Last week, Soundcloud announced that it was trying to change up their business model, and would change their focus to be more about giving money to people from the site. Not only did it offer a cool way of separating themselves from Spotify and YouTube, but it also allowed them to be a even more competitive against the two.
Youtube is the next service to step up their music game by creating a special part of the site dedicated to music and music videos. Dubbed Music Key, it attempts to monetize streamed content more effectively, like Soundcloud. Users can pay a $7.99 monthly subscription to remove the ads before each video, as well as independent bands being able to put up their music to be monetized as well. So, essentially the exact same changes that Soundcloud made, except with the youtube logo pasted over it. YouTube has it’s own problems that Soundcloud and Spotify won’t have, of course. Since everything is in a video format, audio quality is lost a bit, and monetization won’t be as easy. Why would anyone pay for YouTube when adblock exists?? The service is only in beta, so it’ll be interesting how they change things up.
But with the dedicated music section, which is available now, they added a few new features. Mostly, just keeping all of your music playlists in one place, and keeping them separate from any other ones you might have. Also, being able to easily see recommendations for music, and see what’s trending at the time. It doesn’t do too much, but just reorganizes everything so it’s easier to find stuff specifically for music.
So, YouTube and Soundcloud have already done their work to change things up, what is Spotify up to? Well, they’re going in a really weird direction. Spotify has teamed up with the taxi service, Uber, to bring you music of your choosing while you’re in a cab. The idea is you connect your Spotify account to your Uber account, and you’ll be able to play music from Spotify playlists in the car. Kind of cool, kind of weird. The catch is that you’ll have to be a Spotify subscriber if you want to benefit from it, but also, it’s only available in a few cities: New York, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Mexico City, Nashville, Singapore, Stockholm, and Sydney. Chicago got a bit fucked on this one, but there’s no reason to be mad. It’s not something to be used for every Uber ride anyway. There’s no reason that a cab driver has to listen to my bad music taste, along with everyone else in the car.
Here’s the announcement video for the new feature:
Not only that, but Uber will have their own curated Spotify playlists for when the feature launches on November 21st. Not only that, but to promote the service, artists will be doing live sessions and ride alongs. Some of the artists include: Andrew W.K., The Sam Willows, Ximena Sariñana, Ansiktet, Professor Green, Diplo, Matt and Kim, Ricki Lee, Kevin Drew, and Jake Owen. So if you’ve ever wanted to share an awkwardly long cab ride with one of these artists, now is the time.