TikTok Outranks Instagram In Global App Downloads This Year

TikTok is taking the world by storm and leaving Instagram in the dust. A report looking at Q2 2019 shows TikTok still sits heartily above Instagram — at least when it comes to installs.

TikTok ranked number 4 ahead of Instagram in downloads for Q2 2019, with 28% year-over-year growth. The Chinese app has been locked in a battle with Instagram since acquiring musical.ly last year. TikTok’s US downloads have steadily increased each quarter in the US.

TikTok Outranks Instagram In Global App Downloads This Year

This chart from SensorTower report showcases just how much TikTok is growing quarterly. At the end of 2018, TikTok was crowned the most downloaded iPhone app in the world. It had more than 500 million global monthly users and over 800 million app installs.

Impressively, TikTok now has over 1 billion downloads worldwide. TikTok’s audience is massively supported by the 18-24 and 25-34 age bracket.

40% of TikTok’s userbase is estimated to be teenagers. TikTok appears to be evenly split between male and female users, but its young user base brings concerns. TikTok boasts a 28% engagement rate for its users.

TikTok Outranks Instagram In Global App Downloads This Year

Instagram’s audience is slightly older than TikTok, with the majority of users aged 18-29. Instagram’s audience is also skewed toward female users, while TikTok’s audience appears balanced. The main difference between the two is Instagram’s massive 95% engagement rate.

Many parents and governments are placing restrictions on TikTok. for two weeks before eventually allowing the app. After that much-publicized two week ban, the app saw .

Perhaps that result was obvious — especially given the younger demo.  Indeed, the more worried parents and governments get, the more installs TikTok is likely to reap.

But where’s the revenue going to come from?

TikTok is free to use for now without advertisements. Users can make in-app purchases for digital items like emojis and gifts for friends. From October 2017 to October 2018, TikTok saw a massive 275% increase in in-app purchases from users. This revenue model differs from Instagram, whose app is supported by ads.

Sounds like a potentially promising revenue stream ahead.  But one peek at this revenue chart shows why TikTok isn’t replacing Instagram any time soon.

TikTok Outranks Instagram In Global App Downloads This Year

Apple Quietly Expands Siri Support for 100,000+ Radio Stations

Apple has added support for over 100,000 live radio stations through its integration with TuneIn and iHeartRadio.

Siri users on iPhone, iPad, and HomePod devices can now access these radio stations.

Apple first announced the upcoming integration at WWDC earlier this year. The live radio stations were billed as a fall iOS 13 feature, but support for Siri live radio currently works on the HomePod.  iPhones and iPads running the iOS 13 beta build also have access to live radio.

Apple’s goal is to offer hyper-local radio and a selection of great top stations for HomePod. One user reports that many German stations are available, suggesting that this may be a global rollout. Asking Siri to play a particular station will prompt her to return the service providing the station.

For example, “play radio station BBC Radio One” prompts Siri to say “playing BBC Radio One, provided by TuneIn.”

Early beta testers note that Siri is pretty finicky with the language needed to activate the feature. Without an ask phrase featuring the word ‘radio station,’ Siri defaults to Apple Music searches. Presumably, the is helping Apple test Siri’s natural language recognition for radio station selection.

Radio playback is controllable using the Apple Music app. You can also search for stations by name in the Apple Music search tab. Stations appear in Apple Music’s Recently Played list, allowing them to be accessed quickly.

Among the features Apple is planning to launch this fall are several upgrades for the HomePod.

One of those is an easier music handoff between the iPhone and HomePod unit.   will also offer voice support for multiple users. Each user will receive contextually relevant music recommendations. HomePod can detect up to six different voice profiles when the update launches this fall.

Apple is still well behind Google and Amazon when it comes to natural language processing.  Google’s assistant feels the most natural at handling requests, but that’s an area Apple has been working to improve.

 

U.S. Patent Office Reveals Microsoft's Next Gen AirPods Killer Dubbed the Surface Pen

Apple’s wireless earbuds, the AirPods, have proven a success for the Cupertino tech giant.  Now, Microsoft wants in.

Providing an estimated amount of units sold, Ming-Chi Kuo, a trusted Apple analyst at TF International Studies, says the company sold around 16 million AirPods in 2017.  That number soon rose to 28 million a year later.

Last year, he predicted AirPods sales would reach 55 million units in 2019, 80 million in 2020, and 110 million in 2021.  Consumers, Kuo said, would push toward upgrading Apple’s wireless earbuds rather than their iPhones.

