New Apple Music subscribers can get 6 months free from Best Buy, no purchase necessary. Here’s how to get the deal.

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HomePod Mini U1

Music (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)

If you want ad-free access to over 75 million songs on Apple Music, now is the perfect time to sign up. Best Buy is offering new subscribers a free six-month subscription.

Apple Music is one of the best streaming services available and it offers hundreds of curated playlists, radio shows, and more. You can use it to download songs for offline listening, stream music across all of your devices, and even find occasional album exclusives. Though we found Spotify to be a better music streaming service for most, Apple Music beats it in terms of user interface and radio.

If you want to take advantage of this offer, one of the longest we’ve seen from the streaming service, here’s how you can start a plan today.

Here’s how to get 6 free months of Apple Music

  1. Go to Best Buy’s website and sign up for an account with the store.
  2. Add the “Free Apple Music for six months” digital download to your cart.
  3. Go to your cart and check out.
  4. Wait for a digital code to be sent to the email address linked to your Best Buy account.

Once your trial ends, your Apple Music subscription will auto-renew for $10 a month. It’s not clear how long Best Buy’s promotion will be available. It started back in May 2021, and is still running now.

It’s an easy and rare chance to snag an extended Apple Music trial, so don’t miss out.

Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Best Buy is giving new Apple Music subscribers 6 free months, and you don’t even have to buy anything. Here’s how to get the deal.

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

HomePod Mini U1

Music (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)

If you want ad-free access to over 75 million songs on Apple Music, now is the perfect time to sign up. Best Buy is offering new subscribers a free six-month subscription.

Apple Music is one of the best streaming services available and it offers hundreds of curated playlists, radio shows, and more. You can use it to download songs for offline listening, stream music across all of your devices, and even find occasional album exclusives. Though we found Spotify to be a better music streaming service for most, Apple Music beats it in terms of user interface and radio.

If you want to take advantage of this offer, one of the longest we’ve seen from the streaming service, here’s how you can start a plan today.

Here’s how to get 6 free months of Apple Music

  1. Go to Best Buy’s website and sign up for an account with the store.
  2. Add the “Free Apple Music for six months” digital download to your cart.
  3. Go to your cart and check out.
  4. Wait for a digital code to be sent to the email address linked to your Best Buy account.

Once your trial ends, your Apple Music subscription will auto-renew for $10 a month. It’s not clear how long Best Buy’s promotion will be available.

It’s an easy and rare chance to snag an extended Apple Music trial, so don’t miss out.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Musicians deserve a raise too, and they’re right to organize against Spotify’s exploitative practices

musician busking covid
A person wears a protective face mask while playing a Baroque guitar in Central Park as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on July 29, 2020 in New York City.

  • When the pandemic struck, the floor was pulled out from working musicians who make their livings on the road.
  • Streaming has come to dominate the music industry, and further impoverishing the artists who create the value these companies sell.
  • But musicians have started organizing not only for a raise from Spotify and other streaming companies, but for a more equitable industry.
  • Will Meyer is a freelance writer and co-editor of The Shoestring in western Massachusetts.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When the pandemic struck, the floor was promptly ripped out from under working musicians. With the closure of venues and touring off the table, the bleak reality of declining recording revenue – which has nose-dived in the streaming era – began to sink in as artists faced an uncertain future.

Although the recording industry has always been a predatory and exploitative force (especially to non white people and women), the inequalities within music have become more acute since the onset of COVID-19. According to The American Prospect, “Spotify has outperformed Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google between January 2020 and January 2021,” boosting CEO Daniel Ek’s net worth to $5.3 billion, and leaving musicians – who earn a paltry $0.00348 per stream – without a foothold.

