MUSIC BUZZ: Zane Lowe // Rhapsody // More
Zane Lowe is one of U.K.’s most famous radio personalities and he is well known for kick-starting artists’ carriers, for example Elke’s and my 2014 top ten favorite Banks. Now he moves to LA and works for Apple. Naturally, Apple won’t tell what his future role will be, but it has surly to do with the impending launch of their new streaming service and the Music Industry Blog thinks this is a big deal:
If Lowe was simply to push 20 to 30 songs a day to Apple users (whether that be on a radio show on iTunes Radio, as an iTunes podcast or as an iTunes playlist, or all of the above) the odds are in favor of some or most of those resonating with a large swathe of the target audience. Even if just one track blows away just a quarter of the audience each day, the impact of one fantastic discovery will have more impact than a torrent of ‘sounds a bit like’ recommendations.
I think that Apple is on the right track here: I have yet to see a music recommendation engine that works. For example, Pandora, which has arguably one of the most sophisticated robot DJ curating their playlists, still ends up serving me mostly the same stuff (which inexplicably almost always includes The Killers).
Elke’s streaming service of choice, Rhapsody, seems to be raising from the nearly dead:
If it continues to grow at its present rate it should hit 3 million by July this year. And if it sustains that growth into the start of 2016 it could find itself the second biggest subscription service globally.
Rhapsody surly has history on its side: it introduced its on-demand streaming service already in 2002, six years before Spotify. It also has the least silly name of them all, anybody knows what “Spotify” or my least favorite “Deezer” is supposed to mean?
After the year-end slowdown, the album release calendar is again filled with exciting new music. This week, Cuban-French sisters Ibeyi released their self-titled debut and it is fabulous (on Spotify). I also listened a lot to Vancouver five-piece Twin River Should the Light Go Out (on Spotify and experimental group Snow Ghost Wrecking (on Spotify.