Netflix’s new ‘Play Something’ feature will remove the stress of picking something to watch by choosing a show or movie for you

Netflix Play Something
  • Netflix is adding a new shuffle-play button called “Play Something.”
  • Play Something will pick a series or movie on your behalf based on your interests.
  • The feature is rolling out on TVs globally on Wednesday and is coming to Android devices soon.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After a year of staying at home, trying to decide on something to stream can be a daunting task. Thanks to a new Netflix feature, that agony may be coming to an end.

Netflix on Wednesday launched a new feature called “Play Something.” The new tool, which acts like a shuffle button, will choose a series or movie on your behalf based on other things you’ve watched in the past. If you don’t like what it serves up, you can hit “Play Something Else” and it will supply either a new movie or show, or one you’re already watching, didn’t finish, or have already added to your list.

Play Something will show up multiple times in the app, including underneath your profile name, on your Netflix homepage, and in the navigation menu on the left side.

The feature is rolling out on TVs worldwide on Wednesday and will be coming to Android devices soon, Netflix says.

Read more: Netflix has kept churn low despite price hikes and intensifying competition, and it could be a key to success during a tough 2021

Netflix has been testing a shuffle-play feature since last summer and announced during its fourth-quarter earnings report in January that the feature would be rolling out in the first half of 2021. Greg Peters, Netflix’s COO and chief product officer, said at the time that the feature was “really working for us” and that the company had found that sometimes, users just want to “skip browsing entirely” and have Netflix choose a title for them.

Reed Hastings, co-CEO of Netflix, jokingly asked at the time whether Netflix was going to name the feature “I’m feeling lucky,” a reference to an early Google feature that let you head directly to the top search result for your query rather than browsing through pages of websites.

Netflix has also tested other similar features, including the option on Android to play a random episode of a TV show like “The Office” or “Arrested Development.” Hulu has done the same, adding a shuffle button for “Seinfeld” in 2019.

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Hulu Basic is one of the most affordable streaming services on the market – here’s what you get for $6 a month

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As streaming services surge in interest following a year spent mostly indoors, cable subscriptions and cinema outings are fading away in favor of at-home binge-watching sessions and indoor movie nights. In fact, a survey of American households suggests the average home now has four streaming subscriptions.

Many people are looking for the best value to help build their repertoire of digital platforms. Hulu Basic is one of the cheapest options at just $6 a month ($60 a year). The plan gets you access to an extensive library of shows, movies, and Hulu Originals.

What is Hulu Basic?

Hulu Basic is the company’s simplest and most affordable streaming option. For $6 a month you get access to Hulu’s entire catalog, but you will have to watch some ads as you stream. New subscribers can receive a free 30-day trial when they sign up.

Hulu plays host to a wide variety of content, including comedies like “Letterkenny,” cartoons like “Animaniacs,” dramas like “Fargo,” gems from the ’90s like “Seinfeld,” Hulu originals like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and even Oscar-winning films like “Nomadland.”

You can also use Hulu to keep up with select network shows as they air – or the day after they air – like “Saturday Night Live,” “The Bachelor,” and many more. This is a huge advantage over Netflix where you have to wait up to a year or more for an entire season to show up.

What’s the difference between Hulu Basic and Hulu Premium?

Hulu Basic costs just $6 a month, while Hulu premium is $12 a month. Both offer access to Hulu’s entire on-demand catalog, but Basic has ads while Premium is ad-free.

Students can get Hulu Basic for $2 a month with a verified college enrollment – a savings of $48 a year compared to the regular price.

In exchange for a cheaper monthly rate, Hulu Basic serves you unskippable ads before and during your stream. Hulu will typically air five minutes of ads for 30-minute programs and 10 minutes of ads for hour-long programs. It’s a small price to pay for halving the cost of your subscription, and it’s still less overall ad time than you’d find on cable.

You can also sign up for Hulu Basic as part of a bundle with Disney Plus and ESPN+. This bundle costs $14 a month, which is about $6 cheaper than the price of paying for all three services separately. The plan is $20 a month for Disney Plus, ESPN+, and Hulu Premium.

How can I stream Hulu?

