Comcast Adds Amazon Music to X1 Platform

Comcast Cable June 20 announced the availability of Amazon Music on Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex, marking the first time the ad-free and on-demand music streaming service is available directly on the TV through a pay-TV provider.

Amazon Music is now available on Xfinity Flex, Comcast’s recently launched service for Internet-only customers. Subs who haven’t yet tried Amazon Music Unlimited are eligible for a 30-day free trial.

Last year, Comcast and Amazon launched Prime Video on X1, enabling Xfinity subscribers to access Prime Video’s original programming and catalog of shows, movies and live events via Xfinity on Demand or through the Prime Video app.

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The X1 platform is now in a majority of Xfinity customers’ homes.

Xfinity X1 and Flex customers can say “Amazon Music” into their voice remote to browse, search and listen to millions of songs and thousands of playlists and stations.

“Now Amazon Music listeners can effortlessly explore millions of songs, including the latest releases by their favorite artists, and much more directly through Xfinity,” Ryan Redington, director of Amazon Music, said in a statement.

With Amazon Music, Prime members have access to more than two million curated songs and thousands of playlists and stations. Users can also access to more than 50 million songs and thousands of playlists and stations with Amazon Music Unlimited, the premium subscription tier.

“Amazon Prime Video quickly became one of the most-viewed services on X1 following its launch last year, so we are excited to expand our collaboration and enable our customers to also enjoy Amazon Music on the biggest screen in the home,” said Nancy Spears, VP, business operations and strategy, Comcast Cable.

Amazon Re-Launching ‘Prime Student’ Program; 50% Off Prime Video, Music, Games

School may have just ended, but that isn’t stopping Amazon from promoting its Prime Student membership program targeting future college students.

Prime Student offers students enrolled in two-year and four-year schools all the perks of an Amazon Prime membership — at half the cost ($6.49 month or $59 annually) following a free six-month trial.

Students can stream music, movies and TV shows, receive discounts on college essentials and free shipping on more than 10 million products. Members also get free same-day delivery on more than three million items across 44 major metropolitan areas, along with two-hour delivery with Prime Now in more than 30 major cities.

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Members get access to movies and TV shows like “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” or Emmy-winning “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” as well as The Jonas Brothers’ documentary “Chasing Happiness” and “Guava Island,”starring Donald Glover and Rihanna.

Users also get two million songs and thousands of stations and playlists ad-free included with Prime. For unlimited access to over 50 million songs students can try Amazon Music Unlimited for free for 30 days.

Students can also check out the Back to School playlist on Amazon Music. Simply ask, “Alexa, play the Back to School playlist” in the Amazon Music App for iOS or Android, and on all Alexa-enabled devices.”

 Prime Student members also get gaming benefits on Twitch, including in-game “loot” for some popular titles, a selection of free games and a Twitch channel subscription.

 

New Taylor Swift Single, ‘ME!’ Shatters YouTube, Vevo, Amazon Streaming Video Records

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s newest single release, “ME!” from her yet unnamed seventh album, broke several female streaming video records over the weekend on YouTube, Amazon Music and Vevo.

The single features Brendon Urie of Picnic! At The Disco and Swift.

The 29-year-old performer’s music video generated 65.2 million views in 24 hours on YouTube through April 28 – breaking the 55 million mark set by Ariana Grande’s “Thank-You, Next” video released late last year.

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South Korean boy-band BTS holds the record with 74 million YouTube views for “Boy with Luv,” featuring Halsey, released on April 12.

Amazon tweeted “ME!” broke records for most first-day streams and on-demand voice requests with Alexa software than any other single debut on its music platform.

Vevo, which is operated by Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Abu Dhabi Media, said the video generated the most views in a single day since the music video platform launched 10 years ago.

Swift’s last album, “Reputation,” sold 4.5 million units worldwide across CD, LP, download, cassette and online streaming formats. The concert tour generated more than $345 million in ticket sales worldwide.

Spotify Files Complaint Against Apple Music with European Commission

Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming service, has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission alleging the tech giant unfairly restricts competition against the Apple Music service.

Spotify ended its most-recent fiscal period with 87 million paid subscribers compared to about 50 million for Apple Music.

In a March 13 blog post, Daniel Elk, founder and CEO of Spotify, said Apple has changed the rules and stifled innovation how it operates the proprietary App Store. Elk argues that as Apple is both the owner of the iOS platform and the App Store — a competitor to services like Spotify, which gives the company an unfair advantage.

