Sonos Will Stop Updating Older Speakers in May Despite 92% 'Still In Use'

Sonos will stop updating its older speakers and hardware in May, the company has announced.

Sonos says it is retiring old products because “they have been stretched to their technical limits in terms of memory and processing power.” The change will affect many Sonos customers, as 92% of its products are still in use.

The Sonos Play:5 speaker released in 2009, and all earlier devices are affected. The issue will affect anyone who is still using older hardware and even those who have mixed equipment.

Sonos says older products can still be used, but it will prevent new speakers from receiving updates. Sonos says it is because all speakers run on the same software, so old hardware will cause the system to lag behind.

The company plans on launching a way for customers to segment their older products in a separate speaker group. Let’s be clear here; these speakers still work just fine. Sonos speakers used to be a ‘for life’ purchase for many.

Sonos is offering a ‘recycling’ program that gives users 30% off of new hardware. But the recycling program bricks your old device, rendering it completely unusable afterward. This scheme isn’t some cash for clunkers buyback program Sonos is doing here; it’s planned obsolescence.

Sonos says its recycling program is about “sustainability,” but e-waste recyclers confirm that’s not entirely true.

Putting your old Play:5 speaker into after 21 days. Bricked devices cannot be reused and end up in a landfill. The bricked hardware can’t be repaired, either. The recycling process puts the speaker’s serial number on a blacklist on Sonos’ servers.

The news sparked outrage when it hit social media, which Sonos defended. The spokesperson said the Trade-Up program is intended to “help customers that are interested in upgrading to the next generation of Sonos products.” Well, now it seems like Sonos is forcing those customers’ hands if they want an up-to-date home entertainment system.

Amazon Claims More Than 55 Million Music Streaming Users

Amazon says its Amazon Music streaming service has surpassed 55 million customers. There are six different pricing tiers for its streaming service, including a free ad-supported tier.

Amazon Music first launched in October 2016, but it still lags behind and . Just last summer, Apple Music announced 60 million subscribers. Last quarter, Spotify confirmed it has around 113 million paying subscribers and 248 million users globally.

There is no drill-down for how many users are in each of the Amazon Music tiers. Amazon does reveal that the growth of Amazon Music Unlimited is up 50% over the last year.

Amazon Music Unlimited is available in the United States, UK, Germany, Japan, and Brazil with HD-quality. France, Italy, Spain, and Mexico were also significant contributors to growth, though HD-quality music is not available yet.

Amazon’s subscription tiers encourage Prime members to give its services a try. Amazon’s dominance in the smart speaker market means there’s an Amazon Music tier just for its Alexa devices. Prime users also get a discount on the Amazon Music Unlimited service, undercutting rivals.

Spotify is focusing on music and podcast exclusives to help differentiate. But during its last earnings call, Spotify gave some insights into Amazon’s growth.

Amazon’s music streaming business is picking up more ad-supported users than paying subscribers, according to Spotify.

“Our data also suggests that Amazon’s user base skews significantly more to ‘Ad-Supported’ than ‘Premium,’ and that average engagement on our platform is approximately 3x,” Spotify said during its .

Spotify says that Amazon’s ad-supported growth leaves the company open to continue growing its paid streaming service. Spotify needs to be careful here, though, Amazon’s ecosystem is attractive to people who want all services under one provider.

Amazon has its fingers in storage, video, reading, games, and now music. If Spotify isn’t careful to diversify beyond just music, larger tech companies like Apple and Amazon could surpass it.

Ja Morant Shows Off Early Look At The Nike Adapt BB 2.0

Ja Morant is one the most entertaining young stars in the entire NBA right now and continues to dominate on the fensive side the ball. He is currently under contract with Nike which makes him the perfect candidate to show f new models. A couple weeks ago, we reported on the Nike Adapt BB 2.0 and how some people overseas were getting their hands on some early pairs. Now, Morant is giving fans an ficial look at what this sneaker will resemble.

As you can see, the upper is black with a silver swoosh on the upper. From there, black and red are placed on the midsole. Overall, it’s an interesting look that matches the futuristic vibe. For those who don’t know, the Nike Adapt BB 2.0 features auto-lacing technology that can be controlled through an app. The original Nike Adapt BB was quite successful and we can only imagine what sort technological advances were made with this latest version.

For now, these are slated to drop on February 16th 2020 for $400 USD. In the meantime, let us know if you’ve tried auto-lacing sneakers yet and whether or not you enjoyed your experience. 