Most smart TVs have Hulu already built in, so all you’ll have to do is launch the app and sign in to start watching. You can explore our guide for the best affordable smart TVs if you want a new display on a budget.

Aside from streaming on your laptop or phone, you can also use a streaming stick or box. These devices connect to your TV, offering access to apps like Hulu. We recommend the Roku Ultra as our top streaming option, but there are tons of other devices across price ranges.

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The best podcast apps of 2021 for listening to all your favorite shows

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A woman uses her mobile phone to open and play a song from her smartphone app.

  • Podcasts are a convenient way to catch up on news, sports, and special interests at home or on the go.
  • There are many apps with tons of podcasts you can listen to for free or with a paid subscription.
  • We recommend services like Audible, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more.

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If you’re hooked on a popular podcast or are thinking about starting a new one, you aren’t alone. More Americans are listening to at least one podcast every month, a trend that only increased in 2020, according to a survey from Edison One and Triton Digital.

Whether you’re on your daily run, commuting to work, or simply relaxing at home, a great podcast can take you on an audio journey through politics, entertainment, comedy, literature, and more. Podcasts cover all genres, so whether you’re seeking a news update or want to get into true crime, there’s likely something out there for you.

There are many services that offer access to a wide range of podcasts, including several free apps and a few subscription platforms that even include exclusive programming. To help you get started, we’ve selected a few of the best apps you can use to listen to podcasts right now on a variety of devices.

Here are the best podcast apps:

Apple Podcasts

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Apple Podcasts offers free access to over 30 million podcast episodes, along with helpful Siri voice search capabilities.

Although the app is exclusive to iOS devices, Apple Podcasts is one of the best — and most comprehensive — free podcast services available. The app includes over 30 million episodes and you can easily download your favorite podcasts for offline listening. 

One of Apple Podcasts unique features is its ability to sync with Siri. This means you can talk to Siri and ask for podcast suggestions. The app also makes it easy to navigate podcasts based on different genres and Apple-curated collections. This makes it simple to find shows for a specific interest or see recommendations for “new and noteworthy” titles. 

The search page also allows you to find podcasts by topic or by people mentioned within episodes via a show’s transcript. It’s important to note, however, that not every podcast has a transcript available.

Playback is easy to control with the option to rewind episodes by 15 seconds or fast-forward by 30 seconds. You can also play Apple Podcasts via Bluetooth from the app, adjust the audio’s speed, and set a sleep timer for when you want to pause.

Once you subscribe to a Podcast, the app notifies you when a new episode is out. There’s also plenty of ways you can preview podcasts before you listen to an episode thanks to introductions and trailers. There are also reviews and ratings from fellow Apple Podcasts listeners. If you end up liking a podcast, you can find recommendations at the bottom of a title’s page for similar content from the same creator.

On April 20, Apple announced that Apple Podcasts will update its look, add curated channels, and include a premium subscription option for certain shows beginning in May. Creators can add various benefits to their premium podcast subscriptions, including ad-free listening and early access. 

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Google Podcasts

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Google Podcasts is a free service with convenient features that make it easy for users to discover more about the podcasts they listen to.

Google Podcasts helps you find the best shows for you tastes with a homepage that directs you to popular podcasts based on genres and what’s trending. 

The app hosts many of the same shows as Apple Podcasts and its user interface is inviting to newcomers and listening veterans alike. If a show isn’t on Google Podcasts you can add it by entering its RSS feed into the platform. 

Like other podcast apps, you can subscribe to shows and download them for offline listening. If you want to listen to a number of different podcasts in a certain order, you can start a queue. 

One of the unique features found on Google Podcasts is the “explore topics” section on an episode’s page. This section links to Google search results for keywords based on the podcast you’re listening to. This means if you put on Football Weekly, a podcast by The Guardian, you can easily click on suggestions to find the latest news about soccer in the UK.

If you listened to a podcast and forgot to save it, you can go to the “Activity” tab. The tab keeps track of your queue, your downloaded episodes, your listening history, and your subscriptions.

Google Podcasts features a 30-second fast-forward option along with a 10-second rewind button, a sleep timer, and an option to “trim silence” on a show. You can also change the speed of an episode and share it with friends. Much like Apple Podcasts, transcripts are only available if they’re placed in an episode’s description.

