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.

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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.

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What is SoundCloud? Everything you need to know about the music and podcast platform

SoundCloud and heaphones
SoundCloud is a free music streaming and distribution platform with paid tiers for users and artists.

  • SoundCloud is an online audio streaming and distribution platform that allows users to upload, stream, promote, and share music and podcasts.
  • SoundCloud is free, with paid subscriptions offering ad-free listening and offline listening options for fans. 
  • SoundCloud is available on the desktop and mobile apps for iOS and Android.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

SoundCloud is an online audio streaming and music sharing platform founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2007. 

The interactive nature of SoundCloud allows creators – from musicians to podcasters – to connect with listeners and fans through its various sharing tools. That includes a feature SoundCloud is perhaps most known for – its popular commenting feature. It allows users to share their thoughts on specific moments in an audio stream, which are then visible by anyone who listens to the track. 

What you need to know about SoundCloud

SoundCloud is available online and for iOS and Android devices, and the basic version is free. Here’s everything else you need to know about SoundCloud. 

How much does SoundCloud cost

While anyone can sign up and use SoundCloud at no-cost, there are advanced features that will require a monthly subscription. 

The first premium tier on the platform for users is SoundCloud Go, and it costs just $4.99 a month. With SoundCloud Go, users can save an unlimited number of tracks for offline listening and enjoy an ad-free listening experience. 

Man with guitar in front of computer
SoundCloud offers tiered subscriptions for listeners and creators.

SoundCloud Go+ is the next level up. For $9.99 a month, subscribers enjoy all the benefits of SoundCloud Go plus higher quality audio and access to SoundCloud’s full catalog.

For creators, there’s the option of SoundCloud Pro Unlimited. SoundCloud Basic allows you to upload three hours of audio content and access to stats like the number of track plays and likes.

SoundCloud Pro Unlimited
Musicians have multiple paid tiers to support their songs on Spotify.

But SoundCloud Pro Unlimited offers even more listener statistics, unlimited audio uploads, opportunities to monetize and distribute audio tracks across other platforms, and more. SoundCloud Pro Unlimited costs $12 a month if you sign up for a yearly subscription or $16 for month-to-month billing.

How to use SoundCloud as a listener

Go to SoundCloud.com or download the SoundCloud app and create an account. You can do this by entering your email address and choosing a password or signing up via your Facebook, Apple, or Google account.

To edit your profile, click your display name on the top right of the screen, then click “Profile.” Upload a header image and profile image to personalize your page. To edit your display name or profile url, click the “Edit” button underneath the header image. Here, you can also add or edit your bio and note your full name, city, and country if you’d like. Click “Save changes” when you’re finished.

Soundcloud Profile
SoundCloud users can share their location, a bio, and links on their profile.

To start listening, navigate to the “Discover” page by clicking the “Home” tab to see what’s trending or search for specific content using the search bar. Comment, like, and repost tracks you like; these options are all found underneath the waveforms of individual audio tracks. 

SoundCloud Discover
The Discover tab on SoundCloud helps you find new music to enjoy.

You can create playlists by clicking the “More” button, then click “Add to playlist.” Click the “Follow” button under an artist’s name to follow their new tracks, playlists, and reposts. These will appear in your “Stream” tab alongside the tracks you upload and repost. Your likes and playlists live in the “Library” tab.

SoundCloud Artist Profile
Follow or listen to tracks from your favorite artist’s SoundCloud profile.

How to use SoundCloud as an artist

Using SoundCloud is a bit more involved for creators, as there are many tools at your disposal to share your work and grow your audience.

To upload a track to SoundCloud, click “Upload.” You can drag and drop files into the upload box or choose files to upload from your computer. Consider setting the privacy for your audio track by clicking “Public” or “Private.” You can also choose to enable downloads for your track and add or change track information. 

SoundCloud Upload
Artists at any subscription tier can upload their music to SoundCloud.

SoundCloud stresses the importance of copyright and notes that uploaded tracks must comply with their Terms of Use and not infringe on anyone else’s rights. In other words, don’t upload audio that doesn’t belong to you.

