TikTok Entering Music Streaming

TikTok Enters Music Streaming
Tuner Inc

Music Streaming Continues to Grow

Today we’re taking a deeper dive into an announcement that recently came from TikTok, the video social media app that is very popular and just passed 1.5 billion downloads. TikTok enters music streaming, and they’re trying to directly compete with Spotify, Apple, Tencent Music, and even Amazon. Since the announcement came out, the biggest question people have been asking is why music streaming and why try to compete with Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and all the other players in the field?

If you’ve been on TikTok you realize that music is an integral part of their app. Even though their app is based in video, very much like Vine, there’s a huge focus around the music. This may be be partly by design, but also TikTok previously acquired musically or music.ly. It shows that they have had investments in music that were set in place long ago, and are just now starting to come into full fruition. 

With their 1.5 billion downloads, they’ve gathered a lot of data on what songs are popular and what songs promote pieces of content the best. It only makes sense that with their huge size and resources behind them that they create a music streaming service that can compete with the likes of Spotify or Apple music. 

It may not be their main cash flow, but it is definitely something that will prove fruitful for them for a while, because music is usually integrated with content throughout history. The next question that has been constantly asked is what is their master plan. If you’re asking me I think that their master plan is to have every type of social media that we have in the US that is popular. They’re going to try to corner the Chinese market and then take on Alibaba and the other huge companies in the area.

Competition

I think Facebook and maybe even some start-ups are probably going to try to either replicate or out compete how TikTok accomplishes their  music streaming app.  Facebook has already started to put some minor and medium size investments behind social music on their platform so the state of music streaming is getting very interesting. Spotify is not too worried in my opinion yet. 

They actually have a partnership with one of the largest music companies in China, Tencent Music, which brings almost a billion dollars in revenue a year, because of their donations and their micro transactions. Spotify is the best fit to handle this new entry into the market. It’s going to open up a lot of doors for other companies and it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens in the next two to three years.

TikTok I assume will try to take the music streaming experience to the next level. TikTok/ByteDance have data on how music performs with pieces of content, which then go viral, thus they have data points on culture which is very valuable. ByteDance also has the stream counts, which makes for a very interesting duality of data to build a new strategy around to make major cash. They also will have political and real power in the business world, China and the United States all places craving music streaming innovation.

ByteDance

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance is a huge Chinese conglomerate. Not only did they acquire musical.ly, but they also have bought other companies such as BuzzVideo. Sequoia Capital, a huge investment firm which shovels out huge dollars, to great companies is a lead investor for the company. It’ll be very interesting to see how effective this music streaming app will be in the United States. If I was Apple I’d be slightly worried because while having presence in China, they will not be able to spread Apple Music as easily in China and Chinese companies can in the United States.

Apple’s software products will not be allowed to proliferate in China, because of the security risks for them him and the U.S. Apple really has to study the situation to see where they can go with their music streaming platform. Although ByteDance and TikTok isn’t public. it’s been estimated that their company valuation could be northwards of 100 billion dollars, which is about half the size of Facebook. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if they move very quickly. As US competitors we have to get on the ball and really compete with TikTok and their related services. I still think Facebook is the best set up to compete out of the U.S. companies. Microsoft and any other large to medium sized tech companies could take a leap into the music streaming competition. ByteDance and their music streaming app, which is a derivative TikTok, is going to be starting out in expanding markets such as India and other Southeast Asian countries. 

They announced that they were going to be coming to the U.S. soon and even could even launch within the year. This is a very fast turnaround! We cant’ wait to see how it all shakes out.

Conversation on Facebook’s Entry into Music Streaming via the New Product Experimentation team (NPE)

Interview: Facebook’s Entry into Music

Peter:

We’re going to talk about a a product that we found on Product Hunt, which is a social networking site for products ideas, projects, and companies. You should check it out! We found this app that just released, a Beta, called Aux created by an offshoot of Facebook. Cameron, do you want to go ahead and give us a little bit more information about what this App Aux by Facebook is? 

Cameron:

We’re still not super sure either what it is yet, but currently it’s only available in Canada. We were able to do a little digging around on the Internet and saw that some people in Canada were able to test it out. This stemmed from some of our Product Hunt searches which we do regularly to stay updated on the industry. We see really cool new Betas coming out typically and this just propped up on our recommended products based on our typical music streaming research. This social listening product by the New Product Experimentation team of Facebook looks pretty cool. The idea is that it’s their own take on turntable.FM, which for people who don’t know, it was an online DJ site. 