The Cupertino tech giant has fiercely guarded the overall sales total of the AirPods.

Now, with the success of its wireless earbuds, a rival wants in.

Introducing Microsoft’s AirPods Surface Pen.

According to Patently Apple, which about the ‘resurrection’ of Apple Music Up Next – its former indie-centered mini-documentary series – the U.S. Patent Office has published a patent application from Microsoft.

Currently known as the Surface Pen, the new wireless device has a “capacitive stylus nib” along with an earpiece dub.

The earpiece will include a speaker, an earpiece battery, and a wireless radio built right in.  The wireless radio remains configured to “communicatively” pair with a host device.  This comes several months after Microsoft patented a foldable dual display device first revealed by Intel.

Speaking about the dual display device, Patently Apple explained,

Devices like [Intel’s] Copper Canyon, on the other hand, are being designed for enterprise and business professionals along with college students where multitasking is more of a priority as is a manageable form factor.

The website added Microsoft wants to add a next-gen Surface device as well as a “revolutionary” Surface Pen accessory doubling as a wireless earpiece.

By flexibly bending the pen around the user’s ear, the user will be free to listen to music or use it as a presentation slide controller.

The schematics published by Microsoft reveal a computing system and the Surface Pen in different modes of operation.

You can view several pictures of how the device will work below.

(Click to enlarge.)

 

(Click to enlarge.)

 


 

Sharing Large Files with a Booking Agent – Digital Music News

Learn how to snag a booking agent with file sharing services.

There’s already so much involved in jumpstarting a music career, but here’s another item to check off of the list.

With all the work that has gone into your career so far, it’s likely you wouldn’t be able to do it on your own (if you can, good for you, but consider getting some help).  While it’s great to have a support system of friends and family to encourage you, it’s vital to have an artist manager to help you spread your sound, build a fanbase, and book shows.

Once you start getting into the flow of that, you may want to consider hiring a booking agent — someone who can book venues for your performance and other public appearances.

A large part of the budding relationship between a performer and a booking agent is sharing music, ideas, and other content.  If a booking manager decides they like your sound and are interested in pursuing a contract of sorts, then you will likely have to send over plenty of music files and possibly video recordings of live performances.

You’re probably aware of how much space those files take up on your computer.  But just think how big of a pain it must be to send them!  Luckily, Dropbox makes this entire process super easy.

n this article, we will discuss:

  • What is a booking agent and how to find one
  • Sharing files with a booking manager

While you may have had to deal with massive email files and long chains before, Dropbox allows an artist and a booking agent to really focus on the music instead of getting wrapped up in the technicalities.

A booking agent is different from a manager in that the former works closely with concert venues and helps an artist book the big gigs that help start some buzz.

What is a booking agent?

As previously mentioned, a booking agent is the person in charge for scheduling live performances and other public appearances. As your fanbase continues to grow, you’re going to want to keep booking shows, hoping to eventually headline them, and begin touring. Performing live is vital to your burgeoning career, since booking gigs and delivering killer performance will build on existing buzz about you.

With all of the different venues and people involved in that process, it makes sense to have a person responsible for booking those dates for you. Here are some other things a booking agent will take care of for an artist (in addition to help from the manager):

  • Establish partnership with venues
  • Set expectations for a performance
  • Ensure excellent hospitality at venues
  • Organize travel
  • Handle PR

Booking managers certainly take a load off the performer and allow you to focus on the music and the things that matter to you most. If you can land a booking agent, it probably means you already have a decent buzz going around about you. A booking agent can help keep this process moving—they book venues to capitalize on your existing buzz, then the killer performances and tours at large venues help create even more buzz. Makes sense.

Landing a booking agent is all about networking.

How do I get a booking agent?

When it comes to finding a booking agent, it’s all about networking. For one thing, grow your own network. Establish relationships with others in the field, such as:

  • Radio promoters
  • Venue buyers
  • Publicists
  • Label reps

By getting in contact with the right people, they can get you connected with others who are possibly interested in your sound and advancing your career. Connecting with these people can help you book more performances. These performances can land you on a booking agent’s radar, potentially ending up for a contract.

You might want to look at the booking agent situation with a “whatever happens, happens” kind of approach, but it could be useful to streamline your search. Connect with venues and people in the industry you know are associated with your type of music, and go from there.

