Top Story: Taylor Swift Removes All Her Albums From Spotify
On Tuesday, Taylor Swift removed all of her music from the music streaming website Spotify, in response to Spotify’s cricitism that she did not make her newest album 1989 available to stream:
All I can say is that music is changing so quickly. The landscape of the music industry itself is changing so quickly, that everything new, like Spotify, all feels to me a bit like a grand experiment. I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music. And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.
While removed from Spotify, Swift’s albums (apart from 1989) were kept up on the Apple-owned Beats Music streaming platform. Swift’s alignment with Beats Music poses a direct threat to Spotify. Losing Swift risks losing a large portion of their subscribers.
In response, Spotify created the #JustSayYes Twitter campaign, encouraging Swift to reconsider her choice. The hashtag itself an homage to Swift’s song “Love Story.”
Spotify even created a “What To Play While Taylor’s Away” playlist. The fear is not only losing access to Taylor Swift’s loyal fans, but also the fear that investors and record label managers could begin to question Spotify’s legitimacy and stability as a streaming platform.
Spotify made a statement on Monday:
We love Taylor Swift, and our more than 40 million users love her even more. Nearly 16 million of them have played her songs in the last 30 days, and she’s on over 19 million playlists. We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone.
For now, Taylor Swift’s album is available on iTunes for $13. Spotify kept the 1989 album page up with the following message:
Tool of the Week: Dash
Winter is coming, but you don’t have to stand out in the cold: A new tool lets users know if the line for a bar is worth the wait.
This new wonder app puts the fun back into going out with abilities to open a tab, find nearby bars and restaurants, check wait times, and feel the vibe of a venue before even stepping in the door. Dash links to restaurants’ and bars’ point-of-sale systems to synch open tabs and current capacity. Because vendors pay a small fee, the app is free for patrons.
In addition to offering its main service, Dash has recently launched a rating system that organizes venues into categories—users will be able to find nightlife that fits their mood, with choices ranging from “quiet” all the way to “lively.”
The overall goal, Dash says, is to provide individuals with a better night out and about. Though only launched in 100 restaurants and bars across Chicago and New York, the app plans to add new taverns, pubs and eateries within coming weeks.
Granted, the functionality of Dash relies wholly on just how many restaurants and bars shell out a little extra cash to make the tool a true bar hopping experience, but we’re confident that the app’s efficient and useful concept will soon catch on.
Under the Radar: Snapchat Gets Serious About News Service
Snapchat is targeting the biggest and brightest names in content dissemination for a new “Discover” page. Comedy Central, Spotify and Vice are a few of the numerous prominent media conglomerates that Snapchat is planning to include in its new section.
It was initially assumed that Spotify would focus on partnering with companies that produce visually driven, short-form stories mainly geared to millennials. But a look at other collaboration efforts with more traditional text- and audio-based media brands such as Hearst (Cosmopolitan Magazine), CNN and Time Inc. show its media ambitions reach beyond what was expected. Some of these companies have been shy to speak on the partnership, but ESPN and Vevo have confirmed they are in talks with the social media platform.
Though the exact interface for sharing hasn’t been divulged, the actual content of the stories will include original brand content. The platform plans to produce posts of all lengths, breaking the notion that mobile content has to be brief in order to appease short attention spans.
Snapchat does keep one of its cardinal qualities in place: media content will have an expiration date, with stories eventually disappearing after a certain amount of time in hopes of encouraging users to regularly check the new Discover extension.
Thought the app was supposed to be launched this November, technical issues have delayed the release indefinitely. This might add some pressure to the impending deals, considering Snapchat’s rival, Facebook, has made proposals to print and digital companies with an almost identical media distribution plan for its app.
Despite the slight setback, the caliber of the media brands interested in Snapchat’s new venture shows this new tool could be a lucrative way for companies to share their voices through an engaging, established social platform.
Around the Hub: The New Governor of Massachusetts
Massachusetts has chosen a new Governor, and that person is Republican Charlie Baker. Defeating Democrat Martha Coakley in the closest gubernatorial victory since 1964, Baker will take current Governor Deval Patrick’s place on Beacon Hill.
Baker won by a mere 1.9% margin, or 40,361 votes to be exact, putting Republicans back on top after eight years of a Democrat majority.
Responding to news of her loss, Martha Coakley said:
I understand there’s only one winner, and I understand Charlie Baker won, but I could not be prouder of the race we won — ran — and the people who helped me do that.
Despite the loss, she urged women with sights set on politics to seize opportunities and look up to the women before them:
It’s important that you lean in. For every woman who didn’t get the job she wanted or didn’t get the promotion, or who ran a race and lost, I say, go right back at it. Throw your hat back in the ring.
Though Governor Patrick campaigned vigorously against Baker, the two met on Wednesday and vowed to transition the reins of power smoothly. Governor Patrick urged Baker to “find the parts of the job that are fun and keep going back to those and let folks know you’re having a good time.”
Winning the Senate race was Democrat Ed Markey, beating out Republican candidate Brian Herr. Voters decided against the expansion of the bottle bill, the repeal of casinos and instatement of gas tax indexing.