As musician Damon Krukowski told the Prospect’s David Dayen, “Last year, the COVID year, [my band] Galaxie 500 had 8.5 million streams on Spotify. We also released a 2,000-copy, limited-edition LP. They raised the same amount of money. Neither is enough to live on.” Krukowski told Dayen that he added up the amount of monthly streams that would amount to each band member earning $15 an hour from Spotify. The number was 650,000. According to MIT, the living wage in Boston, where Krukowski’s band is based, is $19.17 an hour.

Rip-off

Streaming companies’ rapid devaluation of recorded music has been a long-term project. As music piracy took off in the late 90s and early 2000s, the music industry created a narrative that such platforms were stealing from artists, despite the fact that many indie musicians owed their careers to piracy. One North Carolina State University study even suggested the piracy boosted album sales. Krukowski told Dayen that his band was able to reach people through piracy and sell out shows in countries that they could never reach through traditional channels.

The Recording Industry Association of America worked tooth and nail to sue pirate sites like Napster and Kazaa out of business and mounted a counterrevolution to piracy that would eventually evolve into streaming. Of course the modus operandi of the tech industry is to “innovate” via consolidation, new technology and legal justifications that works to funnel wealth upwards to investors while devaluing labor. According to Rolling Stone, “65% of Spotify was owned by just six parties,” including the company’s founders and Wall St. firms like Morgan Stanley. Other owners include the major record companies, who, according to music writer Liz Pelly, use their leverage to promote their artists on the site at the expense of those with fewer resources.

As Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, a musician and organizer from Providence, Rhode Island, told me in a phone interview, “Streaming has simply seen an exaggeration of the trend of more and more resources being directed to an ever smaller number of people in the music industry.” Pelly noted in The Baffler magazine that “a study released by Citigroup showed that in 2017, only approximately 12% of the music industry’s revenue went to artists, which speaks to the financial precariousness faced by many musicians.”

DeFrancesco spoke to the similarities between Spotify and other tech companies. “What’s happening at Spotify is very similar to what we’ve seen happen in other industries, like with rideshare companies. …The companies themselves say, ‘Oh, we can’t pay people more, we’re actually operating at a loss,’ but it’s this confusing array of venture capitalist firms who are investing in these companies and artificially propping them up to create monopolies to drive down prices and to drive up competition, making it increasingly difficult for workers to mount in opposition.”

But with COVID, everything changed.

Organizing against Spotify

“Things were growing more and more unequal in our industry, and the pandemic pushed everything over the edge and allowed music workers the time to start talking to one another,” DeFrancesco said. Once off the road and grounded at home, DeFrancesco and other musicians began sharing their stories over Zoom about industry practices, streaming rates, and other issues facing artists.

From there, the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) was born. Today, the group has 25 steering committee members and 80 subcommittee members that work on a myriad of issues facing artists such as labels, venues, immigration and police abolition. The group’s mission statement states: “UMAW has mobilized thousands of music workers to take part in our first actions around the COVID crisis, and we will continue to organize around issues such as demanding fairer deals from streaming services, ensuring musicians receive the royalties they are owed, establishing more just relationships with labels, and creating safer guidelines for venues.”

On March 15, masked-up musicians and their allies took to Spotify offices all over the world to hand deliver their demands to the streaming giant as part of the group’s Justice at Spotify campaign. They called for a raise to a penny-per-stream (approximately three times the current rate), the adaptation of a user-centric payment model that pays musicians proportionally to the amount of streams they receive, transparency about contracts and the removal of payola, proper attribution credits for work on recordings, and an end to “legal battles intended to further impoverish artists.” Nearly 28,000 signed onto the demands that were delivered in 15 cities around the world including in New York, Berlin, São Paulo, London, and Nashville, highlighting the Swedish company’s role in global music distribution and labor exploitation.

As soon as the campaign took off, Spotify quickly launched a website called Loud & Clear, which was designed to offer transparency about the company, or act as a PR smokescreen, depending on who you ask. As UMAW retorted, “This website answers none of our demands and even further obfuscates transparency. The company simply deflects blame onto others for systems it has itself built and provided no further information on their per-stream rate.”