People would be a DJ and they would have different crowds listening to what they were playing through the website and they were able to either “clap” or “boo” on the song suggestions of the DJ. It was really cool and turntable originally had a little cult community, but in 2013, the service collapsed. The main features of Aux appear to be a way for someone to play music and then have other people listen at the same time. What I don’t know about the App is where this music is coming from? What are the catalogs available to be played and what the mechanics of the actual session for Aux? How does it actually work listening in real time? What are the features? How can you actually interact with the app and the people on it? 

Peter:

At first glance it appears that the Aux gets passed around or taken, rather than a queue or shared music space. People are not adding music to the same area. It’s an interesting take to say the least, but I think the ultimate factor always comes down to people wanting to control their music.

Cameron:

There’s so many different ways to actually approach this social musical experience. For example, with Aux are there different rooms, so it’s not you listening to music by yourself, or do you just listen to music in a predefined room that is shared across the website? It seems like the purpose for Aux is for kids to share music in between classes and listen at the same time at least after our initial breakdown of the app.

We think this is a really cool use case it’s also a little bit interesting. We’re still not really sure about what the full product is, but the way that it was released, by Facebook leads for countless speculation to ensue. The NPE is actually an offshoot company that Facebook created.  We did a little bit of digging on the published app, it said it was published by the NPE team LLC. This was confusing, because all of the reports we saw was that it was from Facebook. Upon investigation we realized that in July of this year Facebook created a separate branch of their product, the New Product division, and within this created a team called the NPE or New Product Experimentation team. 

Peter:

To give people people more background, why would a company like Facebook, do an offshoot arm like this instead of just doing it under their main brand?

Cameron:

I think that the experimentation verb explains a lot of what they want. However, they must still maintain those standards of the Facebook product and stability So this separate arm was created where they can rapidly test some really crazy features and products that could be potentially incorporated into other products. 

Peter:

So let me play devil’s advocate for a second. Shouldn’t people be possibly skeptical given the recent PR from facebook around the world and in the US specifically? Should we be scared or cautious about using an an offshoot of Facebook’s app and the data taken from there. If you mentioned that it’s about kids then maybe we really need to think a couple of times before allowing people to use his right? 

Cameron:

We have to scrutinize every product, and I think Facebook is the biggest example because they have a billion people who use the platform. I don’t think that they are more or less honest or disingenuous than any other major company. I would approach it with the same level of caution that you should approach using anything on the web. It’s interesting analyzing what they’re trying to do here. 

On the Aux website they actually say that the purpose of the separate brand name is to set appropriate expectations with our users, because NPE’s team apps will change very rapidly and will be shut down if we learn that they’re not useful to people. That is their interpretation of the situation it seems.  This may involve more variables than they’re letting onto, but it seems pretty clear that they want to be able to test totally separate things from their main product.  

Peter:

When you put it together like that that, of course they want to do the mass experimentation without hurting their innovation or cash flow in the main business. We’ll see how it shakes out, but we we see this theme of sharable music in many places into the future. 

Cameron:

I think that we talk a lot about the differences between Social Networking Services/Music Streaming services and the melding of the two. Brassroots is a premier music listening experience first and foremost. We want to cultivate the best music streaming experience possible that allows you to take advantage and capitalize in different ways. Popular applications like TikTok for example have a large pillar in music while another in video. The cool thing is people make cool videos with background tracks that are similar to Vine, but because they have the music element it allows for future shareable ability. TikTok recorded seven billion last quarter and in response Facebook released their own version of TikTok with Lasso. There’s not many disadvantages for Facebook to do this, because they’re trying to build their own reach through the mediums. 

Peter:

So let me press on only one last thing that we saw this week, the new AirPods were released. One of the features that they slightly upgraded in these new AirPods was the Bluetooth ability where you can share music with each other if you’re within a close proximity of each other. You both have to have the newest generation AirPods. Brassroots our idea and how we’re implementing it into software is now being joined with amazing hardware which can make these ideas proliferate. Now people are listening to music together on their own if they’re in the same house or area.

Cameron:

Yeah and it’s really cool for Apple to build their hardware product as such. However, Bluetooth 3.0 is allegedly the newest iteration of Bluetooth, and is capable of reaching 150 yards. That would be a game changer! Being able to connect with anyone through Bluetooth within a large proximity has wide possibilities. You could potentially be on the whole other side of the football field or equivalent and be able to still connect through hardware. 

