would have noticed the new feature promoting indie games. The new category highlights games from smaller studios that often go unnoticed amongst big named apps that are important for day to day use… Like Tinder and Pokemon GO.

“It’s an important move on Apple’s part given today’s app economy, which is heavily tilted toward bigger developers who can afford the marketing budgets to promote their games in a way that smaller dev teams typically can’t match. Apple’s new indie section could help provide a more level playing field for new independent developers, similar to the early days of the App Store when the market wasn’t so crowded.”

Could the new feature be in relation to the recent App Store ‘bug’ that shook up the top featured apps? Is this the beginning of a new App Store plan to promote paid apps over subscription based ones? Let us know what you think, send us a tweet to share your thoughts.

In a press conference held on Tuesday, Uber board member Arianna Huffington announced that:

“Despite an incredibly challenging last two months, the company saw more growth in the first 10 weeks of 2017 than it did during the same period in 2016. Uber saw more rides in the U.S. over the course of last week than it ever has previously”.

It was also outlined throughout the conference that Uber is taking further steps towards increasing its driver experience by creating more stable earnings for drivers. Uber is updating policies that favour riders unfairly over drivers and will introduce new tools that allow riders to correct their pickup points mid-hail rather than having to cancel and rebook.

Is the light at the end of Uber’s tunnel soon approaching as they reach to increase the overall experience within the ridesharing app? Let us know what you think by tweeting @hydricmedia.

Lachlan Kirkwood
music tech news, Spotify
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