Nike Adapt BB 2.0 Introduces The Next Level In Self-Lacing Technology

The days wishing Marty McFly’s self-lacing kicks from Back to the Future Part II were real ficially came to an end when Nike introduced the HyperAdapt 1.0 silhouette back in 2016. Then came the Adapt BB a few years later, which took the auto-lacing technology to even further heights. Now, sneakerheads are being introduced to yet another advancement right in time for the new decade: the Nike Adapt BB 2.0.

The core advancements are seen within the updated power lacing system, in addition to Air Zoom Turbo added to the forefoot to give the silhouette a “bouncier” feel on the court. The Flyknit shroud from the first Adapt BB is removed to make slipping the shoe on easier, meanwhile a larger Swoosh and pixelated textures across the upper are mixed in for aesthetic purposes. The design overall, paired with the court-ready specs, makes this a dream sneaker for ballers the future.

The Nike Adapt BB 2.0 will debut on February 16, 2020. Stay tuned for pricing info, but get a better look at the silhouette up-close the lookbook imagery below:

Nike Adapt BB 2.0 Introduces The Next Level In Self-Lacing Technology

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Nike Adapt BB 2.0 Introduces The Next Level In Self-Lacing Technology
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Nike Adapt BB 2.0 Introduces The Next Level In Self-Lacing Technology
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Nike Adapt BB 2.0 Introduces The Next Level In Self-Lacing Technology
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Nike Adapt BB 2.0 Introduces The Next Level In Self-Lacing Technology
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Nike Adapt BB 2.0 Introduces The Next Level In Self-Lacing Technology
Nike

Jaylen Brown Posterizes LeBron James: NBA Twitter Reacts

There are few people in the world who can say they have dunked on LeBron James and lived to tell about it. And two them play for the Boston Celtics.

During Monday night’s blowout victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown took flight over the #WashedKing for an emphatic two-handed stuff. As seen in the footage embedded below, Brown was also hit with a technical for hanging on the rim and staring LeBron down – the cherry on top his posterizing finish.

Following Boston’s 139-107 win at the TD Garden, Brown spoke candidly about how ‘awesome’ it was to get one on LeBron.

“I ain’t going to lie, that was pretty nice, pretty awesome,” Brown said, per ESPN. “LeBron, he’s gotten so many other guys. Just to be out there against one the best players to ever play the game is an honor. I always like like that matchup and it gives me a little extra boost.”

James took it all in stride.

“Why would I take it personally? It’s part basketball,” he said, per ESPN. “It’s not the first time I got dunked on. It might not be the last time I get dunked on. But Jaylen’s been playing exceptionally well this year. It was a good play.”

Check out some the reactions from #NBATwitter in the tweets embedded below.

Jaylen Brown Posterizes LeBron James: NBA Twitter Reacts

Maddie Meyer/Getty s

Machine Gun Kelly Responds to Eminem’s New Album

Machine Gun Kelly reloads.

Less than a day after Eminem declared their beef over, the Cleveland rapper is seemingly not finished. Taking to Twitter on Friday, MGK shared his thoughts on Em’s new album Music To Be Murdered By.

“mad af I just stepped out a loud room to hear this bullshit,” he tweeted along with the poop emoji.

He also took another shot at his Detroit rival. “he’s been rich and mad for 20 years straight,” wrote MGK alongside the laughing and trash can emojis.

Em addressed their rivalry on the Young M.A.-assisted “Unaccommodating” off his surprise album Music To Be Murdered By. “But when they ask me is the war finished with MGK? Of course it is,” raps Em. “I cleansed him of his mortal sins, I’m God and the Lord forgives, even the devil worshippers / I’m moving on.”

He also mentions MGK on “Yah Yah” featuring Royce da 5’9″, Black Thought, Q-Tip, and Denaun. “Had the prenup ready / Fucked on her, shoulda seen her belly / She barely was three months pregnant / Bitch had it, gave me her baby, we named it Machine Gun Kelly,” he raps.

Eminem and MGK ignited their beef with a series of diss tracks in 2018. After hearing MGK’s verse on Tech N9ne’s “No Reason,” Eminem took aim at the Cleveland rapper on his Kamikaze cut “Not Alike.” Shortly after, MGK returned fire on “Rap Devil,” inspired by Em’s own 2013 track “Rap God.”