DeFrancesco told me that although the company didn’t mention UMAW’s campaign directly, “the fact that they felt the need to [create the website] and move to the steps that we see a lot of companies do when confronted is telling. They moved from just ignoring protest to beginning to lash out back at the activists and workers. That means we are making inroads.”

UMAW plans to keep building their union. “The only way to counter the power of these major companies and venture capitalists is to build an opposing worker power,” DeFrancesco said.

“With new tech solutions, we’re just going to replicate the same power inequities, unless we actually organize power. So you know, we need to get musicians together and organized so we can, like the rest of the labor movement, demand power and resources from the people who own the means of production, which is these monopoly tech companies. This way we can build a political force so that we can lobby for regulation and get public resources to arts workers like they have in other industrialized countries.”

Will Meyer is a freelance writer and co-editor of The Shoestring in western Massachusetts. His writing has appeared in The Baffler, The New Republic, CJR, and many other publications. Find him on Twitter @willinabucket.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to add a Thumbprint Radio station to Pandora and listen to all your favorite tracks in one place

Man listening to music with headphones
Pandora’s Thumbprint Radio station lets you listen to all your thumbed-up tracks in one place.

If you’ve used Pandora for a while, you know that you mark songs or artists that you like by giving them a thumbs up. Once you’ve thumbed-up enough tracks or artists, Pandora will automatically create a Thumbprint station for you. 

The Thumbprint Radio station includes all of the music that you’ve thumbed-up. It’ll also feature tracks and artists that are similar to what you’ve liked in the past, which makes Thumbprint stations a great way to find new music.

Here’s how to add a Thumbprint station to your Pandora account.

What is Pandora’s Thumbprint station

Unlike your Thumbprint Playlist, which only features your thumbed up songs, the Thumbprint Radio station is a mixture of content from practically any station type you’ve listened to. 

This tailored radio station includes all tracks you’ve thumbed up for as long as you’ve had your account, as well as similar tracks and artists that you might also like but haven’t yet discovered.

If you want to access this specialty station, you’ll need to have added at least three stations and have four thumbs upped tracks on each. 

Once you’ve met the requirements for a Thumbprint Radio station, here’s how to add it to your Pandora stations list. 

How to add Thumbprint Radio to Pandora on the desktop site

1. Open Pandora in your chosen web browser and sign in, if you haven’t already. 

2. Using the search bar at the top of the player dashboard, type in “Thumbprint Radio.” 

Add Thumbprint 1
You’ll need to use the search bar to locate the station.

3. In the list of results, run your cursor over the Thumbprint Radio icon, and when the Play icon appears on the station art, click it. 

Add Thumbprint 3
You can’t access the Thumbprint Radio station page until you click play on the album art.

4. If the station begins to play, it’s been added to your “My Collection” list. 

How to add Thumbprint Radio to Pandora on the mobile app

1. Open the Pandora mobile app and log into your account, if you haven’t already.

2. Tap the Search icon located in the app’s bottom menu bar. 

Add Thumbprint 4
The Search tool is located between the My Collection and Profile icons.

3. Type in “Thumbprint Radio” and wait for the station to appear in the results. 

PandoraThumbprint_Image4
Tap the Thumbprint station to begin playing it.

4. Tap the play icon to the right of the station result. It will automatically be added to your “My Collection” station list. If it doesn’t play, then you haven’t met the criteria for adding it.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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How to delete Spotify playlists and clean up your streaming library from the desktop or mobile app

Spotify on Android
You can delete your Spotify playlists from the desktop and mobile apps.

  • To delete a Spotify playlist, you’ll need to open it and choose “Delete” from its options menu.  
  • When you delete a Spotify playlist, it’ll disappear from your Library, but it’ll still be available to anyone who subscribed to it.
  • If you don’t want to delete a public playlist, consider hiding it through the “Make Secret” option in the playlist’s Settings menu. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Spotify has become one of the most popular streaming platforms thanks to its near endless amount of curated playlists. 

