By Stefanie Flamm
You can finally put away your winter coat and grab your shades, because summer is upon us and a lot of exciting things are going on with our digital store partners.
- Rhapsody launches virtual reality streaming of exclusive live performances.
- Spotify updates their subscription plan to compete with Apple Music and Google Play.
- Guvera launches 3.0, making their app an immersive music and entertainment hub for users around the world.
- Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book sets new records, Apple Music’s exclusivity reigns supreme.
Rhapsody VR changes the game for live concert streaming
Rhapsody just took a huge leap into the world of virtual reality with their new streaming service, Rhapsody VR. The service is the first of its kind, designed specifically for music and concentrating on exclusive, 360º coverage of live concerts.
While other streaming services are offering similar live concert footage on their platforms, Rhapsody VR is unique in its interactive 360º coverage. Shot onstage, right beside the performers, the viewer can choose their own concert experience. And while the service is most compatible with Google Cardboard viewers, you can also watch on iOS or Android devices directly through the Rhapsody VR app. You can even sample the VR service on YouTube with TuneCore artist Talib Kweli’s “Get By”.
Rhapsody is excited about the future of VR, and expects that it will become increasingly popular in the music scene in years to come. “Music lovers around the world can experience a live concert for free from anywhere — the comfort of their home, their local watering hole, or wherever they have a cellular or WiFi connection,” Rhapsody shared in a statement from May 19th. “Musicians can share live performances with more fans… expanding their base of listeners and sharing more music with the world.”
With Rhapsody’s plan to release new content monthly, it will be exciting to see how VR influences the concert-going experience in the future.
Spotify goes head-to-head with Apple Music and Google Play with new family pricing model
Spotify has decided to give Apple Music and Google Play a run for their money when they announced their new Family Subscription Plan on May 23rd.
The pricing models for all three services are now identical, with individual accounts priced at $9.99/mo. and $14.99/mo. for up to six users. This is a big change from Spotify’s old pricing model, which could cost up to $29.99 for five users.
In the wake of millions of users subscribing to Apple Music and TiDAL for their exclusive content, matching the pricing models of these streaming services will be crucial to Spotify’s success.
The new family plan covers up to six users across the world, and existing accounts will remain intact and separate, keeping user content personal. Spotify is partnering this deal with an individual new-customer offer of $9.99 for 3 months of premium service.
It’s already looking like the new pricing will entice some fresh subscribers, and more subscribers may result in a higher per stream payout for independent artists.
Guvera launches their new platform, providing a comprehensive music experience for their users.
Guvera’s commitment has always been to connect brands and consumers through music and entertainment, and they took this mission one step further this month by introducing Guvera 3.0.
The re-launch of their service is marketed as a “new immersive music and entertainment platform” where brands can connect with consumers through Music Channels and Guvera’s new Social features.
The streaming service offers genre and mood-specific channels, as well as an opportunity for brands to offer exclusive content on their own channels. Channels can feature customized content including video, photos, blog content, and even competitions hosted by the brands themselves.
Guvera Social will offer brands an opportunity to connect with consumers through targeted updates, exclusive offers, and content sharing. With this service, brands can even make music recommendations to their consumers.
In their May 14th announcement, Guvera Head of Product, Robb Snell, is quoted, “…it’s all about discovery; discovery of a brand’s music recommendations, products and services all presented by a range of diverse content. Our Channels shine a spotlight on the underlying culture that drives artists and delivers a more immersive entertainment experience for our listeners to engage with the brands they love, when and how they want to.”
Chance the Rapper’s new album proves that Apple Music exclusivity is working for the store.
Chance the Rapper made history this month by releasing the first album to score a top 10 debut charting based solely on streaming.
Coloring Book has already collected over 57.3 million streams since its May 13th release date, ranking it #8 on the Billboard 200 album charts. Chance also made an impact on the Billboard Hot 100, with “No Problem (feat. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)” coming in at #86 and “Blessings” taking home #93 on the charts.
After Drake’s resounding success with his Apple Music-exclusive release of Views in April, Coloring Book is proving to be another huge win for the store. Apple Music has brought in over 2 million subscribers since February, undoubtedly related to the collective success of Views and Coloring Book. And while Coloring Book was made available on Spotify, Rhapsody, Deezer, TiDAL, and Google Play as of May 27th, the two-week exclusive was a big success for Apple Music.
TiDAL and Apple Music have both used exclusive streaming content to give their stores an edge, but the Billboard success of Coloring Book is a victory on the side of Apple Music.