“im standing up for not just myself, but my generation,” MGK tweeted at the time. “im doing the same shit you did back in ur day.”

Music To Be Murdered By was released without warning on Friday. The album, which features Ed Sheeran, Juice WRLD, and Anderson .Paak, is expected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 300-325,000 equivalent album units.

Chinese Audio Platform Lizhi Goes Public on Wall Street

A leading Chinese podcasting and audio content app called Lizhi has gone public on Nasdaq.

Trading under the ticker symbol LIZI, Lizhi is a competitor of Ximalaya and Dragonfly. They are currently offering investors more than 4 million shares at an $11 IPO price.

Lizhi provides not only podcasts but also audiobooks and livestreasms. Unlike its competitors, if further offers user-generated content, and the app includes various recording tools to help make this happen.

Among those who have invested in Lizhi are:

  • Xiaomi
  • TPG
  • Matrix Partners China
  • Morningside Venture Capital
  • Orchid Asia

According to the company, as of the third quarter of last year, the app had 46.6 million monthly active users. Nearly 6 million of these actively create content for the platform.

Lizhi employs a unique model for monetizing podcasts.

While most podcasters monetize their content through sponsorships or user subscriptions, podcasters on Lizhi monetize their content through virtual gifts.

Recently, Marco Lai, who is the CEO of Lizhi, told TechCrunch that the company hopes to use the proceeds from their U.S. IPO to invest in product development. This includes developing their AI technology.

Lizhi reportedly uses AI in a number of different ways. First, it uses the technology to help it distribute its podcasts. It says that, by doing so, it has achieved a 31% click-through rate on its content. It also uses AI for the following purposes:

  • to monitor content
  • to give creators user engagement data
  • to provide features that lets it fine-tune recordings, reduce noise and create 3D audio

There seems to be plenty of room for the app to grow. According to the company, less than half of mobile users in China listened to online audio content back in 2018. This is expected to increase greatly in the coming years, especially as the market for smart speakers continues to grow in the country.

In support of this, the company has partnered with Baidu on its Xiaodu smart speakers.

Instagram’s Working On Bringing The DM Feature To Your Desktop

While Instagram has seemingly succeeded at most other features on the platform – introducing TV, getting users addicted and the ability to make money – there’s one aspect they have yet to add to the masses. Sliding into the DM your friend, crush or favorite celebrity happens almost very minute and those who do it the most have probably noticed that you can only do it on the mobile app as opposed to the desktop view.

Instagram's Working On Bringing The DM Feature To Your Desktop
Alexander Koerner/Getty s 

The new year has brought on a new update to the app since according to The Verge, the ability to DM another account is soon making its way to the desktop. According to the publication, only a “small percentage” users have the ability to so right now until the accessibility is perfect to roll out to all users. The desktop version will still include all the aspects the mobile with the ability to double-tap to like a message, create groups, send images from your desktop and see all unread messages. 

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (who now owns Instagram) previously told The New York Times that private messaging, groups and stories are the “three fastest-growing areas online communication.” It only makes sense that Instagram wants its users to be able to have all three on any given electronic their choice. 

Eminem Addresses Machine Gun Kelly Beef on ‘Music To Be Murdered By’

Eminem released his surprise album Music To Be Murdered By on Friday featuring Ed Sheeran, Juice WRLD, and Anderson .Paak.

On the Young M.A.-assisted “Unaccommodating,” the Detroit rapper addresses his rivalry with Machine Gun Kelly. After going back and forth with a series of diss tracks in 2018, he announces that the beef is over.

“But when they ask me is the war finished with MGK? Of course it is,” raps Em. “I cleansed him of his mortal sins, I’m God and the Lord forgives, even the devil worshippers / I’m moving on.”

As Complex points out, the “devil worshippers” line may be a reference to MGK’s 2018 Eminem diss track “Rap Devil,” where he accused Em of attempting to sabotage his career.

Marshall Mathers also mentions MGK on another Music To Be Murdered By track, the Busta Rhymes-sampled “Yah Yah,” which features Royce da 5’9″, Black Thought, Q-Tip, and Denaun. “I’m a sight to see, but you can see from the ring I’m wearing / Me and this game, we got married already,” says Em. “Had the prenup ready / Fucked on her, shoulda seen her belly / She barely was three months pregnant / Bitch had it, gave me her baby, we named it Machine Gun Kelly.”

Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly’s beef dates back to 2018. After hearing MGK’s verse on Tech N9ne’s “No Reason,” Eminem took aim at the Cleveland rapper on his Kamikaze cut “Not Alike.” Shortly after, MGK returned fire on “Rap Devil,” inspired by Em’s own 2013 track “Rap God.”

On “Unaccommodating,” Eminem also makes a controversial reference to Ariana Grande and the bombing outside her 2017 concert at Manchester Arena. “I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting,” he raps.

Elsewhere, he takes a stand against gun violence on “Darkness,” inspired by the 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas. The video encourages fans to register to vote in order to help change gun laws.

A Puppy Born With Green Fur Named Hulk Has The Internet Going Crazy

A North Carolina family was positively perplexed last Friday, when they discovered something rather unusual about one their newborn puppies. Their white German shepherd, Gypsy, gave birth to eight pups total, but the fourth one stood out a little from the rest. 

“I started freaking out because it was green,” Shana Stamey told local outlet WIS News 10 about the little guy, whose name is, fittingly, Hulk. “He was lime green and super mad, so yeah, he became Hulk,” she said. Other than this odd colouring, all eight puppies came out totally healthy. Despite Hulk’s clean bill health, his fur colour defect is, however, the result something a little gross. According to Suzanne Cianiciulli, a veterinarian technician at Junaluska Animal Hospital, the lime green colour comes from meconium, which is an infant mammal’s earliest stool. “The sack that they’re in when they’re in their mom, there can be meconium in there, and that tends to stain them,” she revealed. The poop stain will eventually fade away until it’s gone for good, as Hulk’s doggy mom licks him and he gets bathed by his human family. Of course, the crazy story had Twitter going nuts over the adorable little tennis ball pup.

However, some argued that the puppy was actually yellow, not lime green. The puppy quickly became another “black and blue/white and gold dress” dilemma.

Tristan Thompson Ejected From Cavs-Grizzlies Game For Slapping Jae Crowder’s Butt

Sports players are known for giving each other a supportive tap on the behind, but it’s gotten at least two pressional ballers in trouble over the last few days. First, it was reported by multiple news outlets that an arrest warrant was issued for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. after a video circulated showing him slapping the behind a security ficer in the Louisiana State University football team’s locker room. He faces charges  simple battery, a misdemeanor.

Tristan Thompson Ejected From Cavs-Grizzlies Game For Slapping Jae Crowder's Butt
Jason Miller / Stringer / Getty s

Another player from a Cleveland team found himself in trouble over a butt tap on Friday (January 17). Cavaliers star Tristan Thompson was ejected from the Memphis Grizzlies game in the third quarter as he stood at the free-throw line. As he waited for players to walk to their prospective areas, Grizzlies forward Jae Crowder—who is also Thompson’s former teammate—passed by Thompson before the Cavs baller gave him a tap on the butt.

Crowder turned around as if he was stunned and fended, looking to the referees for a call—and they gave him just that. Viewers were shocked that Thompson was tossed from the game, but many are claiming that his technical foul in the first-half may have played a role since the butt slap would be his second technical. Watch it below and let us know if you agree with the call.

Nike Air Max 2090 Officially Unveiled: Detailed Photos

Nike has always been a sneaker brand looking to bring consumers some futuristic designs. When it comes to the Air Max line, Nike has always been ahead the curb with new technologies and aesthetics. With their next Air Max model, Nike is looking to take us all the way to the distant future with the Nike Air Max 2090. 

Thanks to Sneaker News, we now have the ficial images the shoe and so far, it’s pretty interesting. The upper is covered in materials reminiscent the Nike React Element 87 while the Air Max unit looks a lot like 2019’s Air Max 200. As for the silhouette, the overall shape is a lot like the Air Max 270 except with completely different tooling that is on the chunkier side. Overall, it’s a dope Air Max that sneakerheads will certainly be interested in as soon as new colorways make their way to the internet.

For now, there is no release date for this shoe so stay tuned as we will be sure to bring you the latest news. In the meantime, let us know in the comments below what you think these.

