Square Inc – the financial services company founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey – has bought a majority share in Jay-Z’s TiDAL for $297m. TiDAL was founded in Norway in 2014 before being acquired by Jay-Z and other artists including Beyoncé and Rihanna in 2015. Those artists are now the “second-largest group of shareholders”, Dorsey explained in a series of tweets. “Given what Square has been able to do for sellers of all sizes and individuals through Cash App, we believe we can now work for artists to see the same success for them, and us,” Dorsey tweeted.
Beatport has launched a new web app called Beatport DJ that mimics DJ software and lets you organise playlists, discover tracks and browse the Beatport catalogue. Beatport DJ features two decks with waveform view, pitch slider, hot cues, three-band EQ and filter per channel, crossfader and cue buttons, as well as looping and sync options. There are also 10 different effects to choose from with an X/Y pad per deck. As you click through the waveform to later parts in a track, for example, all audio remains in sync.
SoundCloud is introducing user-centric royalties for artists using its platform. As SoundCloud describe it, “under the old model, money from your dedicated fans goes into a giant pool that's paid out to artists based on their share of total streams.” That means, just like Spotify and other streaming platforms, a portion of my subscription fee or ad revenue will end up in the pockets or artists I have never listened to.
Denon DJ has added Serato DJ Pro integration to their flagship SC6000 and SC6000M players. The support includes full-colour moving waveforms, essential performance control, navigation and key track data. You can also select any of the four decks in Serato to control them from a single player. Users can also access all of Serato’s performance features from the deck including loops, hot cues, roll, slicer, sampler, beat jump, and Pitch Play.
Music producer 3LAU has sold a collection of 33 different NFTs for a total of $11.7m. NFTs – non-fungible tokens – are a unique digital asset, part of the blockchain, that are assigned unique ownership. That ownership is then stored on the blockchain and cannot be duplicated or deleted meaning it’s unique to the buyer, which is what gives it its value. NFTs hold the information around who owns the token, its purchase and ownership history, and a link to the relevant digital file.
Spotify recently introduced a new lossless version of their streaming app called Spotify HiFi. While no details are yet available about what format it will take, they’ve promised “CD quality”, meaning it will at least be lossless (meaning there’s no file compression), 16-bit and 44.1kHz sample rate. If that doesn’t mean much to you, or you’re a child of the MP3 era, it’s worth taking a test to see if lossless is more than just a marketing term to you. The results might surprise you.
Denon DJ has updated their Engine OS platform to version 1.6, bringing with it a host of new features including Dropbox integration, after a public beta that began in September. That means, DJs can access their own personal Dropbox folders, and the music files stored there, directly from the hardware, without the need for a computer.
Ableton Live 11 is available for download as of today. The long-awaited new update to Live was first announced back in November 2020, with the public beta running all the way until February 2021. Live announced the final release date last week, and the full version is available to download.
Spotify is launching a new high-quality version of their streaming service called Spotify HiFi. The service will be available to Spotify Premium subscribers in select markets “later this year”. The news came as part of Spotify’s online event called ‘Stream On’, which also saw some other new features and announcements added to the popular streaming platform.
Blackmagic has launched a new eight-input live production switcher, perfect for streaming DJ sets and other live-streamed events. The ATEM Mini Extreme is the latest addition to the ATEM Mini range and has eight HDMI inputs, two outputs for monitoring and recording and two USB-C ports for recording straight to a hard drive or using the Extreme as a webcam. The Extreme also has two stereo 3.5mm mic inputs which can be switched to line level in software, perfect to connect to a DJ mixer rec out. There’s also a headphone out for monitoring.