Spotify announces 140 million users as paid subscribers approach 40%

Spotify announced today that it now has 140 million users, up from 100 million exactly a year ago.

Today we’re happy to announce 140 million users on Spotify! To put it another way, that’s one million for every single character in this twe

The news comes just a few months after Spotify revealed that it now has 50 million paying subscribers. Historically, the music streaming giant has announced its paying / non-paying user figures in tandem, but it has recently taken to just announcing its paying members. In the past, roughly 25 percent of the company’s overall user base was paying members, but that figure has been edging closer to around a third, based on more recent announcements. Assuming Spotify has grown its paid user base by at least a couple of million since its last announcement in March, we can now say that roughly 37 percent of its listeners pay to use the…

How to Find Awesome Music from Around the World on Spotify

No matter where music comes from, it has the power to make you feel, make you think, and make you dance. If you use Spotify, broadening your musical horizons is easy.

Start With the Charts

Spotify has music exploration built right into their apps, but you don’t have to spend hours searching for music if you know where to begin. Spotify’s “Top 50” and “Viral 50” charts are great starting points with tons of songs. While using the Spotify desktop app:

  1. Head to “Browse” on the Spotify home page.
  2. Then head to “Charts.”
  3. Scroll down the page and you’ll see “Top 50 by Country” and “Viral 50 by Country.” Pick one.
  4. Pick the “Top 50” list for your country of choice.
  5. Click or tap songs and listen to see if you find anything you like. Or better yet, listen to the entire chart as a playlist and pick out the ones you like and stick in a playlist of your own.

Depending on the country, one chart will be probably more helpful than the other. For example, the “Top 50” chart for many countries will have a lot of the same pop hits you’ll find on the U.S. charts. I’ve had more luck with the “Viral 50” charts since most of those songs tend to be localized.

Follow the Trail

Once you find a song on those charts you like, do what I call “following the trail.” If you’ve ever fallen into a Wikipedia rabbit hole, it’s a lot like that. Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Go to the artist’s page by clicking or tapping the artist’s name.
  2. On the artist’s page,…

‘Play this at my funeral’ meme takes Spotify campaign ad to its LOL extreme

“Play this at my funeral” is a line you’ve probably seen in the comments section of a YouTube video or two.

Or maybe you’ve seen it on Twitter. Wherever you see it though, it’s often written jokingly alongside a piece of music that wouldn’t be appropriate to play around a whole bunch of crying people.

Admittedly, the reference made for a pretty good piece of advertising by streaming service, Spotify, who released a commercial back in February. It featured Joe Jonas, commenting…

Why the next evolution of AI will be a seamless methodology

Everyone and their mother is racing toward AI these days. Spending on the technology was already at a hefty $640 million in 2016, and analysts predict it’ll reach $37 billion by 2025. While we’re all ultimately working together, there’s still fragmentation in the industry as competing schools of thought grapple for supremacy. How do you build a thinking machine?

Thousands of developers have worked for decades to discover the right methodology to create machine learning and the singularity. Some believe neural networks are the key to unlocking AI’s potential, while others are exploring probabilistic programming. Many more schools of thought exist, from fuzzy systems to evolutionary computation, chaos theory, Gaussian processes, computational creativity, and more — all with their own supporters and detractors.

Each group is certain its discipline holds the key to unlocking the mystery. But it’s likely a combination of these technologies that will solve the puzzle. Not all human brains work the same, so why should every AI?

Combining the competition

With a neural network, an AI system — such as Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri, or Amazon’s Alexa — creates a platform other third parties can tie into. The memory of the neural network increases as more simple systems are connected, allowing it to detect more patterns and appear smarter. When you ask your Google Pixel to play ’80s music on Spotify, you’re tapping into Google’s neural network.

Probabilistic programming creates intelligence by doing what its name suggests: letting reasoning, coupled with the probability of various outcomes, determine a solution.

Both neural networks and probabilistic programming represent how the human mind works. Our minds have systems of information we can access to come up with conclusions. We analyze data, predict potential outcomes, and make decisions. A single individual learns, remembers, and draws conclusions in dozens of ways depending on which methodology is best suited for the decision at hand.

Researchers are realizing it’s the combination of all these disciplines that allows for a genuine thinking machine. Each has yielded amazing results independently, and by combining them, one technique’s strengths augment another’s weaknesses….

5 bots to try this week: Golden State Warriors, Vexera, Rasa NLU, Movie Finder, and Spotify

Here are the five most popular bots this past week, as they appear on Botlist. Give them a try and let us know what you think.

5. Spotify

Share and find music directly within Facebook’s omnipresent messaging app. Spotify will now automatically offer playlist recommendations based on factors such as mood, activity, and genres.

4. Movie Finder

Movie Finder helps to decide what movie to watch tonight. The bot’s library contains only “good” movies based on IMDb rating…

Spotify acquires Mediachain to develop blockchain technology that matches royalties with rightsholders

Spotify has acquired Mediachain, the New York-based startup behind an open source peer-to-peer database and protocol for registering, identifying, and tracking creative works across the internet. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Launched in 2016 with seed backing from Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, Mediachain has been working toward using blockchain technology to entrench timestamps and data regarding ownership within a specific media asset. It’s all about enabling creators and rightsholders to prove they are the owner of a piece of work — in Spotify’s case, music — and receive payment.

The problem for legitimate companies, such as Spotify, is that they may try to pay artists and publishers but often don’t know who to pay. This is perhaps more of a problem with smaller artists or indie labels. Just last month, Spotify reached a $30 million settlement with a publishing group over unpaid royalties and agreed to establish best practices to make a “reasonable effort” to match all music streams with rightsholders.

Blockchain technology has enabled the bitcoin cryptocurrency to flourish through a decentralized database, where the…