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Spotify

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Spotify features an array of curated, genre-specific collections of podcasts, including exclusive shows.

Spotify is unique compared to Google and Apple in its ability to provide millions of songs in addition to its podcasts. While Spotify does offer a free option, you need a paid subscription to get ad-free streaming.

Spotify has a number of plans for ad-free listening, starting with Spotify Premium for $10 a month for one account. It’s important to note that you can only download podcasts with Spotify if you have Premium.

The app’s podcast homepage features curated collections and genres, including spotlights on some of its original podcasts you won’t find anywhere else. Some Spotify exclusive shows include “Renegades: Born in the USA,” “The Michelle Obama Podcast,” and “Living & Learning with Reba McEntire.”

Once you find a podcast you like, you can choose to “follow” it from the Spotify app. That way you’ll be able to get notifications about when your favorite show has an update. If you want to explore new shows based on your favorite podcasts, each show has different categories like “Entertainment” or “Music.”

Much like Google, you can add episodes to your queue and listen to a number of different episodes in order. You can also make a playlist of new podcasts that you want to check out.

Once you start playing a podcast, you can change its speed, rewind or fast-forward by 15 seconds, and set a sleep timer. Like other podcast apps, transcripts are only available if they’re placed in an episode’s description.

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Audible

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Audible is an audiobook-centric app but it also features several original podcasts.

Audible is primarily known for audiobooks but the Amazon-backed app also provides a number of podcasts, including Audible Original shows. The “Podcasts” category takes users through a variety of content including shows centered on comedy, relationships, tech, and more.

Once you click a show, such as “Dolly Parton’s America,” you’ll be able to explore reviews from listeners. These reviews include star ratings for the host’s performance, the story, and the overall podcast. This helps make Audible one of the most user-friendly platforms for listener reviews.

When playing a podcast, you can skip ahead or circle back by 30 seconds, connect to Bluetooth, skip or go back to old episodes, and change the speed of the audio from 0.5x to 3.5x. You can also see how much time is left in an episode, switch to carplay for a minimalist user interface, and select between episodes via an episode list option at the bottom of the screen. 

Like other podcast platforms, Audible contains a sleep timer and allows for offline listening. Audible users are also able to add podcasts to their library to get them automatically downloaded to their device when new episodes come out.

While Audible boasts a solid selection of Audible Originals, including the crime documentary series “Brooklyn North,” these series are only available to paid subscribers. Other exclusive podcasts include titles like “The Messenger,” “Women Unlocked,” “In the Gap,” and “Soldiers of Science.”

Audible‘s massive audiobook selection could be a great incentive to purchase a Plus subscription if you want a service that offers books and podcasts in one platform.

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Stitcher

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Stitcher has a selection of original podcasts and a wide range of playback options.

Stitcher puts podcasts ahead of all else, unlike a platform like Spotify that also hosts millions of songs. Its layout is also one of the sleekest and most straightforward across podcast apps.

Once you sign in, you can check Stitcher‘s top picks of the week along with curated collections of playlists celebrating the likes of women, Black Americans, Independent artists, and more. Stitcher‘s homepage also includes an assortment of podcasts from different genres such as comedy, news, and more.

There’s a number of Stitcher original shows, as well, including “Dark Arenas,” “Going Deep,” “The Resurr-Erection,” “Unspooled: Screen Test,” “MASCOTS,” and a podcast by “Reading Rainbow” host LeVar Burton. Some shows and episodes are exclusive to Stitcher Premium, however.

Premium also gives you early access to certain new episodes. Other perks for subscribers include ad-free episodes and monthly giveaways. You can see what’s available on Stitcher Premium here.

One of Stitcher‘s unique features is its array of playback options, as the app lets you set a sleep timer, skip episodes you’ve already heard, and adjust your rewind and fast forward times between five seconds and two minutes.

You can also download new episodes automatically, get a list of shows that you’ve downloaded or liked, and trim down on storage by deleting all downloads with one click.

Just like other popular podcast apps, transcripts are only available if the podcast’s creator tags them in the show’s description.

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TuneIn Radio

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TuneIn offers a number of radio streams from around the world in addition to its podcast catalog.

