By Dwight Brown

It’s springtime and that change you feel in the air is progress being made by our digital store partners.

  • Tidal grows by leaps and bounds, becomes the top music app.
  • Apple Music offers exclusive Drake release, creates a new patent.
  • Saavn launches original programming, teams with a U.S. tech firm.
  • Spotify partners with Billboard to give music fans a new experience.

Read on.

Nascent Tidal grows faster than the speed of sound, becomes #1 US music app store.


Tidal’s subscription base has grown from 540,000 since its purchase in March 2015 to a whopping three million+ according to Music Business World.

Credit Tidal’s quick rise to headline-grabbing premiers. Rihanna’s hittidal logo album Anti debuted exclusively for streaming on Tidal, as did Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo (per Rainnews.com) which was also available for purchase on his own website, during its initial release. Rainnews.com goes on to argue that West “Redefined albums in the streaming age” when Yeezy continued to tinker with the album after it started streaming, even adding a track after its release.

Beyoncé’s latest effort Lemonade, a “visual album” including 12 songs and videos, also premiered on Tidal. Additionally, as Prince is on everyone’s mind and in their thoughts these days, TIDAL benefited from being the only streaming service to host his full catalogue of around 270 songs.

With so much popular music premiering exclusively for streaming on its platform, it’s no wonder “TIDAL is currently (as of April 24, 2016) the most popular music app on the US App Store – above both Pandora and Spotify,” reports Music Business World.

Drake is faithful to Apple Music. Apple’s new technology can clean up dirty lyrics.


apple-musicNot to be outdone in the exclusive premiere department, a Music Business World article confirms that Drake’s new album, Views (Aka ‘Views From The 6’), scheduled for release on Friday, April 29, is going to be an Apple Music streaming exclusive. As you can tell, Drake is excited:

“Thank you Apple Music – always, man; thank you to Jimmy [Iovine] and thank you to everybody who supported the two singles that we dropped, Pop Style and One Dance.”

Remember, Hotline Bling, with its popular video that was financed by Apple, premiered on Apple Music and took a month to make the rounds to other services.

Looks like “windowing,” the choice to selectively distribute music through certain key channels, at selected times, is here to stay.

Apple is making inroads in other areas too, reports Billboard. It’s been granted a patent for a technology that can automatically scan streamed songs and edit out offending lyrics, making the tracks “clean,” or more family-friendly. 

Saavn ventures into the worlds of original programming and mobile payments.  


An article in Forbes.com announced this month the launch of Saavn8. Saavn-Logo-Horizontal-Green-1000 Original Programming, in partnership with India’s radio icon Neelesh Misra, podcast network Indus Vox Media and digital media brand Arré.

“With this launch, we are turning Saavn from a music-only product to a millennial entertainment platform with the best music experience, groundbreaking original programming, and a true home for artists and creators,” said Saavn co-founder and CEO Rishi Malhotra.

Saavn is also teaming up with the U.S. based FinTech (financial technology) company Mozido to make bill paying, financial services and exclusive offers a whole lot easier for its 18 million users. According to India Times, the music-streaming app currently in 196 countries and territories inked a multi-year agreement with the U.S based mobile payments company. “Saavn Pro offers a compelling value to its users with unlimited downloads, removal of advertising and higher quality audio files. We will explore loyalty programs,” said Michael Liberty, founder of Mozido.

Spotify and Billboard are making beautiful music together.


spotifyBillboard announced it has tapped Spotify to be its exclusive streaming partner for 2016. The deal tasks the streaming service with powering the playback of music listed in more than 75 Billboard music charts, as well as providing a weekly New Music Fridays editorial feature and three additional Spotify-centric charts.

These three new Spotify-driven charts will be published weekly on Billboard.

  • The Viral 50. Songs with a high volume of social and sharing activity, like TuneCore artists Nipsey Hussle & YG‘s “F— Donald Trump”, Area21’s “Spaceships” and Emir Taha’s “Ultralight Beam.”
  • The 30-track Velocity Chart. Songs that are blowing up on Spotify, like TuneCore artists M-City J.R.’s “Addicted to my Ex.”
  • The Spotify Rewind tally. Highlights five songs for each decade from the 1960s through the 2000s.

Remember that exclusive Apple Music scored with Drake? Turns out, even though his new music has been appearing on Apple Music first, Drake is still the most streamed artist on Spotify via PlayStation, which is an increasingly popular way for fans to listen to Spotify’s music.

Meanwhile, Rihanna is now the biggest artist overall on Spotify with 31.3M active fans worldwide. That’s despite being a shareholder in Tidal and offering that service first dibs on her music.

It’s springtime and our store partners are growing and finding innovative ways to showcase artists’ music.

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