When searching for a booking agent, make sure you know yourself and your sound. A booking agent is unlikely to pair with an artist if the agent doesn’t normally pursue the same type of music. So this may seem obvious, but try to deliver your music to people who want to hear it.

Delivering music, you say? How does that work?

You know how much space all of those recordings take up on your computer. Luckily, Dropbox makes sharing those files with others easy.

Sharing large files with booking agents

Networking seems to be all the rage in all kinds of businesses and the same goes for the music industry. Once you establish those connections—particularly, with a booking agent—it’s likely they’re going to want you to send over some of your stuff. They might want to see a live performance video, or snatch a recording of your new EP. Of course, you have all of this stuff stored on your computer somewhere, but you might be a bit lost when it comes to sharing those files with everybody else.

Fortunately, Dropbox gives artists the perfect platform to send large files to a booking agent. All you need to do is locate the file and create a shared link for it using Dropbox, then send the link in an email or text for instant sharing. These links can be sent from any kind of device, be it your Mac or iPhone.

In addition, these files will be in your control for the duration of their journey from your computer to your booking agent’s, or anyone else who may be involved. Links are easily shared and have the option of being password-protected in order to edit the file, or you as the sender of the file can set an expiration date for your file link.

While the entire process of finding a booking agent and sealing the deal can be very daunting, Dropbox makes the file sharing part—a part that you will most definitely encounter—that much easier.

What other questions do you have about sharing large files with a booking agent? Let us know in the comments!

This is a sponsored post for Dropbox. All opinions are my own. Dropbox is not affiliated with nor endorses any other products or services mentioned.

Apple Music May Be Worth $15-$20 Billion Alone

Just how much is Apple Music worth exactly?

According to one analyst, Apple’s music streaming platform may be more successful than the Cupertino company has let on.

In a note published yesterday, Evercore ISI analyst Amit Daryanani explored how the company’s shift to its Services division has proven successful.

Giving some backstory into the Cupertino company’s recent litigation – multiple lawsuits against the App Stores, for example, from frustrated consumers and companies – Daryanani explained that “pending litigation and developer frustration [as] likely the greatest threats to Apple Services growth.”

As the company now faces antitrust investigations and most recently, , some analysts have claimed that authorities may force the Cupertino tech giant to break up.

While the move remains a highly unlikely outcome following years of litigation, other developers may follow Netflix’s lead and force consumers to subscribe outside of the App Store, a move that allows them to keep the 30% cut Apple typically takes for themselves.

Daryanani explained,

“The top 20 App Store apps account for about 18% of App Store revenue, and it’s possible these developers could push to negotiate lower fees.  We estimate the App Store contributed about $1.50 to fiscal 2018 earnings per share (about 13%).

“In our worst-case scenario, we assume the App Store developer payout is increased from 70% to 95%, which could drive an about 11% decline in EPS.”

Should the company break up its Services divisions, however, Daryanani explained that Apple Music may have a higher valuation than investors expect.

“Spotify currently trades at about 3.9 times revenue or 263 times paid subscribers,” the analyst noted. “Applying those multiples to our fiscal 2018 Apple music estimates of about $5.1 billion and 54 million subscribers would value Apple Music at $15-$20 billion.”

Currently, the company has a market valuation of around $900 billion.

In another analysis posted last week, Daryanani said investors are focusing too heavily on Apple’s hardware offerings.  Yet the company has remained resilient.  Thus, shareholders will ultimately reap the benefits in the long run.

While investors have been hyper-fixated on iPhone unit sales and adoption trends, we think a key positive for Apple is its resilient and recurring free cash flow generation.  We expect Apple to return much of the ongoing free cash flow generation back to shareholders.

 


 

Apple Confirms That It Isn't Killing iTunes Music Downloads – Yet

So, is iTunes really dead?

Apparently, not just yet.

Aiming to ease users’ anxieties over their previously purchased content on iTunes, Apple has officially released a support document detailing exactly what will happen once macOS Catalina officially launches.

Explaining people can find their favorite features and back catalog “in three new and more focused apps,” the Cupertino tech giant writes,

Here’s what to expect.

Music that you’ve imported or purchased will be in the new Apple Music app.

Music playlists and smart playlists that you’ve created in iTunes will be in the new Apple Music app.

The iTunes Store will still be available to buy music on Mac, iOS, PC, and Apple TV.

iTunes Gift Cards and iTunes credits will be maintained and can be used with the new apps and the App Store.

iPhone, iPad, and iPod backup, restore, and syncing will move to Finder.

