Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:
How labels approach Spotify playlist promotion: We see lots of discussion about the role of Spotify playlists in building popularity for artists and tracks, but a new feature in Billboard explores the extent to which labels and the streaming platform work in tandem. Streaming poses a new challenge in music promotion, because there is so little precedent for who makes the plans, who sets the standards, or who determines success. Billboard went behind the scenes with several labels to see how they are approaching this new topic. A fascinating read.
Kickstarter project Mighty launches: One of many musical Kickstarter projects in recent years to attract the big bucks is Mighty. Billed as the “iPod shuffle for Spotify,” it’s a gadget for listening to Spotify without your phone. The Verge reviews the device, now out for $85.99. (Our take: Eh.)
More tough news from SoundCloud: When it announced layoffs for 40% of its team, SoundCloud founder Alex Ljung promised a vision of an “independent future” for the company. But that vision looks pretty cloudy, according to reports from TechCrunch. The publication’s sources said that the cuts are only giving SoundCloud the money to stay afloat until Q4. That casts a harsh light on the question of staying independent versus scrambling to secure a deal with one of the many potential buyers that showed interest in SoundCloud over the years. Watch this space for updates on whatever SoundCloud’s next move is.