Tech News

Why Musicians Really Hate Spotify, Swatch Teases Smartwatch Plans [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 06-02-2015

Where the Spotify money goes, the new Swatch smartwatch, Google Glass reborn, Madonna goes mad on Snapchat, watch old TV shows for free, and watch old people react to virtual reality porn.


Record Labels Streaming Music Money

An increasing number of artists are expressing their displeasure at the sums of money they see from music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer. The most obvious example is Taylor Swift, who went as far as removing her whole back catalog from Spotify because of her distaste for the company’s business model Why Taylor Swift Is Wrong About Spotify In the past week Taylor Swift has pulled her music from Spotify, inspired countless song-pun laden headlines and reignited the debate about streaming music services. Read More .

However, a new report compiled by Ernst & Young strongly suggests it’s the labels that these artists should be angry with rather than the streaming services themselves. This is because the labels are taking the lion’s share of the revenue generated by people subscribing to these services.

As discussed by TechDirt, the labels take 45.6 percent of a typical $10 subscription. The platform itself takes 20.8 percent. And 16.7 percent disappears in taxes. A further 10 percent goes to the songwriters and publishers. Which leaves just 6.8 percent going to the artists actually recording this music for our listening pleasure.

OK, so that’s still more than artists see from music piracy Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion] DMCA, SOPA, MegaUpload shut down, piracy becoming a religion in Sweden - not a week goes by without some shutdown, anti-piracy laws or shocking statistics about torrents - and I have to ask myself, is... Read More , but the labels are still to blame much more than the likes of Spotify and Deezer.

Swatch Teases Apple Watch Competitor

Swiss watchmaker Swatch is planning to release a smartwatch to compete with the Apple Watch iTime For An iWatch: Funny Reactions To The New Apple Watch [Weird & Wonderful Web] The Apple Watch. It's a watch, a smartwatch, a watch that is smart. Sort of. And it's ripe for mocking. Read More . The Swatch effort will launch in the next three months, putting it on a direct collision course with Apple’s effort.


According to Bloomberg, the Swatch smartwatch will work with both Android and Windows, allow users to make mobile payments, and, most interestingly, never need charging. This is in stark contrast to the Apple Watch, which will need to be charged at least once a day Microsoft Wants To Be Loved, Kim Dotcom Launches MegaChat [Tech News Digest] Microsoft needs some loving, Kim Dotcom launches MegaChat, Apple Watches your battery die, Ello adds media embeds, Amazon becomes Transparent, and old people play GTA V. Read More , if not more often.

Swatch will reportedly deliver on this promise by including a rotating weight that charges a small internal battery. It’s not entirely new technology, but it would certainly differentiate the Swatch smartwatch from any others on the market Not The Apple Watch: 9 Other iPhone-Friendly Wearables The announcement of the Apple Watch was big news, but it's far from the only wearable device designed to be used with an iPhone. Read More , including the Apple Watch.

Tony Fadell Takes on Google Glass

Google recently decided to shutter the whole Google Glass project Google Glass Goes On Hiatus, Legally Share Movies Via Wavelength [Tech News Digest] Google Glass is dead, Wavelength offers free movies, KeySweeper spies on keyboards, using Facebook at Work, YouTube interviews Obama, and an iPhone 6 doesn't get lost in space. Read More , at least in its current form. This means you can no longer become a Google Glass Explorer, unless you want to pay over-the-odds for outdated technology on eBay.

The New York Times has an intriguing write-up about the short history of Google Glass, which puts the blame on the failure of Glass at the feet of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. More interestingly, it reveals the future of Google Glass Google Glass Review and Giveaway We were lucky enough to get a pair of Google Glass to review, and we're giving it away! Read More .


In charge of the next iteration of Google Glass are Tony Fadell and Ivy Ross. Fadell worked at Apple before leaving to create the Nest Learning Thermostat. It looks as though development will now take place behind closed doors, with one of Fadell’s advisors suggesting, “There will be no public experimentation. Tony is a product guy and he’s not going to release something until it’s perfect.

Madonna Debuts Music Video on Snapchat

Madonna has chosen to premiere her new music video on Snapchat. The not-quite-as-good-as-she-was-in-the-80s singer used Snapchat’s new Discover feature to debut the video for Living for Love, directed by French directing duo J.A.C.K.

While Madonna isn’t the only musician to have used Snapchat to debut a new release, she’s the first A-lister to have done so. Which suggests Snapchat is getting some traction with its Discover channel full of curated media content.

Watch Old Shows on Shout Factory TV

A new, free, ad-supported streaming service called Shout Factory TV has launched, with a hefty collection of movies and TV shows that can best be described as cult classics. With 1,000 hours of content to begin with, and 200 hours more promised each month, there should be something for everyone here.


TV shows available to watch include The Abbott & Costello Show, The Twilight Zone, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Classic films available to watch include Death of a Salesman, Room With a View, and Jackie Chan’s Police Story. All of which are well worth the price of admission of zero dollars and zero cents.

Old People React to VR Porn

And finally, if there is one set of people likely to innovate around an emerging technology, it’s pornographers. And virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus Project Morpheus Vs. Oculus Rift, Unreal Engine 4, Flappy Bird Returns [Tech News Digest] Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift bring virtual reality back, Unreal Engine 4 debuts, Flappy Bird is returning, Firefox 28 drops Metro, Google Docs phishing, and Mongolia tries to ban swearing on the Web. Read More are the latest developments being adopted by the porn industry.

This video shows what we can expect from porn films made for VR, seen through the eyes of some rather elderly people. The reactions range from absolute revulsion to downright creepy, which isn’t actually all that different from regular porn. [H/T Gizmodo]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Should the artists get more money from music streaming services? Do you think Google Glass will ever be worth buying? Will pornography drive virtual reality headsets into the mainstream?


Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credit: Ovidiu Cosarca via Flickr

Related topics: Google Glass, Spotify, Wearable Technology.

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  1. A41202813GMAIL
    February 11, 2015 at 8:00 am


    Can You, Guys, Please, Load All Of The Page Of The MUO Articles In 1 Go, And Not Leaving The Bottom Of The Page To Load After I Jump To The End Of The Page ?

    The Article Takes Forever To Load On Old Computers Of Old Geezers, Like Me.

    Thank You.

  2. D Harries
    February 7, 2015 at 12:21 am

    I'd hate to get caught with my pants down.

  3. dragonmouth
    February 6, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    "Old People React to VR Porn"
    Why would you expect senior citizens' reaction to porn to be any different than that of younger people. Senior citizens may be old but they are not dead.

    • michel
      February 6, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      It's the reaction to VR, I think, not just the porn. On the assumption that older people are less engaged with the technology, they might be more surprised/shocked at how "real" it seems. But if you watch the previous video which shows reactions to young people to the same thing, you'll see that you're right: there's no difference in their reactions.