TuneIn‘s primary focus may be radio but it also includes some popular podcasts. There are plenty of genres to explore via the app’s search tab. The service also curates a number of new podcasts via its homepage so you can easily navigate different collections. 

Once you start listening to an episode, you can fast forward or rewind by 30 seconds. You can also display a clock, set an alarm to go off at a certain time, or set a sleep timer. Additionally, you can like episodes by clicking the heart icon to favorite a show for later.

One unique feature with TuneIn is that the app lets you switch to car mode. This is perfect for people who want to listen to podcasts on the go as you get a simplified menu to move between episodes.

A handy “auto-restart player” setting is also included so you can start the stream you last played when you open the app. You can also choose to automatically download episodes and track episodes you recently listened to.

If a podcast isn’t in TuneIn, you can add it to the app via the Custom URL button in your library. Similar to other podcast apps, you can only get transcripts of episodes if the creator makes them available in an episode’s description.

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Check out our streaming and audio guides

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The best streaming services you can sign up for online


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The best true wireless earbuds


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The best streaming sticks and devices


The best smartphones

 

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HBO Max lets you watch everything on HBO, plus exclusive shows and brand-new Warner Bros. movies – here’s how to sign up

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wonder woman 1984 warner bros
  • HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s on-demand streaming service, costs $15 a month.
  • It’s the same price as HBO’s cable network, but includes a bigger library of movies and shows.
  • Warner Bros. will also debut all of its 2021 movies on HBO Max the same day they launch in theaters.

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HBO Max is a streaming service that blends HBO’s library of prestige original series with a huge catalog of blockbuster movies and TV shows provided by WarnerMedia. HBO Max launched in May 2020 for $15 a month.

Most people who subscribe to HBO through cable can claim their own free HBO Max subscription using their provider. In January, parent company AT&T said the service had already reached 40 million subscribers in the US, surpassing a goal it didn’t expect to reach for two more years.

HBO Max features way more content than HBO’s cable offerings, including brand-new theatrical releases from Warner Bros. Older titles and network shows, like “Friends” and “Rick and Morty,” are also available. Subscribers can watch new exclusive movies and series as well, including the sci-fi show “Raised by Wolves.”

With its large collection of programs, and a growing slate of original titles, HBO Max is one of our best reviewed streaming services.

Where can I sign up for HBO Max?

game of thrones
HBO Max launched on May 27, 2020.

You can sign up for HBO Max right now through HBOMax.com. In addition to the HBO Max website, you can also sign up for an HBO Max subscription directly through select partner services, including AT&T, DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse, Spectrum, Hulu, YouTube TV, Apple TV, and Google Play.

If you currently pay for HBO in your cable package, you likely already have access to HBO Max as part of your subscription. Depending on your provider, you may be able to sign directly into the HBO Max app, or you’ll be prompted to create an account. You can view a full list of qualifying HBO Max providers here.

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How much does HBO Max cost?

HBO Max costs $15 a month, the same price as regular HBO and three dollars less than a premium Netflix subscription. For that price, you get ad-free access to all of the platform’s content.

As mentioned above, most people who already subscribe to HBO are eligible to receive HBO Max at no extra cost to their current subscription fee.

Though HBO Max initially offered a free trial period through its site, that promotion is no longer available. If you sign up for HBO Max as an add-on through Hulu, however, new members can still receive a one-week trial.

The differences between HBO Max, HBO Go, and HBO Now

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HBO Max is an on-demand streaming platform combining HBO’s iconic original programming with an even larger library of movies and shows from WarnerMedia. The service is essentially a replacement for HBO’s older streaming options: HBO Go and HBO Now.

HBO Go was a streaming companion app for HBO cable subscribers, while HBO Now was a standalone streaming option with access to HBO without cable. On July 31, HBO discontinued the HBO Go app. On that same day, HBO rebranded HBO Now to just “HBO.”

Most people who were using the HBO Go or HBO Now app can now simply use their same account information to sign into HBO Max instead. You can see if your HBO subscription qualifies for HBO Max here.

HBO (formerly HBO Now) will continue to include streaming access to the same library of content that HBO cable subscribers can watch. This includes HBO original programming and the channel’s rotating selection of movies.