Peter:

I think all these things are aligning for everyone to be more connected with higher bandwdith. I think with music stream specifically, the ultra high bandwidth would be people sharing music and experiencing it together or on a platform that generates collaborative activities in nature. 

Cameron:

I think you’re absolutely right! I think the way it’s going to be most effective is by bringing in data to achieve the desired result both through the actual process of listening to music and the ways that people already enjoy music currently. Think how dynamic this foundation can become in the future; I think that’s where we’re really going to see massive innovation, and why not achieve that with Brassroots. We think some of these innovations in music streaming and the different products in this conversation are just getting started.  It’s going to be really interesting to see the future developments in the space, and if there’s anything that people want to hear us review or talk about let us know. 

For more information on Brassroots make sure to visit brassrootsapp.com

Spotify Quarterly Earnings Takeaways

Spotify Quarterly Earnings
Tuner Inc

The Spotify Quarterly Earnings report showed an astonishing amount of Subscribers. Currently Spotify Premium has 113 million subscribers and 141 million ad-supported subscribers “free version”. It is clear that Spotify is staying ahead of Apple music and Amazon in engagement and reach. Spotify is really honing in on their brand expansion across new markets such as Latin America and India. The brand is being baked into the advertising and expansion of artists in these new markets. 

By getting behind the artists Spotify is able to become intertwined to the local culture and talent pipeline related to music. Spotify is strategically aligning with large corporations such as Google to try to become fully integrated into peoples lives (homes, cars, etc.). The Spotify Quarterly Earnings Report expands upon the promotion of Family Plan Subscribers getting a free Google Home simply for being a subscriber of Spotify. By partnering strategically with large corporations and the focus on joining the cultures of markets they are entering; Spotify has been able to capture bright future prospects for users and their experience on the app.  Spotify for Artists has been a hit for artist trying to Partner and gain tools from Spotify. This is another example of Spotify trying to integrate their brand into creators and consumers minds alike. 

One area Spotify saw a surprising growth on their platform and positive effects as a result was Podcasting. Over 14% of Monthly Active Users also listed to at least one full podcast episode. Although it is early in the days of podcasting, Spotify is proving to be a destination for creators and listeners alike. Spotify is also pulling a play out of Netflix’s book by focusing expanding their own generated content for podcasts including investing in the hosts themselves. This is a genius moves that allows the brand of Spotify to continue to be looked at as a fully integrated audio-technology company. The podcasting industry as a whole is still in its infancy; as the market expands massively over the next ten years Spotify will be in place to capture the most incremental value. Spotify in this quarter alone saw 22 of their own shows launch with tremendous engagement. 

Subsequently, Spotify is expanding usable tools and dashboards for podcast producers to attract new producers towards the platform. This theme is evident in the previous aquisitions of companies such as Anchor, SoundBetter, and Gimlet. Apple Music and Amazon music have not laid the infrastructure that Spotify has for future capturing on a quickly expanding medium. Spotify is without a doubt ahead of the game when laying the infrastructure for the future of audio and the experience around it. Competitors have been unable to match the velocity of Spotify’s moves on emerging markets due to the nature of music as well as some wit/experience. The app experience of course always brings people back to the best music listening experience possible allowing for massive leverage for Spotify and where they want to steer the industry. 

How opportunity begets innovation – And why the time is always right for the next big thing

COMING SOON

Music Streaming is a Democratizing Force

Music streaming - Brassroots
Brassroots

Streaming has opened up so many doors in today’s technological world for listeners. Back in the day you used to have to burn a CD, buy a physical record, use a cassette tape, illegally download the song, or more recently go straight to iTunes and pay for it. Companies like Spotify, Amazon, and Apple are the reasons why we can stream so effortlessly due to the powers of the internet and the colossal effect of on-demand streaming. Streaming not only opened up many doors for listeners like you and me, but also for artists, record labels, and people trying to get more exposure through music.

The music streaming industry has had a lag compared to the after effects of internet on many industries. The internet brought great innovation and great changes to the world, but the music sector was one of the last to be effected. Although the music industry was one of the last mediums that really had a profound effect due the internet, it’s all catching up! The industry has changed forever due to music streaming. Every vertical of the music industry is learning just how effective and improved music consumption is now compared to the legacy system. The idea of discovering and recommending music used to be hard to find. The only way for this back in the day was at social gathers, a car ride “i.e cassettes”, radio, or more formally word of mouth.  Now you can be in your living room or in your bed, finding the next inspiring song that can get you motivated to attack the day.

