Spotify Launches Holiday Sale: New Users Can Get Three Months of Premium for $0.99

Spotify today launched its holiday discounts, giving new users three months of Spotify Premium for $0.99, after which they'll need to pay the traditional $9.99/month subscription cost or cancel their account beforehand. The sale is similar to discounts launched in years past, with Spotify encouraging new users to sign up to the music streaming service over the holidays.

This year, there's an additional deal for those who have signed up for Spotify Premium, but then left the service at one point in the past. Specifically, if you didn't have an active Spotify Premium account as of October 21, 2017 -- meaning you canceled your account before that date -- you can return to Spotify and get three months of the service for $9.99. Unfortunately, there isn't a deal for paid subscribers who have stayed with Spotify.

Three months of Spotify Premium that gives you access to millions of songs on demand, ad free, and high quality audio, for less than a dollar? That is what music fans can expect this season as Spotify announces two of its biggest deals of the year. Whether you are curating a list of your favorite holiday-themed tracks or compiling a playlist of the hottest songs of the year for an upcoming Holiday party, these offers will undoubtedly warm up your mood this season.

- First-time Spotify Premium users can receive three months for just $0.99 if they have not previously provided credit card information or used a 30-day trial.
- Spotify Premium users that did not have an active account as of October 21, 2017 can receive three months for the price of one: $9.99.
If you're interested you can sign up for Spotify Premium on the company's website, and you have until December 31, 2017 to take advantage of the offers. For new users, Spotify said it will check to see that you have not previously provided credit card information or used a 30-day trial of Spotify Premium in order to grant the three month price at $0.99.

For more of the latest sales going on this week, be sure to check out our Deals Roundup and Black Friday Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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Spotify App Updated With Support for iPhone X Displays

Spotify updated its iOS app today with support for iPhone X, exactly two weeks since Apple's latest smartphone launched. The update removes the letterboxing of Spotify's interface on the iPhone X's 5.8-inch OLED display, which should come as welcome news to heavy users of the app, allowing them to see more of track lists and search results on the screen, and more artwork when browsing albums and playlists.

"Stranger Things Mode" before (left) and after Spotify iPhone X update

The music streaming service is unusually late to the game on this front, with many top App Store apps already having updated their interfaces for the iPhone's 1,125 × 2,436 resolution display, which results in roughly 20 percent additional vertical space for content compared to the 4.7-inch displays of the iPhone 6, 7, and 8.


Apple was naturally quick to publish human interface guidelines for developers coding iPhone X apps. The documentation explains the changes that need to be made to ensure apps make the most of the additional space. At the same time, the guidance warns developers away from encroaching on certain areas of the screen, including the rounded corners, sensor housing, and indicator for accessing the Home screen.

Spotify is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Related Roundup: iPhone X
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Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Spotify Debuts Up-And-Coming Artist Spotlight ‘RISE’ With Features Similar to Apple Music’s Up Next

Spotify is expanding its music streaming service today with a new section of the mobile app and desktop site called RISE, which is "designed to identify and break the next wave of music superstars." Spotify said that each artist highlighted in RISE will be showcased through multi-tiered marketing and editorial programming, including within the app itself and promotion on social media.

Additionally, RISE artists will receive special, mixed-media playlists for users to listen to, as well as personalized behind-the-scenes audio and video content to share their stories. In the future, Spotify will host "experimental" live events focused on its RISE stars, following in the footsteps of its first live festival in the United Kingdom last month.

Instead of just one artist, RISE will focus on four musicians every few months, each one representing a different genre. To start, there will be pop singer Kim Petras, pop/rock artist Lauv, country singer Russell Dickerson, and hip hop artist Trippie Redd.


RISE will first debut to Spotify users in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and Spotify said its goal is to support a total of 16 up-and-coming artists every calendar year.
By harnessing its unmatched cultural influence and 140+ million music fans, Spotify will launch these artists of exceptional talent into the world through a dynamic combination of multi-tiered marketing and editorial programming on Spotify.

“Spotify is committed to supporting the careers of artists of every level, including the next generation of global superstars” said Troy Carter, Spotify’s Global Head of Creator Services. “RISE is a powerful platform and an investment towards the future of emerging artists and the fans who discovered them first.”
Spotify's new RISE program is very similar to Apple Music Up Next, which showcases an artist on the rise every month. Apple's feature launched in April and normally includes episodic video content detailing the artist's personal journey, a live performance, and an interview with one of the Beats 1 radio hosts. The Up Next page also includes the artist's featured songs and albums, as well as playlists related to their work.


In terms of subscribers, Spotify's last reported count hit 60 million paid subscribers at the end of July, and the service has over 140 million total users when accounting for its free tier. Last month, Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine gave an interview to Billboard and mentioned that Apple's streaming music service grew from 27 million paid subscribers in June to "well over" 30 million in September.