HBO Max, however, builds upon this content selection by incorporating more original titles and hundreds of additional TV shows and movies from WarnerMedia. HBO Max also allows you to download and store your favorite shows on your devices to watch while you’re offline.

For the time being, HBO and HBO Max each cost $15 a month. Since HBO Max offers a larger streaming library than HBO, it’s clearly the better choice.

Where can I watch HBO Max?

HBO Max streaming service

HBO Max can be streamed via its official website and the HBO Max app. You can find the app on Apple, Android, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and Samsung smart TVs.

Those who sign up for HBO Max directly though a partnered service, like Hulu or Apple TV, will be able to access regular HBO content through the partner service’s app. To watch HBO Max exclusives, however, you still need to use the separate HBO Max app.

Is HBO Max on Roku and Fire TV?

Though HBO Max was initially missing from Fire TV, Roku, and PlayStation devices when it launched in May 2020, the service is now available to download on all of those platforms.

Currently, LG’s smart TVs are the only major connected-devices that are missing native support for the HBO Max app.

What shows and movies are on HBO Max?

Raised by Wolves HBO Max

HBO Max features all of HBO’s original shows, from “The Wire” and “The Sopranos” to “Westworld and “Game of Thrones.” The library also includes the cable channel’s rotating lineup of movies. On top of all that, HBO Max offers additional titles from WarnerMedia’s catalog, as well as new exclusives.

Most notably, HBO Max has become the streaming destination for brand-new movies from Warner Bros. the same day they’re released in theaters. “Godzilla vs. Kong” is the latest movie to premiere on HBO Max and theaters at the same time. New films will remain on HBO Max for 31 days. After that time, they will play exclusively in theaters until their official home video release.

HBO Max also features a handful of new original series, including the sci-fi show “Raised by Wolves,” the comedy series “Love Life” starring Anna Kendrick, and a new “Looney Tunes” show featuring Bugs Bunny and company.

Beyond original programs, the HBO Max catalog offers a wide range of TV series from DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Rooster Teeth, and Looney Tunes. The HBO Max movie catalog incorporates critically acclaimed films from the Criterion Collection and Studio Ghibli, alongside hundreds of blockbuster WarnerMedia movies. The service currently hosts 1,300 films.

For additional streaming coverage, be sure to read our guides for the best streaming services and the best streaming sticks and devices.

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How to get the Disney Plus bundle with ESPN+ and the different versions of Hulu

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How to combine Disney Plus, ESPN+ and ad-free Hulu

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At just $8 a month, Disney Plus is one of the most affordable streaming services you can sign up for. The platform features a large collection of movies and shows from Disney’s various brands and franchises, including Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic.

As extensive as the Disney Plus library is, however, the platform does have some weak spots. Most notably, Disney Plus doesn’t offer sports or any currently airing seasons of network shows. The service’s family-friendly library also lacks any R-rated content. Thankfully, Disney Plus offers a discounted bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu to give subscribers those options.

The bundle costs $14 a month, which is about $6 less per month than you’d pay if you subscribed to all three services separately. Though the deal includes the version of Hulu with ads by default, you can pay more to get the bundle with ad-free Hulu or Hulu + Live TV.

How much does the Disney Plus, ESPN+, and Hulu bundle cost?

The bundle with Disney Plus, ESPN+, and Hulu is available in a variety of packages, with prices starting at $14 a month. Here’s a full breakdown of bundle options:

Bundle plan Price
Disney Plus, Hulu Basic, and ESPN+ bundle: $14 a month
Disney Plus, Hulu (ad-free), and ESPN+ bundle: $20 a month
Disney Plus, Hulu Basic + Live TV, and ESPN+ bundle: $73 a month
Disney Plus, Hulu (ad-free) + Live TV, and ESPN+ bundle: $79 a month

How to sign up for the Disney Plus, ESPN+, and Hulu bundle

If you live in the US, signing up for the Disney Plus bundle with Hulu Basic and ESPN+ is as simple as visiting the Disney Plus website and selecting the bundle option. The base package costs $14 a month. If you’re a current subscriber to one of the services, you can upgrade to the discounted bundle here.

