Thurrott Daily: December 7

Posted on December 7, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Groove Music, Hardware, Microsoft Surface, Music + Videos, Social with 0

Thurrott Daily: December 7

My office make-over continues. Here’s my IKEA standing desk in the up position.

Good morning. What else is going on in the (tech) world?

12/7/2015 9:42:22 AM

Microsoft’s remaining 12 days of deals are leaked

And if you were hoping for a new Groove Music Pass deal, you’re (sort of) in luck. Windows Valley (whatever that is) leaked the list on Twitter, so there’s no way to know if this is real. But…

  • Day 8: Buy a Surface 3 and get a $75 gift card
  • Day 9: Save up to $300 on select Dell PCs
  • Day 10: Acer R11 for just $299
  • Day 11: Buy a 12-month Groove Music Pass and get a $50 Windows Gift Card
  • Day 12: Asus TP500LA for just $399

Twitter looks back on 2015

And speaking of Twitter, the little social network that can’t provides a peek at the year 2015.

‘#PrayForParis and #JeSuisCharlie became global cries for solidarity after terrorist attacks in Paris.’

‘#BlackLivesMatter emerged as one of the most powerful social movements in 2015.’

‘#HomeToVote and #LoveWins signified international support for and celebration of marriage equality.’

‘#RefugeesWelcome became a top trending hashtag for people from the Middle East seeking refuge in Europe.’

‘As the world learned about a 14-year-old detained at his school in Texas, #IStandWithAhmed sparked a significant conversation on profiling and discrimination.’

‘National elections in Argentina, Canada, Singapore, India, and the UK dominated the civic conversation.’

‘Fans around the world cheered on the best women in soccer during the #FIFAWWC.’

And so on.

Questions around big music acts snubbing Spotify

Spotify has established itself as the go-to “all-in-one” music subscription service, but some famous musicians–Taylor Swift, Adele, and now Coldplay—are infamously rejecting the service. Why? Because of ads? Really? Bloomberg reports.

Coldplay is the latest big act to hold a new album off the world’s leading streaming service, in the latest rejection of Spotify’s insistence that artists include their music in the free, ad-supported version of its app.

“Free-to-the-listener on-demand services are driving down music’s intrinsic value by creating a ‘gray market,’” wrote Pandora Chief Executive Officer Brian McAndrews on Business Insider earlier this week. “This gray market is unsustainable.”

I honestly don’t understand this. “Free-to-the-listener on-demand services” are not “free,” and they’re an improvement over “free-to-the-listener” services (e.g. “traditional radio”) for both listeners andartists. More to the point, they’re ad-supported. You know, like radio is. What’s the beef?

And even Coldplay isn’t being all that militant about this.

Adventure of a Lifetime, one of the two songs from its new album that’s now on Spotify, has been streamed more than 22 million times. The band said in a statement that it will make the album available on Spotify soon.

Yawn. But I disagree on the central contention here, that the free tier of services like Spotify is “essentially an advertisement for the premium version.” It’s not. The free tier is the way most users experience any service that offers both options, including Spotify. That is, to most users, a free but ad-supported Spotify is Spotify.

And that’s a better deal that paid services—like newspapers in both print and digital forms, by the way—that require you to both pay for the content up front and then suffer through ads as well. Where’s the outrage over that?