The SoundCloud Creator Guide offers a comprehensive look at all of the tools and resources available to artists to help them get the most out of the platform. It includes tips on optimizing SoundCloud tracks to make them easy to find, instructions on how to share your SoundCloud tracks on social media and embedded players, and more. 

How to cancel your SoundCloud Go plan and go back to free music streamingHow to make a playlist on SoundCloud to organize all your favorite music and podcastsHow to change your SoundCloud username or profile URL, and give yourself a rebrandHow to download SoundCloud songs from the website onto your computer, or from the mobile app with SoundCloud Go

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How much does Spotify pay per stream? What you’ll earn per song, and how to get paid more for your music

Spotify app and headphones
You’ll need a lot of Spotify streams to make money.

  • Spotify generally pays between $.003 and $.005 per stream, meaning you’ll need about 250 streams to make a dollar.
  • What you’ll be paid per Spotify stream depends on your distribution contract and listener base.
  • If you want to make more money from streaming, release more music and apply to have your music placed on official Spotify playlists.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Over the last decade, several downloadable streaming platforms (also called DSPs) have emerged, including Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, and Pandora. Spotify in particular has made its name as a streaming juggernaut.

But how are musicians faring? For all the benefits that Spotify gives listeners, they aren’t tremendously generous when it comes to paying artists. They also aren’t transparent about how much artists should expect to make per stream.

Many factors affect how much you’ll be paid per stream on Spotify, including where your listeners live, whether they have a Spotify premium account, and what sort of distribution contract you have.

Here’s what you should know about payments on Spotify.

How much Spotify pays per stream

Audio engineer in studio
A single stream is worth less than a penny on Spotify.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), paid subscriptions have taken the place of album sales. And if physical sales weren’t struggling enough, the RIAA also reported that the pandemic decreased revenue from physical products by 23%. With that part of their income declining and in the face of industry-wide shutdowns on live events, music streaming revenue has become even more critical for artists.

Yet, Insider found that Spotify has paid artists as little as $.0033 per stream, with other sites reporting upwards of $.0054. Translated, you’ll need about 250 streams to earn a dollar.

“This is why rappers make their money through merchandise, endorsements, and features,” 27-year-old New Jersey-based rap artist Brandon Pain told Insider.

This hasn’t always been the case – Spotify’s payout rates have changed over time. In 2014, they paid $.00521 on average, but two years later, the average rate dropped to $.00437. By 2017, the average pay rate had been reduced again to around $.00397, according to artist-rights site The Trichordist.

How Spotify’s streaming royalties work 

Singer in recording booth.
Spotify royalties are different from traditional royalties in how they’re collected and distributed for musicians.

Royalties are the payments that an artist earns from streams. Spotify royalties are specifically distributed from the net revenue collected from ads and Premium subscription fees. 

Artists are paid monthly. When Spotify pays artists, they tally the total number of streams for each of an artist’s songs, and determine who owns each song and who distributes it. First, the rights holders are paid. Next, the distributor is paid (this may be the same as the rights holder in some cases). And finally, you’re paid.

“Each DSP has its payout, and it’s your distribution company’s responsibility to get the correct payout. They help set you up and walk you through how much you’re being paid per stream, and the royalty payout process,” Pain said.

Independent artists and their managers typically use distribution services like Tunecore or Distrokid to get their music onto Spotify. Bigger artists signed to major labels go through an in-house process.

“Now that there are more distribution outlets, that sector of the industry is starting to scale. Meaning the cost is starting to lower,” said Sharlea Brookes-Keyes, manager for Boston rapper Vintage Lee. “Tunecore does 100% royalties [meaning they don’t take any of your streaming revenue], but you have to pay an annual fee of $50 for an album and $10 for a single.” 

How to increase how much you earn per Spotify stream

A study conducted by Digital Media Finland in 2017 focused on the pro-rata system used for Finnish Spotify Premium subscribers. This system pays rights-holders according to how their streams hold up against popular songs during a set amount of time. 