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After entering in your email address and payment information you’ll be able to activate your account on each service. You can use the same account information across each platform, but you will need to access each service’s app separately.

This default bundle only includes the ad-supported version of Hulu, but you can get the ad-free or live TV plans if you sign up directly through Hulu. We’ve broken down the process below to make things easy.

How to combine Disney Plus, ESPN+, and ad-free Hulu or Hulu + Live TV

  1. If you’re a new subscriber to these services, visit the Hulu bundle page here to sign up.
  2. You can then select which version of Hulu you’d like with the bundle: Hulu with ads ($14/month), Hulu without ads ($20/month), or Hulu + Live TV ($73/month).
  3. Enter in the required account information and payment details to continue.
  4. Once you finish the sign up process, you’ll be able to access Hulu, Disney Plus, and ESPN+ through their respective apps.
  5. If you’d like to switch Hulu plans or cancel at a later date, you can adjust your subscription through the “Manage Your Account” section of the Hulu website.

Can I upgrade to ad-free Hulu or Hulu + Live TV if I already have the bundle?

If you subscribed to the bundle through Hulu, you can easily upgrade your Hulu plan through the “Manage Your Account” section of the Hulu website.

However, if you originally subscribed to the bundle through Disney, you’ll need to cancel your existing bundle subscription first if you want to upgrade your Hulu plan. After you cancel your bundle subscription, you can sign up for a bundle with Hulu Premium or Hulu + Live TV here.

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Investment firm Apollo wants to spin off PR software firm Notified

Good morning and welcome to Insider Advertising for March 18. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

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Apollo is planning to sell Notified, one of the biggest PR software companies

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Private-equity firm Innovatus Capital just snapped up 3 ad agencies and said it wants to take on the big ad holding companies

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FuboTV’s CEO breaks down the company’s sports-betting strategy, which has spurred both investor enthusiasm and stock volatility

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Amazon is planning a push into podcast advertising

Good morning and welcome to Insider Advertising for March 12. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

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Amazon details how the company is ramping up its pitch for podcast advertising dollars

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Meet the 14 execs leading Instacart’s push to build an advertising business that rivals Amazon and Walmart

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Spherex CEO Teresa Phillips.

How a tech startup is helping streaming TV services comply with local laws and avoid cultural missteps as they expand internationally

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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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Peacock offers free and premium plans with tons of NBC shows, including ‘The Office’ – here’s how to sign up

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peacock browse
Peacock is a new streaming service from NBCUniversal.

  • Peacock is a streaming service featuring NBCUniversal TV shows, movies, sports, and news.
  • The base plan is ad-supported so you can watch most of the catalog for free with commercials.
  • Peacock Premium ($5/month) has even more content, and Peacock Premium Plus ($10/month) is ad-free.

Peacock is the on-demand subscription home for NBCUniversal movies and shows, making it the only place to stream hit series like “The Office.” Comcast, NBCUniversal’s parent company, launched free and premium versions of Peacock in July 2020.

Peacock’s rotating library is full of classic Universal movies, including franchises like “Jurassic Park” and “Fast & Furious.” The “Harry Potter” movies are also available on a rotating basis.

The service has brokered deals for new original series produced by Tina Fey and Kevin Hart, as well as rights to stream classic shows like “Law & Order” and “Will and Grace.” A new original series adapting the book “Brave New World” is also available, along with original films, like “Psych 2,” and exclusive documentaries, like Dale Earnhardt Jr’s “Lost Speedways.”

As live sporting events resume in 2021, Peacock will broadcast the Premier League and the 2021 Olympics. The service will also be the exclusive home of WWE Network shows and events starting March 18. A number of popular sports radio shows, including “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Rich Eisen Show,” and “PFT Live with Mike Florio” are streaming exclusively on Peacock, too.

With Peacock now available for everyone nationwide, we’ve broken down some of the basics, including full details on pricing, plans, content, and supported devices.

What is Peacock?

NBC Peacock Logo
Peacock launched nationwide on July 15.

Peacock is a streaming service created by NBCUniversal with three subscription plans: Free, Premium, and Premium Plus. The platform offers a collection of TV shows, movies,  and original series, along with live sports and news updates. 

