Odds and Ends 

Startups Weekly: SoftBanks second act

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I noted some challenges plaguing mental health tech startups. Before that, I wrote about Zoom and Superhuman’s PR disasters. Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to kate.clark@techcrunch.com or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets. If you don’t subscribe to Startups Weekly yet, you can do that here. accelerating its IPO plans and targeting a September listing. We don’t…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Spotify is testing its own version of Stories called Storyline

Spotify is testing its own version of Stories — the sharing format popularized by social apps like Snapchat and Instagram that has since made its way to other apps like Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and others. In Spotify’s case, it’s not called “Stories” but rather “Storyline,” and the focus is on allowing artists to share their own insights, inspiration, details about their creative process or other meanings behind the music. This is very much similar to what Spotify’s “Behind the Lyrics” feature today offers. But instead of pop-up cards that load…

Read More
Headlines 

Spotify reaches 100m paying subscribers worldwide

Streaming service boosted by better-than-expected performance in US and Canada Spotify has reached 100 million paying subscribers, in a landmark for the music streaming service as it faces competition from major tech firms. The number of users willing to pay for the service soared 32% in the first three months of 2019 compared with a year earlier, Spotify said on Monday. The Swedish company, which owned by Jay-Z, Beyonc and other stars. Last month, Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with European regulators, alleging that the US tech firm limits…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Apple addresses Spotifys claims, but not its demands

Two days after Spotify announced that it had filed a suit against Apple with the European Commission over anticompetitive practices, Apple today issued its own response of sorts. In a lengthy statement on its site called “Addressing Spotify’s Claims”, Apple walks through and dismantles some of the key parts of Spotify’s accusations about how the App Store works, covering app store approval times, Spotify’s actual cut on subscription revenues, and Spotify’s rise as a result of its presence on iOS. At the same time, Apple carefully sidesteps addressing any of Spotify’s demands:…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Contentful raises $33.5M for its headless CMS platform

Contentful, a Berlin- and San Francisco-based startup that provides content management infrastructure for companies like Spotify, Nike, Lyft and others, today announced that it has raised a $33.5 million Series D funding round led by Sapphire Ventures, with participation from OMERS Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, as well as existing investors General Catalyst, Benchmark, Balderton Capital and Hercules. In total, the company has now raised $78.3 million. Contentful, a Stripe for content management, raises $28M led by General Catalyst Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/06/contentful-raises-33-5m-for-its-headless-cms-platform/

Read More
Headlines 

Spotify just released this year’s most-streamed artists and they’re all male

The top five most-streamed artists of 2018 are all maleImage: Lorne Thomson/Redferns/Prince Williams/Wireimage/mashable composition If you want to be one of the most streamed artists on the planet, there’s one thing in particular that you apparently need. That thing is a penis.  Every holiday season, Spotify releases its end-of-year stats, and we get to have a good look at both our own music habits with personalised top tracks-lists, and the lack of gender diversity in the music industry at large.  SEE ALSO: Ariana Grande’s ‘thank you, next’ just broke YouTube…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Spotify beefs up its free tier

Today at the Gramercy Theater in NYC, Spotify’s Chief R&D Officer Gustav Söderström announced a brand new free version of the Spotify mobile app. By leveraging their investment in machine learning, Spotify’s new free tier recommends music to users on the fly. That said, the free tier has always limited users to shuffle. With the new version, users can listen on-demand to whatever song they want, as many times as they want, as long as those songs appear on one of the 15 personalized discovery playlists like Daily Mix, Discover…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Microsoft will soon shutter its music store and streaming service, move users to Spotify

You can’t fault Microsoft for trying, but Groove Music, its Spotify competitor, never took off. Today, the company is admitting defeat. Microsoft today announced it will soon shutter both its Groove Music Pass streaming service and the ability to purchase songs and albums in the Windows Store. Given how competitors like Spotify and Apple now own the markets for streaming and purchasing music online, this move doesn’t come as a total surprise. What does come as a surprise, though, is that Microsoft has partnered with Spotify to move all its…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Spotify preps to go public with 60M subscribers, outpacing Apple

Spotifys singular focus on music sees it adding subscribers faster than the iPhone company with a streaming app on the side. Spotify has added 20 million paid subscribers in less than a year, while its taken Apple Music more than a year and a half to make that progress. Spotify now has 60 million subscribers, compared to Apple Musics 27 million (as of June). Spotifys ability to accelerate its growth rate despite competition from arguably the worlds most powerful company is a testament to the product and community its built.…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Spotify Premium Director Robert Lamvik leaves company for meditation app Headspace

Meditation app Headspace recently brought on Robert Lamvik, Spotifys now-former director of its Premium service, and Dr. Megan Jones Bell, former chief science officer at mental health startup Lantern. Their respective roles at Headspace are head of growth and chief science officer two new roles at the company. Weve always had team of scientists, but as we go into this next stage of growth, we thought it was important to build out the seniority of the team and bring real leadership to it, Headspace co-founder Rich Pierson told me. Its…

Read More