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Microsoft Announces the End of Groove Music, Points Users to Spotify Instead

Microsoft is shuttering Groove Music. The company announced the news on Monday in a blog post on its site, explaining that the streaming service will be discontinued on December 31 and any customers subscribed to the service will be refunded on a pro rata basis.

Microsoft said it would cease sales of Groove Music Pass memberships soon, and in a partnership with Spotify, would make it easy for existing Groove Music subscribers to move their playlists over to the rival music streaming service.

With the continued advancement of music streaming today, all the world's music has become easily accessible across a variety of devices, unlocking new ways to discover and experience music. As we continue to listen to what our customers want in their music experience we know that access to the best streaming service, the largest catalog of music, and a variety of subscriptions is top of the list.

Which is why we're excited to announce that we're expanding our partnership with Spotify to bring the world's largest music streaming service to our Groove Music Pass customers. Beginning this week, Groove Music Pass customers can easily move all their curated playlists and collections directly into Spotify. Plus, you may be eligible for a 60-day free trial of Spotify Premium.
Microsoft said users of the Groove Music iOS app will be able to continue using music purchased through the service and stored on OneDrive, but streaming, buying, and downloading through the app will end for good on December 31.

It's unclear how many subscribers were still using the ailing service, which is home to a 50-million track library, but the announcement will be good news for Spotify, with Microsoft now officially promoting the rival as the go-to streaming service across both Windows 10 and Xbox platforms.


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Spotify’s New ‘Your Time Capsule’ Playlist Surfaces Songs From Your Teens/Early Twenties

As Apple Music and Spotify continue to battle for subscribers, each service has released new personalized playlists that curate a specific selection of songs for each user. Apple Music's latest addition was its "Chill Mix" this past June, and today Spotify has added onto its roster of personalized playlists with "Your Time Capsule."


As explained by Spotify, Your Time Capsule will gather the 30 "most nostalgic tracks" from your teenage years and early twenties, resulting in a soundtrack that lets you revisit classic songs, albums, and artists from when you were younger. Any Spotify user below the age of 16 will not be able to access the new playlist.

Your Time Capsule follows the launch of Spotify's "Your Summer Rewind" from June, which surfaced all of the songs that you listened to most during prior summers. Spotify said Your Time Capsule is similar, but is meant "to evoke powerful memories from your youth." The new playlist will be at the top of Home or in the Decades section of the Spotify app's Browse tab on iOS and Android smartphones.

Visit Spotify's website to start generating your own version of the new playlist. Your Time Capsule is launching worldwide today for all appropriately aged Spotify users.

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Waze Update for iOS Lets You Easily Control Spotify From Within Navigation App

Waze and Spotify today announced that an update previously launched on Android smartphones is now making its way to iOS devices, bringing Spotify music playback controls right into Waze's crowd-sourced navigation app. Conversely, you'll also be able to start Waze's GPS navigation from within the Spotify iOS app.

As long as the two apps are installed and you agree to link both accounts together, you'll gain access to a subset of Spotify controls in Waze. At the top of the navigation screen there will be a small Spotify icon, which you can tap to access playback controls, change playlists, and jump directly to Spotify.


Waze said that safety remains a priority with today's update, encouraging drivers to keep their iPhone docked with the app open nearby to focus on the road. Both Waze and Spotify mentioned that the new integration should help further combat distracted driving, thanks to a few streamlined features that reduce the need to toggle between multiple apps. These include automatic music playback when Waze navigation begins, only letting you browse playlists when the car is stopped, and more.
Finlay Clark, UK head of Waze, says: “We are delighted to team up with Spotify to create a new function that allows iOS Wazers to enjoy their favourite music, while being re-routed around traffic in real- time.

“Safety is our priority at Waze. By discouraging drivers from tapping their device to switch between apps while on the move, we believe this partnership presents a valuable way for drivers in the UK to use their favourite technologies whilst concentrating fully on the road ahead.”
Although the announcement came out of Waze's United Kingdom office, the company confirmed that its integration with Spotify is beginning to roll out globally today in markets that support both apps.


Both Waze and Spotify are available to download on the iOS App Store for free.

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Spotify Introduces iMessage App With Search Function for Sharing Music With Friends

Spotify has introduced an iMessage application in its latest update this week. As spotted by iGeneration, Spotify in Apple's Messages app allows you to search the entire music streaming service for a specific song and send it to a friend. When they receive it, they'll be able to listen to a 30-second clip, and then tap a button to jump into Spotify to check out the whole track.


This differs slightly from the Apple Music iMessage app, which lacks a search function completely. If you want to share a specific Apple Music song with a friend, it has to be in your recently listened track list, meaning you'll have to jump to the Apple Music app, search for it, play it, and then navigate back to Messages to find it in the app drawer. Apple Music's big advantage is that you can listen to the full track right in Messages.