Content can be viewed via an on-demand library or via special streaming channels broken down by genres and franchises.

Peacock’s catalog includes a mix of new and classic NBC shows, like “Saturday Night Live” and “The Office,” and Universal films. Peacock original programs will also be offered to premium subscribers.

For detailed impressions, you can read our Peacock review here.

When can I sign up for Peacock?

Peacock launched nationwide on July 15, 2020. You can sign up for a Free, Premium, or Premium Plus subscription right now through the Peacock website. Premium and Premium Plus plans both come with a free seven-day trial for new members.

Where can I watch Peacock?

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Peacock Premium gives you early access to late night shows like “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

Peacock’s streaming app is available on Vizio and LG smart TVs, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices, Roku, Android TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Chromecast, Xfinity, and Flex devices. The service is also available through its official website. You can browse a full list of supported devices here.

Unfortunately, Fire TV products are still missing official support for the Peacock app.

Is Peacock free?

The base version of Peacock is free, but there are commercials. Peacock promises more than 7,500 hours worth of movies and TV with the free version of Peacock, but you can get access to twice as much content by upgrading to a Peacock Premium plan.

Though Peacock Premium usually requires a subscription fee, if you’re an Xfinity X1 or Flex customer you can access Peacock Premium for free by searching for the app on your Comcast device and entering your email. 

How much does Peacock Premium cost?

Peacock Premium costs $5 per month or $50 per year. However, Peacock Premium still has commercials. If you want to watch without ads, you need to upgrade to the Peacock Premium Plus ad-free plan for $10 per month or $100 per year.

The Peacock Premium catalog includes new original series, gives subscribers access to exclusive content from NBC shows, and lets you watch ongoing series, like “Saturday Night Live,” the day after they air on TV.

Peacock Premium and Peacock Premium Plus plans both come with a free seven-day trial for new subscribers. If you already subscribe to Xfinity internet or cable you get Peacock Premium for free with your current subscription. 

What shows and movies are on Peacock?

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Universal films like “Jurassic World” are available through Peacock on a rotating basis.

Peacock features more than 15,000 hours worth of TV and movies, though you’ll need a Premium subscription to access the full catalog. NBCUniversal says about half of the catalog, more than 7,500 hours worth, is available for free.

You can stream classic NBC shows, like “The Office,” “Law & Order,” “30 Rock,” “Parks & Recreation,” “Friday Night Lights,” and “Saturday Night Live.” Peacock Premium users can access new episodes of ongoing NBC shows the day after they air. Daily broadcasts from NBC News and MSNBC also stream on Peacock, and subscribers can access past documentaries and “Dateline” investigations.

Universal film franchises, like “Fast & Furious,” “Jurassic Park” and “The Bourne Trilogy,” are part of the rotating catalog, along with classic movies like “E.T.,” “Reservoir Dogs,” “Schindler’s List,” and “Lost in Translation.” The “Harry Potter” series is also part of Peacock’s rotating library. Peacock’s movie selection isn’t permanent, however, so some titles may be removed or added back from time to time. 

Peacock Premium subscribers will also be able to watch new original shows, including a new Tina Fey-produced series called “Girls5Eva,” as well as a new comedy special and an interview show from comedian Kevin Hart .

Peacock even includes exclusive children’s content with new episodes of shows like “Curious George,” “Where’s Waldo,” and “Cleopatra in Space.” Universal kids films, like “Shrek”, “Despicable Me,” and “Trolls World Tour,” will also be part of the Peacock library.

Peacock features live sports for free, including matches from the Premier League and the PGA Tour’s US Open. “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Rich Eisen Show,”and “PFT Live with Mike Florio” also stream exclusively on Peacock. Starting March 18, wrestling fans will be able to watch WWE Network shows and PPV events as part of a Premium or Premium Plus membership.

Though the platform’s launch was meant to coincide with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the coronavirus pandemic led to the postponement of the Summer Games until 2021. Instead, Peacock has offered past Olympic highlights and exclusive interviews with Olympic athletes.

For more streaming coverage, be sure to check out our guides to the best streaming services and the best streaming sticks and devices.

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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.

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