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Messaging Giant WhatsApp, Now With 465M Users, Will Add Voice Services In Q2 Of This Year | TechCrunch

Keep your eye on this beast. With 465 Million Users and Facebook investing 18 BILLION acquiring it, you know he is reaching for the same demographic the music industry, heck the world is!

Jan Koum, CEO of WhatsApp

Messaging Giant WhatsApp, Now With 465M Users, Will Add Voice Services In Q2 Of This Year | TechCrunch.


Today Jan Koum, the CEO of WhatsApp — acquired by Facebook last week for $19 billion — delivered another news bomb on top of last week’s milestone: he announced that the messaging giant is finally moving into voice — a move announced at MWC, the conference for mobile carriers that apps like WhatsApp are squarely disrupting.

The move will put WhatsApp — and by default Facebook — more squarely in competition against the likes of KakaoTalk, Line, BBM and other messaging apps that also offer voice services. Today, the co-CEO of KakaoTalk, Sirgoo Lee, noted that in countries like Korea his regional giant is wiping the floor with Facebook: The company has 130 million users in total, with 55 million of them in Korea, surpassing Facebook as the default mobile SMS platform, he noted. But as Koum noted today, it wants to grow its users everywhere, and use voice to do that, “including in Korea.”

“We use the least amount of bandwidth and we use the hell out of it,” he said. “We will focus on simplicity.” Voice will come to Android and iOS first and then following on some Nokia and BlackBerry phones, he added.

Koum today said that WhatsApp to date has 465 million monthly active users and 330 million daily users — an increase of 15 million on the number released just last week when news of the Facebook sale broke. “We couldn’t be more humbled by our growth,” he said. Interestingly, today is the company’s birthday. It was founded on February 24 in 2009.  Read More at



Spotify adds in-app merch stand to artist profiles | Music – CNET News.

You can now buy T-shirts, records, and other merchandise from your favorite artists within music-streaming service Spotify.

Ask us how you can get started using this service and how we can manage it for you.

Spotify adds in-app merch stand to artist profiles | Music - CNET News

Been there, streamed that, bought the T-shirt… you can now buy shirts, records, and other merchandise from your favorite artists through music-streaming service Spotify.

Turns including Beastie Boys, Banks, Grateful Dead, Bon Jovi, Deadmau5, and much-trumpeted new arrivals Led Zeppelin have been first to offer swag in Spotify over the last month, and the feature is now open to any artist to sign up and start selling anything they want, from wristbands to vinyl records, right there on their profile page.

Clicking on an item shows you a preview image and then takes you to the band’s online store, wherever that may be. Merchandise is available to buy if you’re listening to Spotify in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland.

Any band or artist can add a merch stand to their profile within the Spotify app. They can only offer three items at a time, but on the plus side there are no fees: neither Spotify nor Topspin — which provides sales and marketing software to artists — take a cut when a fan drops some cash on a new shirt, poster, or album.

Topspin has a similar deal to offer merchandise through forthcoming rival streaming serviceBeats Music, which is set to launch on Tuesday.

As digital music — and with it, music piracy — has eaten into the money made from selling music, other ways of making money have become increasingly important. Revenue streams such as merchandise and live concert tickets are two big ways for artists and labels to make money — and both can now be browsed and bought through Spotify. READ MORE

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