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A revamped model of Spotify’s free service is reportedly within the works

Spotify’s received one thing massive up its sleeve, that a lot we all know for certain. The music streaming service has an enormous occasion wi...


Spotify’s received one thing massive up its sleeve, that a lot we all know for certain. The music streaming service has an enormous occasion within the works for April 24 in New York — although it hasn’t actually supplied up something helpful past that. A revamped model of the corporate’s free tier might actually make sense for the occasion.

A brand new report from Bloomberg means that such a factor is on the way in which, as the corporate seems to be to make massive strikes after going public. In response to the piece, the brand new model of the app will make it simpler for customers to make use of the ad-supported service on cell gadgets. There’s not numerous data past that, nonetheless — together with how Spotify would proceed to distinguish a paid tier with the intention to preserve premium subscribers on-board.

After all, the free providing is among the key parts differentiating the service from competitors like Apple Music. It hasn’t been the most well-liked characteristic amongst file labels and artists, for apparent causes, but it surely’s helped Spotify preserve a wholesome lead within the class. Final month, Apple Music introduced that it was persevering with to develop at a wholesome fee, with 38 million subscribers.

That quantity is dwarfed, nonetheless, by Spotify’s 71 million subscribers — and doubly so by its whole 159 million customers. Clearly the multi-tiered technique has been a successful one for the Swedish music service, and recommitting to free would reveal that the service remains to be within the different 88 million.

We reached out to Spotify, however obtained a “no remark” on the matter. Identical for one more latest story suggesting that the corporate is planning to launch a standalone in-car participant, which surfaced as customers started to obtain gives for a brand new piece of Spotify designed to convey the music service to older mannequin vehicles.

Nokia acquires Unium, a mesh WiFi startup that works with Google Fiber, as a part of large dwelling WiFi push


Whereas Nokia’s former handset enterprise forges forward with its new gadget technique beneath licensee HMD, Nokia itself has taken yet another step to construct out its enterprise with carriers in a brand new wave of providers. To coincide with MWC in Barcelona and an even bigger step into the WiFi enterprise, the corporate in the present day introduced that it has acquired Unium, a startup out of Seattle that builds know-how for mesh WiFi for dwelling networking providers.

Unium’s tech is used to handle one of many greatest pain-points in dwelling WiFi in the present day: it helps fill in lifeless spots in dwelling WiFi preparations, the place it’s possible you’ll not get sign or interference from different networks, and the accompanying safety points which may come alongside these.

Unium and Nokia’s focus can be to increase gigabit networks inside the dwelling, past the offers that Nokia already has in areas like neighborhood and rural broadband, and fiber to the house, and extra particularly with its dwelling gateway options, which in the present day introduced an prolonged portfolio of mesh WiFi gateways and beacons, new software program to improve gateways, and new software program for service suppliers and prospects to watch and optimise options.

“The Unium staff is worked up to affix Nokia and drive a singular and progressive buyer expertise by means of our clever Wi-Fi answer, making each customer-touch higher,” mentioned Martha Bejar, CEO at Unium, in a press release.

Phrases of the deal haven’t been disclosed however we’re looking for out. Unium had raised no less than $ 26.7 million in funding because it was based in 2002, based on Crunchbase. Previously generally known as CoCo Communications, its backers included native investor Swiftsure Capital, amongst others. The latest valuation based on PitchBook was was $ 7.31M after their late stage spherical in August of 2017, though that is probably very outdated.

Notably, Unium’s prospects included Google Fiber, certainly one of Alphabet’s high-speed web efforts, and — earlier — the Division of Protection.

“Like many individuals, we had difficulties with the WiFi in our properties together with lifeless spots, buffering of flicks, and music that stopped mid-song. In 2013, we determined to unravel these issues primarily based on our decade of expertise working with the U.S. Division of Protection to unravel their wi-fi and safety issues. Folks deserve higher WiFi,” the corporate’s former CEO John Stachowiak mentioned again in 2016. “That’s the mentality that Google Fiber and our different prospects have, too.”

Now we have requested Nokia what occurs to contracts with present prospects as a part of this deal.

Unium’s answer hyperlinks in with these of carriers in a “plug & play” format and implies that when you reside notably in properties with thick partitions, you’ll be able to transfer round with out dropping WiFi sign.

Unium matches into the development of a few of Nokia’s most up-to-date acquisitions, which underscore the corporate’s makes an attempt to maneuver deeper into areas to work extra carefully with carriers. Different acquisitions in that vein have included Comptel for software-based knowledge communications for carriers, and a few safety acquisitions, Nakina Techniques and Deepfield.

(Notably, Nokia’s $ 190 million acquisition of French related gadget maker Withings, made to increase the corporate’s personal consumer-focused IoT technique, has been much less fruitful and the corporate is presently re-evaluating its wearable division total.)

This, you may argue, is about Nokia in search of methods so as to add extra worth right into a enterprise that’s already sizeable for it. The corporate mentioned that its tech is in 47 million dwelling gateways globally, in partnership with carriers and others, giving it a head begin for the place it is going to deploy Unium’s tech.

“We stay up for having the Unium staff be part of us,” mentioned Federico Guillén, president of Nokia’s Fastened Networks enterprise group, mentioned in a press release. “The house networking market is booming and whole-home Wi-Fi is a key enabler for this. At present’s Wi-Fi options nonetheless have severe points with sticky shoppers, interference, protection gaps and capability points. With Unium inside, our Nokia Wi-Fi answer will ship an unmatched person expertise, going past what normal mesh Wi-Fi options ship in the present day.”

Nokia mentioned the deal is predicted to shut in Q1 2018.