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Quick Hits: Spotify songs by tempo; Napster digs at freemium; Forbes and Billboard talk radio outlook

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:


New gadget selects Spotify music by tempo: Royal College of Art Gemma Roper created an elegantly designed device that plays music from Spotify based on tempo. The Radio Activity device has a silver dial that you slide up and down a vertical stick to select the desired speed. It’s a creative project in the vein of the streaming service’s Running feature.

Napster critiques Spotify, Apple: Spotify has taken a lot of heat recently for its free tier, and the latest critic is Napster. “In terms of Spotify, there is no evidence that their ‘freemium’ business model is sustainable, as their numbers for the last two years show,” a representative told Techradar. The rep also had a dig at Apple Music’s Beats 1 and its DJ/curators: “We take a localized approach to music suggestions, tapping into the culture of every market to make sure we’re surfacing the most relevant music for our members regardless of where they live. No one person in LA or London is telling Napster users what to think is cool.” Burn.

Forbes believes in radio: With all the pessimism flying about the music industry in the wake of digital change, it’s refreshing to hear an occasional happy outlook. Forbes ran an article reviewing some of the positive statistics for the business behind the dial.

Billboard reviews the web radio landscape: In another interesting radio piece, Billboard has an analysis of the web-specific field. It reviewed the impact Beats 1 is having on Pandora, Sirius XM, and iHeartRadio.

Anna Washenko

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