Spotify hits 10M paying subscribers, 40M active users

spotify-celebrate-10millionMusic streaming service Spotify has released new numbers that confirm its leadership position in the extremely competitive global music market. It claims that it has now over 40 million active users, 10 million of whom are actually paying for the service. It has expanded to additional 36 markets in 2013, bringing the total to 56 as of today.

According to the announcement, Eminem has been the most streamed artist of all time, and ‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii is the most streamed song on Spotify. Since its launch in 2008, Spotify has driven over $1 billion dollars to rights holders.

Users have created over 1.5 billion playlists in total so far, collectively creating or updating over 5 million playlists each day on the Swedish-born platform. “We’ve had an amazing year, growing from 20 markets to 56 as people from around the world embrace streaming music. 10 million subscribers is an important milestone for both Spotify and the entire music industry,” said Daniel Ek, CEO and Founder of Spotify.

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Netflix announces further expansion in mainland Europe

netflix-logoLeading internet television network Netflix has announced plans to expand its operations significantly in Europe, to launch in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg later this year. It has also started to accept pre-registration from the people from these countries who want to be a member of Netflix.

The exact launch dates have not been specified but the company says the details that include pricing, programming and supported devices will be released very soon.

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Vox player hits 500K downloads in 3 weeks, challenging iTunes

vox-player-screenUkrainian developer Coppertino set out to design a simple, versatile music player. In no time they have come up with VOX, an already popular iTunes alternative in the market. Officially released in early August of last year, the VOX player reached the #1 spot in the most-downloaded section App Store within 2 hours of launch and remained there for the next 3 weeks.

The minimalist player, which is designed to support music files, has gone on to hit 500K downloads and has become strong competition for Apple’s own player today, at least for a population living in eastern parts of the European continent.

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TripAdvisor acquires French restaurant reservation website LaFourchette

lafourchette-thefork2French online restaurant-reservation service LaFourchette (or TheFork) has been acquired by TripAdvisor for a reported $140 million. Previous investments in the French service include 3.3 million Euro from Otium Capital in January 2011 and $10.5 million from Partech Ventures and Serena Capital. The website has been majority-owned by Otium Capital since 2009.

The company, which claims a network of 12,000 restaurant partners across Europe, is the leading reservation service in France, Switzerland, and Spain. Although the brand will be ended, the LaFourchette’s employees will continue to work from the company’s offices in Paris and Barcelona.

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Deezer CEO stepping down, rumoured to head Netflix France

axel-dauchez-deezerParis-based global music service Deezer has announced that its CEO Axel Dauchez will be leaving his post by September to “pursue a new professional opportunity”.

Deezer’s senior leadership team composed of co-founder Daniel Marhely, COO Christopher Coonen, board chairman Didier Bench and US CEO Tyler Goldman will run the operations until they find a replacement for Dauchez, Billboard reported.

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Device-agnostic streaming app Flipps raises $2.4M from Earlybird Ventures and Tim Draper

flipps-thumbFlipps, a mobile streaming app that turns your smartphone into a universal media router with its own video catalogue, raises $2.4 million from Earlybird Ventures and existing investors including Tim Draper. With Earlybird investment, Flipps (formerly iMediaShare) becomes part of the VC’s unique Digital East Fund which invests in disruptive consumer internet, mobile, and enterprise technology companies originating from Turkey and CEE.

Fresh funds will be used to grow the business in Europe and the US while improving the video content in the company’s content library.

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Salesforce CEO Benioff joins the backers of MovieLaLa

movielala_benioff2MovieLaLa, the movie marketing platform that has recently signed Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise and ex-Warner Bros. Online president Jim Moloshok as investors, adds another high-profile tech executive today among its backers: Marc Benioff, the Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com.

The amount of money Benioff put has not been disclosed. But the company said, with Benioff’s investment, MovieLaLa’s  seed funding and angel investments has reached $750,000 right before the official launch scheduled for next month.

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Vid! app makes looping videos social and viral

VidLogoWebrazziVid!, an iOS app that allows user to partially edit and share looping videos, has been launched today with backing from a notable group of angel investors contributing nearly $1.2 million of seed funding.

Angel investors include Masao Tejima, president of OpenTable Japan, Sharmila Mulligan, Silicon Valley veteran hailing from HP and Netscape, David Kellogg, Daniel Terry, CEO, Pocket Gems, among others. The angel round also includes investment from Storm Ventures, Tenex Capital Fund, DBO Capital and the Orrick Venture Fund.

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King partners with Tencent to release Chinese version of Candy Crush

tencent-webrazziSwedish-British mobile gaming giant King has announced an exclusive deal with Tencent Holdings Limited, the leader in Chinese internet sector, to introduce Chinese version of its all-time hit product Candy Crush Saga. The game will be available this summer  to Tencent’s almost 1 billion Mobile QQ and Weixin (or WeChat) Game Centers users combined.

The deal followed successful launches of Candy Crush in South Korea and Japan in 2013, and a recent IPO at NYSE. Riccardo Zacconi, the CEO of King, said in a statement that Tencent has the largest mobile social network in China and is a great partner to work with.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with free Deezer music in Europe

samsung-deezerSamsung and Deezer have teamed up to offer the premium music service to Galaxy S5 users. Those who buy the new flagship device by Samsung Mobile will have free access to Deezer’s Premium+ package for a period of 6 months.

Deezer is primarily seeking to beef up its customer base by offering a long trial period for buyers of the rather pricey Galaxy S5. After six months, the users will have to pay the standard fee if they want to continue using the service.

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