Why Musicians Really Hate Spotify, Swatch Teases Smartwatch Plans [Tech News Digest]
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 .
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 , but the labels are still to blame much more than the likes of Spotify and Deezer.
Swatch Teases Apple Watch Competitor
Not sure I buy into Apple Watch, but Swatch? I’m getting me one, not smart though…
— ????? ?l¡ ???r (@sloxx) February 6, 2015
Swiss watchmaker Swatch is planning to release a smartwatch to compete with the Apple Watch . 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 , 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 , including the Apple Watch.
Tony Fadell Takes on Google Glass
Google recently decided to shutter the whole Google Glass project , 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 .
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 on @Snapchat Discover! Feels like VHS Classic 2.0.
— Om Malik (@om) February 6, 2015
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
— Shout! Factory (@ShoutFactory) February 5, 2015
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 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