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Smart speaker market grows double digits YoY; Apple gains; Amazon leads

The global smart speaker market is surging to record levels, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, which frames its recent report as a “market recovery.” The data are from Q2 of this year, compared to Q2 2020, and represent the highest-ever Q2 growth. Click for an illustrative table which tells the whole story. Continue Reading

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Mechanical Licensing Collective receives $424M for unmatched royalties from streaming services

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) has received $424-million in royalties from Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Google, Pandora, and 15 other streaming entities from Aspiro to Xandrie. With funds in hand, the MLC starts its US government mandate to accurately distribute payments to songwriters, composers, and music publishers. Click for the list streaming services by dollar amount. Continue Reading

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Google Play Music to close … soon. Google attempts to funnel users into YouTube Music.

The warning is clear, though without a timeline: “You will soon lose access to Google Play Music.” That’s what Android users see when they open the Google Play Music app — Google’s would-be direct competitor to Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Users are advised to transfer their accounts to YouTube Music, where the subscriptions will continue. YouTube Music is a starkly different UEX environment and library proposition. Continue Reading

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PRX and Google select podcast winners for Google Podcasts creator program

In June, PRX and Google announced a new year of the accelerator, training, and funding program that was first formed in October, 2018. Today comes the announcement of winners. Twenty podcast teams from around the world, working in six languages across 11 countries, will benefit from training, mentoring, and funding up to $12,000 each. Click through for all the details. Continue Reading

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Google advances its programmatic audio buying tools

Google has raised its game in programmatic audio. Google’s broad digital advertising platform, Ad Manager, is getting audio programmatic for the first time. Additionally, Google’s DV360 is enhancing its existing tools. DV360 is the abbreviated brand name of Display & Video 360, formerly called DoubleClick. The systems stumbles over RSS feeds, perhaps slowing adoption ion podcasting, though independent distribution platforms like Spotify and Pandora work fine. Continue Reading

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Google Play Music: Days numbered, to the relief of brand confusion

Google Play Music will reportedly be shuttered. The timetable? September for Australia and New Zealand, October for everyone else. Users will have until end-of-year to retrieve their cloud-stored music. The existing YouTube Music will take over as Google’s on-demand streaming service. This shift is helpful to what has been Google’s audio-related miasma of branding. Continue Reading

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Google Podcasts creator program begins new year of accelerator training and funding

PRX, Google’s partner in the Google Podcasts creator program, is announcing a new year of the accelerator, training, and funding program that was first formed in October, 2018. The program’s mission is to provide a global audio community with open resources, empower underrepresented voices, and showcase new work. The 2020 focus differs from 2019. Continue Reading