Valentine’s Day, Valentine's Day, what are you doing for Valentine's Day? If you're single this year, it's a good bet the answer is "nothing." As Saturday Night Live reminded us with this cheeky song from last weekend's show: "Valentine's Day is for lovers."
We decided to flip the script for this year's holiday, creating a list of 10 Valentine's Day Songs for Single People. And since we're in the business of music streaming, here's a handy 35-minute mixtape with our picks from the past two decades of hits. Unattached? No problem!
How do you decide what music to listen to? Since streaming is now America’s dominant form of music consumption, we’re guessing Spotify or Apple Music are helping make this choice.
Both these companies and their competitors rely on algorithms to manage an increasingly large variety of music playlists. So…a robot is picking your music? Well, yes and no. Even a tech titan like Apple recognizes that machine learning has its limitations: most streaming companies employ music experts who fine-tune playlists combining computer data with essential context and personal taste.
There’s been lots of buzz about smart speakers, voice activation, and AI assistants over the past couple years. It’s a great time to tune in if you haven’t been paying close attention. 20% of U.S. Wi-Fi households currently own smart speakers, and manufacturers are pushing for introduction in the workplace.
As voice activated experiences continue to proliferate, individual users and a vast array of businesses stand to benefit. Amazon and Google are currently investing heavily in smart speaker production and defining the user experience.
With even the terminology still in flux, the following 7 articles should get you up to speed quickly on smart speakers and voice activation.
In 2015, Holly Shelton left her career at Apple to start MoveWith, a digital fitness company that puts instructors front and center. A former ski racer, Shelton understands the motivational power of a great coach, and wanted to make it easier and cheaper for people to connect with the best fitness instructors working today. “For the MoveWith app to succeed, we knew it was essential to capture all the unique elements of our instructors’ classes, from verbal instructions to specific timing to custom music mixes,” says Shelton.
Feed.fm partnered with MoveWith to build out their music integration, handling all the licensing to ensure that Movers get the popular music they love and artists get paid. Our curation team worked closely with MoveWith and their instructors to create playlists that motivate across a wide variety of movement types—from treadmill to yoga.
- Royalty-free music is cost-effective but unfortunately provides your business with generic, anonymous tracks that none of your customers will recognize. It’s the equivalent of (most) on-hold music, and is unlikely to generate positive results for your business.
- Working with the labels and publishers comes with significant hurdles and costs, requiring sync licenses that range from $5,000 to $500,000 per song. While some content can be licensed globally, generally each country requires separate negotiations.
- Your business can hire a company that has experience powering music for users, to guarantee that everything is legal and above board.
Recently, the latest rage in the music world is that Spotify has confidentially filed “IPO” documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, unlike a typical IPO where an investment bank underwrites and allocates shares to institutional investors, Spotify will allow existing investors to sell shares directly on the public markets. Direct listings, which are highly unusual, have often been done by small-cap companies. This is the first time that a company with a multibillion dollar valuation, in Spotify’s case $20 billion, will offer shares in this manner. The direct listing will provide liquidity for existing shareholders and will allow new investors to participate in a pure-play, on-demand music streaming service. While at first glance, this may appear to be a bizarre strategy, as we discussed in a recent Bloomberg interview, this is an incredibly exciting moment for the music industry.
The widespread concept of music curation is extremely new, an unexpected outcome of the internet’s collision with music industry and media. With the introduction of Napster’s MP3 file sharing platform in 1999, an incredible, ever-growing amount of free music became available to the public. In response, music gatekeepers such as radio and television programmers, record stores, and the music press were forced to consolidate and rethink their revenue models. The result of these tectonic changes is that today's listeners have more music options and fewer traditional go-betweens than ever before.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
Music curation emerged as a way to fill this gap and help people decide what music should I listen to now? Answering this question can be surprisingly complex. While YouTube now accounts for 1 in 4 music listening hours, the majority of us select some type of playlist—possibly powered by YouTube itself—or digital radio station to deliver a sustained listening experience.
I remember first learning about the Coachella Music Festival in the early-2000s, probably through a full-page ad in my coveted Spin magazine. Then there was the self-titled documentary film, which brought viewers impossibly close to Bjork, Radiohead, the Flaming Lips, and other music heroes performing in a gorgeous setting. When I decided to relocate to San Francisco, Coachella was definitely part of the draw and my first festival delivered on all expectations.
From the start 18 years ago, Coachella succeeded by taking the best elements of other music festivals—principally Lollapalooza and the U.K.’s Glastonbury Festival—and delivering a consistently awesome experience. The isolated desert location was selected so that people would surrender fully versus going back and forth from their homes.
Valentine’s Day is one of those occasions that got us wondering, “What makes for a great love song?”
As it's true that opposites often attract in matters of the heart, we were inspired to create a 2-hour playlist with love songs of contrasting styles. Some of these songs are modern classics, but many are quirky hidden gems from our favorite recording artists.
Consider this our custom-made Valentine’s Day mixtape to you, with love…We hope you enjoy!
Featuring Fiona Apple, Mos Def, the White Stripes, the Talking Heads, the Shins, Caribou, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and more
Listen below or here