More popular artists have their music streamed more, which means they earn more. So for artists to obtain more money, they need more streams.

The most surefire way to grow a fanbase, many artists have found, is by releasing music consistently and often. A new magnum opus every year is great, but a sporadic release schedule will mean a smaller pool of listeners.

But other factors can influence how much a musician earns, too. 

A group listening to music.
One of the easiest and most obvious ways to earn more on Spotify is by increasing your fanbase and number of streams.

Not all listeners are the same. Spotify Premium listeners pay more per stream than Free tier listeners. And the pay-per-stream also changes based on what country a listener is from; according to music distributor iGroove, listeners from the US pay $0.0035 per stream, for example, while Italian listeners will pay $0.0019.

The role of Spotify’s 4 billion playlists shouldn’t be sold short either. “Popularity and getting on their editorial playlists are two huge factors,” manager Brookes-Keyes said. “[Vintage Lee’s] song was already hot in the streets and doing relatively well, but when ‘NBA 2k18’ came out [and it was put on the official playlist], her streams grew and are still steadily consistent.”

RapCaviar, curated by Tuma Basa, is one of the most popular editorial playlists. His strategic curation has helped propel artists towards a wider audience and showcased underground music, with Vulture even dubbing it “the most influential playlist in music.” 

Rap Caviar Playlist
Spotify’s RapCaviar playlist currently has more than 13 million subscribers.

If artists are on smaller playlists like Mellow Favorites, there’s still an opportunity to move up to a larger, better-known one like Chill R&B. Once an artist makes it to a more notable playlist, it increases the likelihood they’ll gain more followers and more streams.

In 2018, Spotify also introduced their playlist submission tool. The feature gives artists a choice to submit unreleased music to Spotify, for a chance at having that music put on a playlist as soon as it comes out.

Once an artist chooses their track and submits it, they can tailor the song’s settings according to mood, style, genre, type of recording, and more. This helps Spotify decide which editorial and algorithmic playlists your music belongs in and how to introduce the track to more fans.

How to upload local music to Spotify so you can play songs stored on your computer, even when offlineHow to find concerts on Spotify on desktop or mobile, and get a list of show recommendations near you based on your music tastesHow to sign up for Spotify Premium on your iPhone or desktop computer, and get a free trialHow to find your Spotify ‘Wrapped’ story and playlists for year-end stats on your listening habits

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Spotify climbs 6% as company announces expansion to 80 new markets, target of 1 billion customers

Spotify app and headphones
An Android smartphone with the Spotify Music logo visible on screen, alongside a pair of earphones.

  • Shares of Spotify climbed 6% on Monday as the company announced plans to expand in 80 new markets, targeting one billion users worldwide.
  • It plans to add 36 languages to its platform. 
  • The Swedish company will nearly double its presence in certain regioans, including Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. 
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

Shares of Spotify Technology climbed 6% on Monday as the audio-streaming company announced plans to expand in 80 new markets, targeting one billion users worldwide.

The Swedish company will nearly double its presence in parts of the world including Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, as part of a “sweeping expansion.” 

Spotify outlined its plans during a streamed event on Monday, which included appearances by Billie Eilish and Barack Obama, among others. 

In a statement after the event, the company said it is seeking to grow its footprint in untapped markets. It also plans to add 36 languages to its platform. 

“So as we enter new markets, we’ll accelerate the discovery of more genres like K-Pop, reggaeton, and amapiano that have earned a place in the global music arena,” the company said. Amapiano is a genre of music that emerged in South Africa.

Spotify, which already operates in 93 countries or territories, said it plans to collaborate with local creators and partners to expand its music offerings and “deliver a Spotify experience that meets the unique needs of each market.” 

The audio-streaming company has 345 million users, yet fewer than 20% come from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Bloomberg reported.

Another major announcement was Spotify’s offering of new tools for podcasts to earn money beyond advertising revenues.

Spotify has been far outpaced by movie streaming services such as Netflix due to the complicated nature of securing music rights. 

Spotify is trading 2.33% higher, at $373.08 as of 2:58 pm ET Monday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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.

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