GeekWire Radio: Amazon music, Lively shutdown, and the new world of tech design

We’ve got a lot to discuss on this week’s GeekWire radio show, starting with our thoughts on Amazon’s new Prime Music streaming service — the online retailer’s latest push into the world of digital media, and a prelude to its expected smartphone unveiling next week. As detailed in this review by GeekWire’s Blair Hanley Frank, the new service is a nice… Read More


Catch me if you can: Spotify touts 10M paying subscribers, well out in front of Rhapsody’s 1.7M

Spotify announced in a blog post today that it has 40 million active users and 10 million subscribers paying for ad-free streaming. Those numbers clearly put it in the lead among music streaming services searching for customers. The unlimited music streaming business has heated up in recent years as music catalogs have grown larger and… Read More


Rhapsody makes first outside investment, leads Series B in electronic music startup

Seattle-based Rhapsody International today announced its first outside investment ever, pouring money into an electronic dance music (EDM) company. Rhapsody International, the parent company to Rhapsody and Napster, led a Series B round in Dubset Media Holdings, a startup founded in 2008 that helps DJs monetize their work. “This investment, the first for Rhapsody International, demonstrates our commitment to… Read More


Bing Don’t Lie: Microsoft algorithm accurately predicts outcome of ‘The Voice’

So far, so good for Microsoft’s foray into pop-culture predictions. By crunching data from social networks and the company’s Bing search engine, Microsoft was able to correctly predict the two contestants eliminated from “The Voice” on Tuesday night. Sorry, Dani Moz and TJ Wilkins, but the algorithm was right. Maybe that’s what Shakira was pissed about. Microsoft had originally predicted that… Read More


Concert app Lively sings new tune with fresh funding

Lively has reeled in another $2 million in funding, money that the Seattle startup will use to continue to develop its service for making audio and video content available to music fans shortly after concerts conclude. The funding amount was listed in a SEC filing today. As we reported last November, Lively has already entertained… Read More


Adele, Lady Gaga and Carly Rae Jepsen top Amazon’s all-time music charts

For the first time ever, Amazon released the rankings of its most downloaded and purchased music in history, going back to when the company began its Amazon MP3 service in 2007. British singer-songwriter Adele’s soulful vocals propelled her album “21″ to the most purchased CD, compared to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” taking the crown for most… Read More


Geeky listening: These open-source speakers are powered by supercapacitors, charge in 5 minutes

If you’re looking to impress your geeky friends who love listening to music, look no further than Blueshift’s first product. The new Portland-based startup just launched a crowdfunding campaign for Helium, a portable speaker that’s powered by supercapacitors — meaning it can charge quickly and hold power for longer periods of time than a traditional… Read More


Shakeup: Rhapsody cuts 15% of workforce, president out as new investor arrives

Seattle-based Rhapsody International is cutting 15 percent of its workforce, and its president Jon Irwin is stepping down with the arrival of a new investor, Columbus Nova Technology Partners, which has made a “significant investment” in the venerable music service. Columbus Nova is known in part for its earlier acquisition of Rock Band creator Harmonix… Read More

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Microsoft expands Xbox Music to iOS, Android, web

Microsoft is expanding its Xbox Music service to new platforms with the release of apps for iOS and Android, plus a web player for streaming music. The news tonight comes less than a year after Microsoft launched the rebranded music service on Windows 8, Xbox Live and Windows Phone. The mobile and console apps require… Read More


Rhapsody reset: Revenue slips 8% as music service drops ads and MP3 sales to focus on subscriptions

Rhapsody is focusing more intently on its core music subscription service, dropping third-party ads from its website and discontinuing sales of MP3 downloads. And in the short term, at least, the move is putting a damper on the company’s revenue growth. Revenue at the Seattle-based company dropped 8 percent to $34.7 million in the… Read More