Spotify offers you recommendations of new artists and like-minded music on their platform. The genius comes when you listen to music you like; naturally without any additional work, Spotify can recommend music to you that you will actually enjoy thanks to their advanced algorithms. Previously you would have never heard this music elsewhere, whether it’s because of geographic position or the lack of time to go through every song in a catalog across every artist in the world. Music streaming made this process condensed; you listen to a song and magically, a song thats similar pops up next. Playlists that had never been congregated before are simply waiting for us to press play. Music streaming is a generational democratizing force. People sometimes feel as if Spotify is charging too much, or that they aren’t paying the artist fairly. This is inherently bogus.

Spotify democratized music for artist, listeners, and everyone else involved in music streaming including legacy music businesses like record labels. Artists can simply record and using a couple clicks get their music uploaded to Spotify. Previously artists may have had to go through multiple record labels before getting their song on a single radio station. The artist had to be ultra-creative to get their song heard by someone in the first place. We have all heard one-hit wonders previously, but now content like Old Town Road or Gangnam Style is easily shared across borders. This not only make our lives better, but also makes the artist’s life better forever. One song can change the world; companies like Spotify & Apple show us this on a daily basis and built business models around this theme.

There hasn’t been a day that I’ve woken up and listened to a song and it not have changed my mood for the rest of the day. Music can put us in a better state of mind; it is one of the few things that connects us to our ancestors of eons past. Another huge democratizing effect of music streaming is people controlling what they listen to at all times. It’s innate in every human to want to control the experience they are living at least to some extent. With music specifically people want to control what they are listening to. The radio is great whenever there is no other music coming inbound; the radio picks up invisible airways out of thin air and is able to play music for you, a miraculous feat of technology. However, it’s obvious the next inevitable innovation after that should allow for an on-demand music selection of any song on any catalog across the world.

Spotify allowed for this to happen. When people can express themselves through their music selection, you can find out more about those people, their cultures, and the way they are living the human experience. Music streaming is only going to exponentially expand, because it has the great effects of the internet and human psyche behind it. At Brassroots we see music streaming in the future being a high bandwidth experience in a connected fashion.

We have seen this theme with social media companies of the past. People want to be together and express feelings to each other by sharing their version of the human experience. The best way to do that is through music! Right now music is stationary. You listen to a song , press pause/pay, then it’s over. You can’t share that experience with someone else unless you live together, are at a concert, or an event. That’s all changed with Brassroots. You can have a collaborative music experience with anyone in the world from your living room. Collaborative music streaming can be as easy as just listening to a song. I think the world and more importantly, individuals love to connect through one of the best mediums known to humankind, listening to music. There’s no telling the heights music streaming will reach in the future, but it’s definitely still in its earliest days. We should be excited for the future of music, it is just getting started. 

Powerful Cognitive Experiences Will Illicit Unimaginable Innovation

Brassroots Powerful Cognitive Experiences

Powerful Cognitive Experiences

The wonders of modern technology allow everyone to create cognitive experiences that illicit joy and happiness while being productive in the forward push towards innovation. At Tuner Inc we embody this thematic in the construction of our flagship app Brassroots. We serve clients who are looking to improve their businesses and lives. Great experiences are one of the core tenants that make the human life unimaginably inspiring for ourselves and the future of the species itself.

There have been many companies, applications, and places that empower the spirit of the user/customer through a positive cognitive experience that has lifetime value; we will highlight a few that stand out and inspire us constantly. Apple, Walt Disney, and Spotify are examples of entities which provide powerful positive cognitive experiences to a wide variety of people by their capitalization of inspiring innovation. Tuner seeks to mimic the inspiring innovation of these companies by democratizing music streaming along with the distribution networks for music content, allowing artists, listeners, and fans alike to take part in a musical innovation for the masses. 

Apple

Steve Jobs and the early success of Apple Inc, was an inspiration to everyone that fell slightly outside any preordained systemized constraints. The motto “Think Different” embodied the power of innovation Apple was bringing to the world as well as the powerful cognitive experience of feeling apart of a revolution larger than oneself. The digital economy created by Steve Jobs should be documented as one of the single largest contributions to the ideal of innovation since the origination of the Internet itself. By creating products useable by everyone across America and a systemized marketplace for developers to centralize their applications, Jobs opened up the creativity in millions of people’s minds while promoting innovation for the greater good.

