Odds and Ends 

With $70M from Alphabet, UnitedMasters replaces record labels

Record labels are obsolete. They haven’t kept up as music evolved from selling CDs to streaming songs to promoting concert tickets and merchandise. Labels were meant to help artists generate albums, fame, and money. But now anyone can record themselves and no one “buys” music. So today that requires being a technology company, combining analytics with hyper-targeted advertising. And the old labels don’t have the engineering talent for it. That’s why last year, the former president of Interscope Records Steve Stoute secretly raised a $70 million Series A led by…

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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…

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Odds and Ends 

SoundCloud saved by emergency funding as CEO steps aside

SoundCloud has just closed the necessary funding round to keep the struggling music service afloat. CEO Alex Ljung will step aside though remain chairman as former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor replaces him. Mike Weissman will become COO as SoundCloud co-founder and CTO Eric Wahlforss stays as chief product officer. New York investment bank Raine Group and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek have stepped in to lead the new Series F funding round of $169.5 million. SoundCloud laid off 40 percent of its staff last month, with 173 employees departing in…

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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….

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