Movies and TV shows that you purchased or rented from iTunes will be in the new Apple TV app.

Use the Apple TV app for Mac for future movie and TV purchases or rentals.

Podcasts that you subscribed to or added to iTunes will now be in the new Apple Podcasts app.

Audiobooks that you purchased from iTunes will now be in the updated Apple Books app.

Use the Apple Books app for Mac for future audiobook purchases.

In addition, users can find their “ripped” and imported music along with purchased media content much “faster and easier.”

The dedicated Music, TV, and Podcast apps will also organize users’ files just as in the original iTunes.

Your previous iTunes Store purchases and synced libraries will not change on any of your devices.

For those worried about music downloads, the Cupertino tech giant has confirmed people can still purchase songs and albums.

The iTunes Store on Mac can easily be found in the improved Sidebar in the Apple Music app.  The iTunes Store will remain the same as it is today on iOS, PC, and Apple TV.  And, as always, you can access and download all of your purchases on any of your devices.

Pushing users away from individual song and album downloads, the company writes people can stream music and download over 50 million songs for offline listening on Apple Music, with an added bonus.

If you subscribe to Apple Music, you can also choose to show or hide the iTunes Store to simplify the experience further.

People can also continue to purchase movies, TV shows, and audiobooks on macOS Catalina.  Users can find their previous media purchases on the dedicated TV and Books apps.

For users still wondering how to sync with their current iPhones, iPods, and iPads, the company explains how to quickly manage your device.

All of the ways you manage devices in iTunes will soon appear in the Finder on Mac.  Your sync settings and previous backups in iTunes will be kept safe on your Mac after updating to macOS Catalina.  Now that devices appear in Finder, it’s also easier to drag and drop files you want to transfer all in one place.

As a reminder, users on Windows can still download and use the original iTunes software to access their back catalog as well as purchase new content.

 


 

Apple’s New iPod Touch Features Group FaceTime & AR Experiences

Apple is always rolling out new features to accompany its always growing selection iPhone’s iPod’s, Macbooks and more. Having already announced the upcoming AirPod 3’s that will have noise canceling features, Apple has now unveiled it’s latest iPod Touch since it’s 2015 edition. The biggest component the update is the Apple-designed A10 Fusion chip that improves the performance games and the device’s AR (augmented reality) technology. 

Apple's New iPod Touch Features Group FaceTime & AR Experiences
Apple.com

Group FaceTime is another bonus the new iPod as well as the home button. Most new Apple devices are opting out the home button, but the new iPod is sticking to its roots. “We’re making the most affordable iOS device even better with performance that is twice as fast as before, Group FaceTime and augmented reality starting at just $199,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president Product Marketing. “The ultra-thin and lightweight design iPod touch has always made it ideal for enjoying games, music and so much more wherever you go.”

The new iPhone is available to order online as now and will be available in stores later this week. While the news may be exciting to some, it’s easy to question just how well the product will sell considering how most phones have the capabilities to do what the new iPod is boasting about, and more. 

Rumor: iPhone 11 Could Feature Dual Bluetooth Streams

Ever since the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, Apple has been working hard to make wireless audio the default for smartphones.

That future may become one step closer with the iPhone 11, if recent rumors are to be believed.  According to a rumor from a Japanese Mac blog, Apple is exploring ways to allow audio signals to be transmitted to two separate Bluetooth devices.

Some Samsung smartphones already have a dual wireless audio feature, but they require Bluetooth 5.0 to function. Apple could potentially implement dual audio in the same way, since many older iPhones already support Bluetooth 5.0.

The iPhone 8, iPhone X, and iPhone XS all support Bluetooth 5.0 and could be updated to support the new feature a software update.

The Japanese blog cites a supply chain rumor, so the reliability on this source isn’t that great. Still, it might be something that materializes, especially considering that Apple is desperately in need of a reason to sell people on the newest iPhone. Flagging iPhone and iPad sales have Apple looking towards building a future .

Supporting multiple audio streams means that the user could connect two pairs of AirPods to the same iPhone. You could also connect the phone to a car’s Bluetooth system while keeping your Bluetooth headset connected. There are lots of possibilities here, but wireless audio still sucks.

What Else Is New?

Aside from the possibility of supporting multiple Bluetooth devices at once, the iPhone 11 may bring back Touch ID. A Barclays report says that Apple plans to reintroduce Touch ID alongside Face ID to create .