Jobs through his work allowed for the creator in all of us to emerge digitally through the Apple Computer and apps on the Apple App Store marketplace. Apple’s work has lead to the rise of apps with enriched cognitive experiences that connect the user, their friends, and people of the world. The building blocks of these Apple products is of course the widely accessible operating systems including the flagship IOS throughout the history of the Apple product lines. A key reason why Apple’s phones are able to produce many layers of powerful cognitive experiences are the user interfaces that allow anyone from any age group to instantly pickup the phone and know inherently what they are doing.

Steve Jobs was able to tap into many features/habits we all share as humans and bake that down to the design of the iPhone and the operating system itself.  Tuner Inc, a Garland, Texas bred company, would certainly not be able to produce the democratization of music streaming via Brassroots if Steve Jobs did not lay the framework and lore for young adults like us to think creatively to our fullest extent to get the most out of our life on Earth. 

The Walt Disney Company

The late Walt Disney was a master of detail; from Disney movies to their flagship parks every small detail brings upon a sensory or nostalgic reaction to the onlooker. The reason The Walt Disney Company stands as the top content creator and a destination for over 52 million people today is their ability to story tell in a high quality consistent fashion. There is no doubt that movies such as the Little Mermaid or Pinocchio which were masterfully crafted in the 1940s, are still relevant today due to their innate ability to tap into human emotions and archetypal themes that are common across generations. People long for nostalgic positive cognitive memories that still relay value for where they currently stand in life.

The Disney brand has cultivated the human cognitive experience so well that it has never met a border it could not cross. When watching a Disney movie or visiting a Disney Park you remember all the great memories previously made, but also are able to relate those to your current situation, which is the positive cognitive feedback loop that brings value to people’s lives and the Disney bottom line. Humans long for high quality memories, if the stimulus of detail in a Park or movie can illicit this you will continue to come back for decades and likely pass that tradition down to the next generation.

There are core powerful cognitive experiences that are inherently enjoyable, through well crafted long lasting characters and fantasy worlds such as Mickey Mouse or the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney was able to transcend time and deliver those experiences to the masses. Characters that are outside our everyday realm hold a nearly heavenly aura around them that allows people of any time period to relate to them and draw meaning from their lessons or motives.

The nature of story building is mirrored by our predecessors throughout history. Stories and more importantly ideas are the engine that bring positive experiences which connect every human being to one another regardless of their life or geographic circumstance. Creating ideas that have repeatable and evolutionary value will undoubtedly stand the test of time by making people’s life better through positive experience.

Spotify

Music has brought people, tribes, and ideas together since the dawn of humanity. In modern times Spotify has reached toward the peak of musical cognitive experiences by widely distributing music from around the world to anyone via their smart phone. Spotify has done this by allowing anyone from any corner of the globe to be immersed cognitively in the innately human experience of creating and listening to music. The most sacred moments throughout history are usually paired with music that brings certain emotions to the forefront.

Music can shape perception in a powerful notion that very few other mediums can match. You will never find someone that doesn’t enjoy music; it is almost as if our brains have been evolutionary shaped to allow music and the ideas it generates within ourselves to seep through the noise and suffering of daily life. Spotify in a stroke of genius played off this powerful medium by utilizing modern technology to harness the full effect that music could rain down over the inhabitants of the world.

As a business there is no market cap that can value the intrinsic benefits that Spotify has brought to the world and the resultant cultural immersion that ensued from democratizing the music industry. Spotify has brought people together through one of the most ancient human traditions of listening to music. Tuner Inc. seeks to take the next step, rather than democratizing the music through a vast catalogue open to the world, we seek to connect people via the medium of music. Being able to share music and the feelings it created within you, should be as easy as a text message.

Spotify has indubitably laid the ground work for the reach the medium of music can have across the world via a smartphone. We at Tuner Inc, believe we can raise the bandwidth between the music and the connectivity of people throughout the world. By joining people’s live sessions the bandwidth of the musical cognitive experience can be brought to a peak between the listener, friends, and the world. The future of music is collaborative in nature, just has it had been for the prior 20,000 years before the invention of the record label. We at Tuner Inc via the Brassroots app, will illicit positive powerful cognitive experiences to be brought upon by the modern marvels of technology with collaborative music streaming, in hopes of empowering individuals and the communal experience.

Make sure to sign up for the Beta for the Brassroots music app at brassrootsapp.com.