Category Archives: Music

Boomplay, a Spotify-style music and video streaming service for African music and Africa, raises $20M

While Spotify dukes it out with Apple and other big tech names to target high-end users in mostly developed markets, a startup out of China has raised some money to expand its music streaming business in the massive but still nascent market of Africa. Boomplay, a service founded by Transsnet — a joint venture between Chinese phone maker Transsion and Chinese consumer apps giant NetEase — has raised $20 million in outside funding as it looks to break into more sub-Saharan countries and continue to build up […]

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Artiphon raises $2M round led by Warner Music

Artiphon, the startup behind the electronic instrument that it’s dubbed the Instrument 1, has raised $2 million in seed funding. We previously described the Instrument 1 as a symphony, rock band and DJ that you can hold in your hand. It’s a device that allows you to create the sounds of a guitar, violin, bass, piano or drum machine without any real training. Back in 2015, Artiphon raised $1.3 million for the Instrument 1 on Kickstarter, blowing past its goal of $75,000. The new funding is a […]

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Music’s next big startup Splice raises $57.5M to sell samples

Tech has a bad reputation for pulling money out of musicians’ pockets, but Splice is changing that. The audio sample marketplace and music production collaboration tool has now paid out $15 million to artists since 2013, doubling in the last year. Splice lets musicians sell their sounds for royalty-free use, and songs by Eminem, Ariana Grande and Marshmello that were powered by those samples have topped the charts. Splice charges $7.99 per month for unlimited access to its array of 3 million synthesizers, drum hits, vocal flares […]

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Social music app Playlist lets you listen to music with others in real time

A new app called Playlist aims to make music a more social experience than what’s offered today by the major music platforms like Apple Music, Pandora or Spotify, for example. In Playlist, you can find others who share your musical tastes and join group chats where you listen to playlists together in real time. You can collaborate on playlists, too. The app, backed by investment from Stanford’s StartX fund, was founded by Karen Katz and Steve Petersen, both Stanford engineers and serial entrepreneurs. Katz previously co-founded AdSpace Networks […]

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SoundCloud finally lets more musicians monetize four years later

SoundCloud moves painfully slow for a tech company, and no one feels that pain more than musicians who are popular on the site but don’t get paid. 10 years since SoundCloud first launched, and four years since it opened an invite-only program allowing just the very biggest artists to earn a cut of the ad and premium subscription revenue generated by their listeners, SoundCloud is rolling out monetization. Now, musicians 18 and up who pay SoundCloud $8 to $16 per month for hosting, get over 5000 streams […]

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Ne-Yo wants to make Silicon Valley more diverse, one investment at a time

Dressed in a Naruto t-shirt and a hat emblazoned with the phrase “lone wolf,” Ne-Yo slouches over in a chair inside a Holberton School classroom. The Grammy-winning recording artist is struggling to remember the name of “that actor,” the one who’s had a successful career in both the entertainment industry and tech investing. “I learned about all the things he was doing and I thought it was great for him,” Ne-Yo told TechCrunch. “But I didn’t really know what my place in tech would be.” It turns out “that […]

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Spotify hits 180M users but loses €394M in tepid Q2 earnings

Spotify is racing to sign up users before Apple Music can, even at the expense of its finances. Spotify’s second quarter as a public company saw mixed performance compared to estimate as it reached 83 million paid subscribers, up 40 percent year-over-year and up 8 million from its 75 million count last quarter. Spotify now has 180 million total users, coming in at the high end of its guidance with a 5.9 percent quarter-over-quarter growth rate, though it added fewer users than last quarter. But Spotify saw […]

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