The design is also different, with Spotify's iMessage app displaying a larger image for the song's album artwork, while Apple Music's remains thin and more horizontally-aligned with a play button directly in the iMessage.


In recent Spotify news, the company's Web Player is now incompatible with Apple's Safari browser, reportedly due to Google's Widevine media optimizer plugin, which Spotify requires for music streaming on the web and Apple opposes due to potential security issues. Spotify will also debut an official Apple Watch app in the future, although news of that release now dates back to April 2017 and there's since been no other word from Spotify or the app's developer Andrew Chang, besides a few mentions on Reddit over the summer.

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Spotify Web Player No Longer Compatible With Apple’s Safari Browser

Spotify users on the service's Web Player have noticed that they can no longer listen to music in Apple's Safari browser, taking to Spotify's Community web page to discuss the incompatibility between Safari and Spotify's Web Player (via Mac Generation).

In a post published about the topic yesterday by user riegelstamm, it was pointed out that Spotify's system requirements page listed Safari 6 or higher as a supported browser for the Web Player. As of today, that same page has been updated and any mention of Safari has been removed, now only including Chrome 45+, Firefox 47+, Edge 14+, and Opera 32+.

When users visit the Spotify Web Player on Safari, they receive the message, "This browser doesn't support Spotify Web Player. Switch browsers or download Spotify for your desktop."


The same poster contacted Spotify customer support, which responded with a confirmation of Safari's removal from the Web Player's supported browser list.
"After taking a look backstage, we can confirm that after recent updates Safari is no longer a supported browser for Web Player. We're always testing things by adding or removing features to make Spotify better overall. We’re sorry that this means you’re not able to use the Web Player like you could before. We can't say if or when any specific features will be back. But as soon as we’ve got anything to announce, we’ll let everyone know via the Spotify Community. Sorry again for any inconvenience caused, and please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you.

Best wishes,
Rollie
Spotify Customer Support"
Riegelstamm further dug into the details of the Web Player, discovering that the discontinuing of Safari support might have something to do with Google's Widevine media optimizer plugin, which Spotify requires for music streaming on the web and Apple opposes due to potential security issues.

Instead, Spotify encourages users to download the compatible Mac app, or switch over to a supported browser. Although the lack of Safari support in the Web Player might be temporary, Spotify customer support told users that it "can't say if or when any specific features will be back."

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Spotify Announces First Live Music Event in the U.K.

Spotify has announced its first live music event in the U.K., just days after Apple axed its own annual London music festival (via The Verge).

Called "Who We Be", the event is scheduled to take place at London's Alexandra Palace on November 30 and will have a rap and grime theme, with a line-up featuring the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Bugzy Malone, Cardi B, Giggs, J Has, and Stefflon Don.


The festival gets its name from Spotify's curated Who We Be playlist, which has a 140,000-strong following. Subscribers to the playlist can take advantage of a pre-sale ticker offer that starts on Saturday 9, while general ticket sales begin on Monday 11. Tickets can be ordered from Spotify's event website.

Apple's Music Festival had a decade-long run before it was confirmed that the company had decided to bring the tradition to an end. The free annual concert's performances had been broadcast live and on-demand through Apple Music since 2015. Apple provided no reason for ending the annual festival nor any indication that it will return anytime soon.

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Spotify and Hulu Team Up to Offer Students a $5/Month Combo Subscription Plan

Streaming companies Spotify and Hulu today announced a new partnership that will allow eligible students to sign up for Spotify Premium for Students at its normal $4.99/month price tag, and gain access to Hulu's Limited Commercials plan at no extra charge. In Hulu's press release, the company said that the offer streamlines two popular services commonly used by busy students into a single subscription plan.


The bundle is available to all qualifying new and existing Spotify student subscribers, immediately offering access to both Spotify Premium's music streaming service and Hulu's basic Limited Commercial, TV-streaming package. Users will also continue to use Spotify and Hulu through each brands' respective apps.
“In bringing Spotify and Hulu together, we’re now able to offer students – both the millions already on Spotify Premium, and those who are new to Spotify – access to the world’s best music, TV and movie content in the simplest possible way,” said Alex Norstrom, Chief Premium Business Officer at Spotify. “We’re very excited to be partnering with Hulu – a like-minded company which is as focused as we are on delivering the very best in high quality streaming content.”

“We are proud to announce Spotify as our newest strategic partner – they’re an iconic brand in music streaming and a proven leader in reaching and engaging young consumers,” said Tim Connolly, SVP, Head of Distribution and Partnerships at Hulu. “By bundling our enormous catalogues of content together in a single, highly compelling offer, we’re making it easier for people to enjoy all of the TV and music they love, whenever and wherever they want.”
According to Hulu, "this is the first step" that each company is taking to bundle their services together, and in the future similar bundles will be targeted "at the broader market" beyond college students. Find out more information on user eligibility for Spotify's student membership right here.

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