Personalized playlists like Discover Weekly and Wrapped are different for each user, based on algorithms that track listening habits. Editorial playlists are curated by Spotify employees, who carefully sift through the music library to craft playlists for moods, holidays, and more. Listener playlists are made by users who have complete control of what they add and are offered recommendations based on that. 

You can share these playlists with family or friends, or save them to your Library to listen to anytime. You can also collaborate on these playlists with other Spotify users.

But with so many playlists to choose from, it’s easy to end up with a clogged Spotify library. That’s why Spotify makes it easy to delete any playlist.

Just note that when you delete a playlist that others have subscribed to, it’ll only be deleted from your Library – your subscribers will still have it. You can fully delete it for them too by removing all the songs.

And if you want to keep the playlist, but don’t want others looking at it, you have the option to make it private and hide it from other users.

Here’s how to delete a Spotify playlist using the desktop or mobile app.

How to delete Spotify playlists on a computer

1. Open Spotify on your PC or Mac.

2. In the left sidebar, click on the playlist you want to delete.

3. Click on the three dots (…) underneath the playlist’s title to open its options menu.

4. Click “Delete” and click it again to confirm.

Delete Spotify Playlist 2
Click the three dots in the top-left corner of your playlist’s tracklist to access the options.

How to delete Spotify playlists on a mobile device

1. Open Spotify and tap “Library.”

2. Open the playlist and tap the three dots (“…”) to open the options menu. On an iPhone, these dots will be below the playlist’s title. On an Android, they’ll be in the top-right corner.

Delete Spotify Playlist 3
These dots are in different spots depending on what phone you have.

3. Tap “Delete” and tap it again to confirm.

Delete spotify playlists 4
You’ll be prompted to delete the playlist.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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How to use a Spotify Group Session to stream music playlists and podcasts simultaneously with friends and family

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Spotify app and headphones
With Spotify Premium’s Group Sessions, you can listen to the same music and podcasts with others simultaneously.

  • A Spotify Group Session allow users to listen to a playlist or podcast simultaneously from anywhere they can access the web player or mobile app. 
  • You must be a Spotify Premium member to access and use the Group Session feature. 
  • Spotify Group Sessions can include anywhere from two to five members who are invited via a custom link.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Thanks in part to its dynamic listening and discovery features, Spotify has become one of the most popular ways to enjoy your favorite songs, artists, and more. 

Now, Premium members can take their Spotify experience to another level with Group Sessions. Launched in July 2020, the feature allows users to simultaneously listen to the same playlist or podcast from wherever they are via a unique link. 

In group sessions, listeners can pick tracks and add them to the main queue running via the device that initiated the session. Anyone invited to the Group Session can listen from their device or listen on yours while controlling it from their own.

A group session can feature two to five users and is available via the desktop or mobile app. And you can choose to leave or end a group session at any time by tapping the appropriate option at the bottom of the page. 

If you want a truly shared listening experience, here’s how to launch your own Spotify Group Session. 

How to use a Spotify Group Session 

1. Open Spotify. 

2. Click or tap the “Device” icon in the Spotify app screen’s lower right-hand corner. 

Group Session Spotify 1
The icon will look like a phone, computer screen, TV, or more, depending on which devices are connected to your Spotify.

3. Scroll down until you see the “START SESSION” button under the “Start a group Session” header. 

4. Now, tap “Invite Friends.” 

5. From here, you’ll have two options for inviting others to your Spotify group session. 

  • Share a link: Copy the group session’s unique link to the social media app of your choice or paste it into a text or email to send it to another Spotify user manually. 
How to use Spotify Group Session 3.PNG
You can share a link to your Spotify group sessions with friends.

  • Spotify code: Let anyone you want to add to your group session scan the unique Spotify code found on the sharing page. 
Group Sessions Spotify 2
Let group members scan the share page code and get immediate access to your group session playlist.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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