Nike Air Max 2090 Officially Unveiled: Detailed Photos
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Nike Air Max 2090 Officially Unveiled: Detailed Photos
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Nike Air Max 2090 Officially Unveiled: Detailed Photos
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Nike Air Max 2090 Officially Unveiled: Detailed Photos
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Nike Air Max 2090 Officially Unveiled: Detailed Photos
Nike
Nike Air Max 2090 Officially Unveiled: Detailed Photos
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Tech N9ne Releases ‘EnterFear Level 2’ EP

Tech N9ne has leveled up for his latest project. After dropping the EnterFear Level 1 EP in November, the Strange Music boss has returned with a second offering titled EnterFear Level 2.

The veteran MC’s first release of 2020 contains four tracks and serves as a prelude to his next studio album. Guests featured on the EP include Landxn Fyre, Merkules, Scru Face Jean and Tech’s longtime collaborator Krizz Kaliko.

Check out Tech’s EnterFear Level 2 stream, cover art and tracklist below.

Tech N9ne Releases 'EnterFear Level 2' EP

1. Outdone
2. Leave It On the Flo f. Landxn Fyre
3. Phonk (Leave It On the Flo, Pt. 2) f. Merkules & Scru Face Jean
4. Smell Good f. Krizz Kaliko

Universal Music Poaches a Top Spotify Executive In Japan

One of Spotify Japan’s leading executives has jumped ship for Universal Music. Japan is the second-largest market in the world for recorded music.

Ichiro Tamaki joins Universal Music Japan starting February 15th. He will be responsible for heading Digital Strategy, data analytics, and platform partnerships for Universal Music Japan. Tamaki formerly served as Spotify Japan’s General Manager & President since 2016, when the service launched in the country.

Before his tenure at Spotify Japan, Tamaki served as a VP at Amazon. There he oversaw driving and expanding the Kindle digital content business in Japan.

Tamaki will become a core member of Universal Music Japan’s executive team. He will work to oversee the firm’s Data and Analytics and Platform Partnerships teams. He will also help lead UMJ’s digital and streaming strategy for Japan. Tamaki will be based in Tokyo and will report to Naoshi Fujikura, CEO of UMJ.

“We are committed to delivering the value of music for Japanese music fans and expanding the universe of opportunities for our artists. We strongly believe that Mr. Tamaki’s leadership will help us ensure and accelerate long-term digital growth while helping our artist talent to reach new audiences around the world,” Fujikura said in a statement.

Universal Music Japan handles BTS Japanese-language releases in a partnership with Big Hit Entertainment. All non-Japanese releases go through Sony and The Orchard.

For Spotify, the loss could have a significant impact. In an interview in 2016, the then-Spotify exec described a passion for both technology and tapping into music culture. “While Spotify is a company with a technology backbone, we’re also passionately dedicated to deepening our respect and understanding of music culture,” Fujikura said. 

Now, that techmusic big thinking comes to UMG.

Japan isn’t the only place Universal is poaching employees, either. In the last two years, Dave Rocco and Mike Biggane are two US Spotify execs joining UMG after leaving Spotify.

Billboard Parent Valence Media Is Selling Spin and Stereogum

Billboard parent company Valence Media announces it is selling off Spin and Stereogum. The move comes after just three years of acquiring both music publications.

Spin is going to Next Management Partners, a private equity firm specializing in digital media.

Valence says Spin’s audience has grown over 40% since the site successfully rebranded. Valence brought back the brand’s black and white logo from 1985.

Next Management Partners will assume all assets, the editorial team will continue publishing content. The equity firm’s Twitter profile says it “specializes in providing strategic capital for digital publishing and advertising technologies.”

Valence has reached an agreement with the leadership of Stereogum to repurchase the publication. Founder and Editor-In-Chief Scott Lapatine will become Stereogum’s CEO.

Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media group acquired both Spin and Stereogum in 2016. Vibe was also part of the initial deal, but it will remain with its current owners.

“As we’ve recently rolled out our new content strategy at Billboard and Vibe and have put our focus on data through the acquisition of Nielsen’s suite of music products and team, we’re at a point of transformation with our music media brands.

“It is a bittersweet moment as we announce new opportunities for Spin and Stereogum and bid farewell to these iconic and venerable music brands and their dedicated teams,” the statement reads.

“We are very excited for the future success of both brands, as we know the investment that the new owners of Spin have in store and what the leadership team at Stereogum has carved out. We wish both brands and teams the very best.”

Scott Lapatine excitedly shared the news with his Twitter followers early this morning. This marks the first time Stereogum is an independent publication since Pilot Group bought it in 2006. Stereogum got its start on the internet way back in 2002.