Jay-Z unveils Tidal
Popular music streaming platforms like Spotify and Pandora are to welcome a new competitor to the market. Artist Jay-Z, after acquiring Swedish streaming service Aspiro for $56 million in March, has re-launched the company’s main music streaming site, Tidal. Just a month later, the company is valued at $250 million according to the New York Post.
Jay-Z made an announcement at an event in New York this week, accompanied by some of the industry’s biggest names: Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Usher, and more. Since the event, the site has gained 100,000 paying subscribers where previously it had just 35,000.
In order to remain competitive, Tidal will add a lower tier of pay than it offered before, with a $9.99 monthly subscription option. It will also look to offer exclusive content in an attempt to gain traction on established competitors.
Airbnb opens to Cuba
In the wake of improved diplomatic relations with the U.S., popular home rental site Airbnb has just added a new destination to its platform – Cuba.
The Caribbean island has already seen more than 1,000 residents post properties, though only U.S. users can book them.
“We are actually plugging into an existing culture of micro-enterprise in Cuba,” said Airbnb’s regional director Kay Kuehne to the Associated Press. “The hosts in Cuba have been doing for decades what we just started doing seven years ago.”
The firm believes Cuba could become the biggest contributor to its site in the Latin America region. Its approach contradicts that of other travel related sites like Kayak and Booking.com that are ignoring the existence of Cuba as a target market, according to the BBC.
Android apps on PC
Google has been working to converge its Android platform with its Chrome browser, and that initiative took a big step forward this week. A software tool called Arc Welder allows Android applications to be run on any machine that also runs the Google Chrome browser.
It’s an exciting prospect to continue running applications from phone to PC or Mac (as the software capability includes Android and OS), but the functionality is still in its early stages and is primarily for the use of developers.
There is also skepticism whether a phone app will successfully convert to a computer – the Arc Welder software may not run the app as fast as if it were developed natively, and some developers worry that some of the app’s functionality or features will be lost in the conversion.
Still, if developers can smooth out a seamless transition of applications from phone to PC or Mac, then they’ll have another outlet from which to show off their app creations.
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