Unfortunately, it’s likely that the 2019 iPhones will miss out on 5G technology, as that is slated for the 2020 phones. The iPhone XR2 is stuck with a lower-resolution LCD, while the 2020 iPhone will likely have an OLED. This year’s iPhone is also rumored to have an ugly camera bump, too.

Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Apple for Allegedly Selling iTunes Users' Personal Information

Several weeks ago, and speaking with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed online privacy now faces a huge “crisis.”

He explained,

Privacy in itself has become a crisis.  It’s of that proportion – a crisis.

Stating that consumers are “not our product,” Cook added his company doesn’t focus on using consumers’ personal information for advertising.

Our products are iPhones and iPads.  We treasure your data.  We want to help you keep it private and keep it safe.

Now, his company’s ‘pro-privacy’ stance is being put to the test.

Has Apple sold your iTunes information without your permission?

Leigh Wheaton, Jill Paul, and Trevor Paul, three iTunes users from Rhode Island and Michigan, have filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

All three allege the Cupertino tech giant has unlawfully collected and sold their iTunes information to third parties without their consent.  This includes the full names and home addresses of consumers along with listening information, including genres and specific titles of music tracks.

The 51-page lawsuit reads,

To supplement its revenues and enhance the formidability of its brand in the eyes of mobile application developers, Apple sells, rents, transmits, and/or otherwise discloses, to various third parties, information reflecting the music that its customers purchase from the iTunes Store application that comes pre-installed on their iPhones.

This, the lawsuit continues, clearly contradicts billboards placed in Las Vegas, touting the company’s “supposedly pro-consumer positions on issues of data privacy.”

Posting a picture of the Las Vegas billboard, the advertisement reads,

“What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”

Wheaton, Jill, and Trevor add,

The statement on the billboard is plainly untrue.

Alleging Apple discloses ‘Personal Listening Information’ to third parties, these companies then append the information “to a myriad of other categories of personal information pertaining to Apple’s customers.”  The information sold also includes age, household income, educational background, and marital status.  The companies then sell this data to other third parties “in the open market.”

In addition, all three accuse the Cupertino tech giant of “profiting handsomely” from this sale.

It does so at the expense of its customers’ privacy and statutory rights because Apple does not notify let alone obtain the requisite written consent from its customers prior to disclosing their personal information.

According to Apple’s Privacy Policy, the company only collects “non-personal information…in a form that does not, on its own, permit direct association with any specific individual.”  However, this same policy states they “reserve the right” to collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-personal information “for any purpose.”

We may collect information regarding customer activities on our website, iCloud services, our iTunes Store, App Store, Mac App Store, App Store for Apple TV, and iBooks Stores, and from our other products and services.

So far, the Cupertino tech giant has yet to issue a statement over the case.

You can view the class-action lawsuit below.

 


 

Chris Brown’s "Wobble Up" Video Sparks Backlash From Artistic Community

Chris Brown‘s recent “Wobble Up” single, which features contributions from both G-Eazy and Nicki Minaj, has become somewhat a runaway hit, having already garnered over eight million YouTube views. Unfortunately, not everybody is feeling the track, especially those who feel slighted by the clip’s artistic direction. Highsnobriety recently highlighted that visual artists – including Marius Sperlich, Tony Futura, Vanessa McKeown, and Catherine Losing – felt that “Wobble Up” ripped f their work without even bothering to provide due credit. Not only that, but the article pinpoints the work  Jamie Calderon, including his “censored fruit” series, which also went uncredited. 

Marius Sperlich also spoke with Highsnobriety, explaining that the current artistic landscape leaves artists vulnerable to predatory practices. “At first I was made aware the strong similarities my works with the corresponding scenes from the music video by my community,” he explains. “The funny thing is that I am so used to this, that I wasn’t even surprised. My work is used on album covers, iPhone-cases, clothes, digital designs and so on-without permission. It’s not easy to claim your rights these days.”

Catherine Losing also spoke about “Wobble Up’s” visuals, which she blasts for having lifted from several her peers. “What got me is the number artists that they copied,” Losing says. “I’ve been shooting conceptual still life photography for 10 years and have a really good knowledge my peer’s work. I counted five photographers whose work had clearly been copied.” Tony Futura also took a few shots at Brown and co-director Arrad, stating “I‘m not even that angry. It‘s just sad. Sad for all artists and creatives out there that strive to create original ideas and try to enrich our world with their work. It’s sad that Marius, me and the other artists were not involved in any way and it’s sad that our work gets dragged through some lame ass music video that wouldn’t be worth anything without our genuine work.”