Specifically, Spotify takes issue with the 30% tax it and other digital services must pay utilizing Apple’s payment system. If the service opts out of the payment platform, Spotify alleges Apple restricts how it can communicate with its subscribers outside the app, in addition to limiting tech and user-enhancements.

“In some cases, we aren’t even allowed to send emails to our customers who use Apple,” Elk wrote.

The executive said apps should be able to compete fairly on their merits and not based on who owns the App Store. He said consumers should have a choice of payment systems and not be forced to use systems with discriminatory tariffs.

Elk said the App Store should not be allowed to control the communications between services and users, including allegedly placing unfair restrictions on marketing and promotions that benefit consumers.

“After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we’re now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition,” he wrote.

 

 

 

Amazon Prime Video Streaming Coldplay Concert Tour Doc

Pop group Coldplay Oct. 12 announced the pending release of documentary concert film A Head Full of Dreams, that will be available to stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in the U.K., U.S., Australia and New Zealand on Nov. 16, with local language versions available globally soon after.

The doc, helmed by Mat Whitecross – director of Supersonic, the 2016 Oasis documentary – offers an in-depth portrait of the band’s rise from the backrooms of Camden pubs to selling out stadiums across the planet.At the heart of the story is the band’s brotherhood, which has endured through many highs and lows.

The film’s release will be preceded by a special one-night theatrical showing in more than 2,000 cinemas globallyon Nov. 14. Tickets go on sale Oct. 19 from coldplay.film.

Coldplay will premiere three live tracks, available only on Amazon Music, beginning Oct. 26. The tracks are: Stayin’ Alive (Live at Glastonbury) by Coldplay & Barry Gibb, Us Against the World (Live in Leipzig) and Don’t Panic (Live in Paris).

Director Whitecross has directed many of the band’s music videos (including “Paradise,” “A Sky Full of Stars” and “Adventure of a Lifetime”) and continued to document the band’s musical and personal evolution.

A Head Full of Dreams sees the band reflect upon their two decades together. It was filmed during Coldplay’s recent Dreams tour, which was certified as the third biggest concert tour of all time, playing to more than 5.5 million fans across the world.

 

Amazon Music Expands Service in Canada

Amazon Sept. 26 announced the launch of Amazon Music Unlimited in Canada, featuring voice-activated controls by Alexa.

Amazon launched Prime Music in 2016, with Canadian service bowed in 2017. Amazon Music Unlimited affords users access to millions of more songs and artists on the Amazon Music app for iOS and Android, and on all Echo devices.

Amazon Music Unlimited is available to all customers, offering even more music and ways to ask for it through Alexa. Users have the ability to ask for music on any Alexa-enabled device, including through the Amazon Music app for iOS and Android, by mood, era, genre and title.

Users can also request a playlist based on activity, set music alarms to wake up to, build and add a song to a new playlist just by asking, or return to a song they were listening to earlier in the day. With hands-free listening in the Amazon Music app, users can simply ask Alexa to play music, anywhere they go.

Available in more than 40 countries, Amazon Music offers ad-free access to the newest music from artists such as Ariana Grande, Drake, Arkells, Shawn Mendes and Carrie Underwood, among others, with unlimited playback and skips.

In addition to a range of locally curated playlists and stations featuring international chart-topping artists, from “Brand New Music” to “All Hits,” Amazon Music Unlimited offers numerous playlists and stations featuring Canadian artists from all genres including Cœur de pirate, Celine Dion, The Weeknd, Blue Rodeo and Jessie Reyez. Subscribers can also find the best in top genres, from Tory Lanez on “Fresh Hip-Hop” to The Reklaws on “Fresh Country,” as well as explore a range of globally available playlists, including “Pop Culture,” which spotlights the latest pop music releases.

Amazon is offering new Prime subscribers a free 90-day trial for a variety of plan options, including the standard Prime member price of CDN$7.99/month or CDN$79/year, the individual plan for non-Prime members at CDN$9.99/month; the family plan, which allows up to six members of a household to share a subscription for CDN$14.99/month for Prime and non-Prime members, or CDN$149/year for Prime members; the single device plan, offering full access to Amazon Music Unlimited at CDN$3.99/month on one Echo device, including the recently announced Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show and more.

“We’ve seen such a positive customer response from the launch of Prime Music for Canada last year, and with today’s launch we’re excited to bring more customers even more choice and ways of discovering music with Alexa,” Sean McMullan, head of international expansion for Amazon Music, said in a statement.