Be sure to check out the full piece over at Highsnobriety; respect to them for giving the artists a voice, and helping raise awareness to stories this nature. We can only hope those who feel slighted can find some compensation for their work, though by all accounts, it may be too little too late. 

]

Handing Apple a Major Setback, Supreme Court Allows App Store Antitrust Case to Proceed

In a closely watched antitrust case, the Supreme Court has now ruled against Apple in an App Store monopoly lawsuit.

Ruling 5-4 against the Cupertino giant, the ruling iPhone users to take on Apple over App Store commissions.

The Supreme Court upheld the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Apple v. Pepper decision.  The Cupertino giant had claimed users on the iOS App Store didn’t count as its core customers.

Robert Pepper, a Chicago resident, first the antitrust lawsuit against the company.  Alleging Apple has created a monopoly, he argued Apple has forced iPhone users to purchase apps directly through the App Store.  The company also takes a 30% cut on sales of apps, games, movies, songs, and subscriptions sold on the platform.  In addition, the Cupertino giant forces developers to price their products ending in .99.  Pepper argued the company’s 30% App Store commission on sales remains an “unfair use of monopoly power.”

A federal judge in Oakland, California – friendly to tech giants – initially dismissed the lawsuit.  Consumers, the judge stated, don’t purchase apps and other items directly.   The company charges developers, not consumers, the higher fees.

Yet, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned the dismissal.   Apple classifies as a distributor, ruled the court, as it sells iPhone apps directly to consumers.

The Cupertino giant had argued the Supreme Court has previously limited damages for antitrust conduct to ‘direct,’ overcharged consumers instead of ‘indirect’ victims who paid an overcharge passed onto others.  The company insisted it only serves as an agent for developers who sell directly to consumers.

Furthermore, argued the Cupertino giant, the lawsuit could have dangerous ramifications for the e-commerce industry.  E-commerce remains a growing market in the US, reaching $452 billion in sales in 2017.  StubHub, Amazon, and eBay are among the companies who use an ‘agent-based sales model.’  Should the Supreme Court rule against Apple, people would sue these companies, leading to a “quagmire” courts seek to avoid.

Critics, including watchdog organizations, have long criticized the agent-based sales model.  Should the Supreme Court rule against consumers, they argue, “monopolistic conduct could expand unchecked.”

Rejecting Apple’s decision that only developers – and not consumers – can sue over the 30% commission, Justin Brett Kavanaugh wrote,

Apple’s line-drawing does not make a lot of sense, other than as a way to gerrymander Apple out of this and similar lawsuits.

The Supreme Court sided with Pepper, stating consumers who purchase from the App Store aren’t prohibited “from suing Apple under the antitrust laws.”  At this stage of the lawsuit, however, the court doesn’t “assess the merits of the plaintiffs’ antitrust claims against Apple, nor [does it] consider any other defenses Apple might have.”  The court may ultimately send the case back to trial.

Today’s initial ruling, however, may serve as a damning legal precedent worldwide.  Currently, the Cupertino giant remains in legal hot water over the 30% commission fee in Europe.  Last week, in a case brought on by Spotify, the European Union a formal investigation into Apple’s business practices.

The Cupertino giant has yet to issue a statement over the ruling.

You can view the Supreme Court opinion below.

 


 

Offset Surprises Cardi B for Mother’s Day

Cardi B celebrated her first Mother’s Day with some sweet surprises.

Following her set at Rolling Loud in Miami on Friday, Offset showered his wife with some lavish gifts including a pair of pink and red Birkin bags, which cost upwards of $12,000.

An emotional Cardi took to social media to show off her designer accessories. “I’m not saying I got the best husband ever, but I really got the best husband ever. Thank you, babe! I love you,” she gushed before hugging Offset.

This is Cardi’s first Mother’s Day with her daughter Kulture, who was born last July. The adorable baby can also be seen playing with an iPhone at the end of Cardi’s video, while her mother tells her to “take that out your mouth!”

Those weren’t the only gifts Offset gave Cardi. He also bought his-and-hers matching Audemars Piguet watches, iced out in diamonds.

A grateful Cardi thanked her husband for his generosity. “So happy,” she wrote. “I feel like the luckiest person in the world.”

Cardi has a lot to be thankful for this Mother’s Day. Earlier this week, she launched her second Fashion Nova collection, which has nearly sold out and raked in over $1 million in just 24 hours after going on sale.

Offset Surprises Cardi B for Mother's Day

Rita Ora Former Accountant Sentenced To 5 Years In Jail Over $3M Fraud: Report

Rita Ora‘s company suffered a £2.4M loss over the past seven years and it’s not because business wasn’t booming. Her former accountant, Andrew Munday, has been convicted after committing a £3.35m fraud.

Rita Ora Former Accountant Sentenced To 5 Years In Jail Over $3M Fraud: Report
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty s

Andrew Munday used the money he defrauded from Ora to purchase himself Star Wars memorabilia, houses as well as a membership at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Munday also had another high prile client, England rugby captain Matt Dawson, whose company was defrauded £1.08 by the accountant.

The prosecutor on the case, Simon Davis, said that that the first instance that they spotted fraud was by Munday’s employers on Ora’s company which Davis said was the “tip the iceberg.”

Judge Rupert Mayo told Northampton Crown Court during Munday’s conviction, “The individuals who trusted you with their bank sign-in details and therefore trusted you with their hard-earned wealth have been emotionally harmed by the abuse trust which you perpetrated.”

Munday was accused using the money he siphoned from clients to fund his habits and a “lavish lifestyle.” He’s reportedly made efforts to pay back the clients he defrauded but he’s come up £710,000 short. He has paid back a bit back money to his clients. His attorney, Nigel Edwards QC. said that Munday’s addiction to gambling was a “principal driver” for committing these crimes.

“He fers sincere apologies to all those who he defrauded,” he said.

Spotify Unveils Stations, a Leanback Listening App, in Australia

Nearly a year and a half ago, Spotify launched a separate streaming music app on Android.

Dubbed Stations, the app allowed users to listen to curated music stations for free.

The app description on Google Play reads,

With the world’s music at your fingertips, finding the right thing to play can feel like a challenge.  Stations gets you to music instantly—no searching or typing needed.  As Stations learns more about what you like, it creates stations packed with the music you love, made just for you.

As explained through the description, the simplified minimalistic app focuses on leanback listening through personalized radio stations.

Revealed as an experiment by Spotify, Stations currently has over 10,000 installs and a 3.9 rating.  Most users have complained the app continues to freeze during playback and often shows the following message.

An error occurred when creating your artist station.

Now, Spotify has made the app available on iOS, but with a major drawback.

Simplified streaming with a minimalistic design…but only if you live in Australia.

The streaming music giant has rolled out Stations on iOS, available only to iPhone and iPad users in Australia.

Shortly after launching Stations, the app automatically starts playing music.  Users can scroll up and down to switch between playlists instead of having to manually select one.  Stations remains designed for people searching for a “radio-like’ experience without a ton of manual input.  This had led people to call the app a Pandora rip-off.

Like the company’s main app, customized stations include Discovery Weekly, Release Radar, and a Favorites playlist.

In order to start using Stations, however, you’ll need a Spotify account (either freemium or paid).  In an Australian support page, the company explains how to download the app on iOS.

Head to the App Store on iOS, or the Google Play Store on Android.

Download and open Spotify Stations.

Log in to an existing Spotify account or, if you’re new to Spotify, tap SIGN UP.

Enjoy the music!  Scroll up or down to change the station and unlock personalized stations based on your listening, such as Favorites, Discover Weekly, and Release Radar.

Whether the app will eventually roll out to other regions remains unclear.  Stations on Android has yet to launch in the U.S.

 


Featured image by Spotify.

Arrest Warrant Issued for Offset Over Cell Phone Smackdown

Offset is a wanted man.

Police have issued an arrest warrant for the Migos rapper for allegedly smacking a cell phone out of a fan’s hand at a Target store in Sandy Springs, Ga. According to TMZ, Offset was shopping when a fan named Junior Gibbons pulled out his iPhone and tried taking video of the rapper.

The fan said, “What up, Offset?” to which Cardi B’s husband reportedly responded, “Get the f*** out of my face.” Offset then knocked the phone out of Gibbons’ hand and onto the floor, shattering the screen.

Cops investigated and got a warrant after Gibbons filed a police report last Friday. It’s unclear what charges Offset could face, but it’s considered a felony because the phone costs $800.

Just last month, Offset was charged with three counts following an incident in July 2018 where he was arrested for allegedly making an illegal lane change.