Startups Weekly: Spotify gets acquisitive and Instacart screws up

Did anyone else listen to season one of StartUp, Alex Blumberg’s OG Gimlet podcast? I did, and I felt like a proud mom this week reading stories of the major, first-of-its-kind Spotify acquisition of his podcast production company, Gimlet. Spotify also bought Anchor, a podcast monetization platform, signaling a new era for the podcasting industry.

On top of that, Himalaya, a free podcast app I’d never heard of until this week, raised a whopping $100 million in venture capital funding to “establish itself as a new force in the podcast distribution space,” per Variety.

The podcasting business definitely took center stage, but Lime and Bird made headlines, as usual, a new unicorn emerged in the mental health space and Instacart, it turns out, has been screwing its independent contractors.

  • Spotify gets acquisitive

As mentioned, Spotify, or shall we say Spodify, gobbled up Gimlet and Anchor. More on that here and a full analysis of the deal here. Key takeaway: it’s the dawn of podcasting; expect a whole lot more venture investment and M&A activity in the next few years.

  • Instacart “maliciously misappropriated gratuities”

This week’s biggest “yikes” moment was when reports emerged that Instacart was offsetting its wages with tips from customers. An independent contractor has filed a class-action lawsuit against the food delivery business, claiming it “intentionally and maliciously misappropriated gratuities in order to pay plaintiff’s wages even though Instacart maintained that 100 percent of customer tips went directly to shoppers.” TechCrunch’s Megan Rose Dickey has the full story here, as well as Instacart CEO’s apology here.

  • Slack and Postmates move closer to the public markets 

Slack confidentially filed to go public this week, its first public step toward either an IPO or a direct listing. If it chooses the latter, like Spotify did in 2018, it won’t issue any new shares. Instead, it will sell existing shares held by insiders, employees and investors, a move that will allow it to bypass a roadshow and some of Wall Street’s exorbitant IPO fees. Postmates confidentially filed, too. The 8-year-old company has tapped JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America to lead its upcoming float.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman delivers remarks on “Redesigning Reddit” during the third day of Web Summit in Altice Arena on November 08, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Horacio Villalobos-Corbis/Contributor)

  • Deal of the week

It was particularly tough to decide which deal was the most notable this week… But the winner is Reddit, the online platform for chit-chatting about niche topics — r/ProgMetal if you’re Crunchbase editor Alex Wilhelm . The company is raising up to $300 million at a $3 billion valuation, according to TechCrunch’s Josh Constine. Reddit has been around since 2005 and has raised a total of $250 million in equity funding. The forthcoming Series D round is said to be led by Chinese tech giant Tencent at a $2.7 billion pre-money valuation.

  • The very first mental health unicorn

Runner up for deal of the week is Calm, the app that helps users reduce anxiety, sleep better and feel happier. The startup brought in an $88 million Series B at a $1 billion valuation. With 40 million downloads worldwide and more than one million paying subscribers, the company says it quadrupled revenue in 2018 from $20 million to $80 million and is now profitable — not a word you hear every day in Silicon Valley.

Here’s your weekly reminder to send me tips, suggestions and more to kate.clark@techcrunch.com or @KateClarkTweets. 

  • Scooters

I listened to the Bird CEO’s chat with Upfront Ventures’ Mark Suster last week and wrote down some key takeaways, including the challenges of seasonality and safety in the scooter business. I also wrote about an investigation by Consumer Reports that found electric scooters to be the cause of more than 1,500 accidents in the U.S. I’m also required to mention that e-scooter unicorn Lime finally closed its highly anticipated round at a $2.4 billion valuation. The news came just a few days after the company beefed up its executive team with a CTO and CMO hire.

  • More startup cash

Databricks raises $250M at a $2.75B valuation for its analytics platform
Retail technology platform Relex raises $200M from TCV
Raisin raises $114M for its pan-European marketplace for savings and investment products
Self-driving truck startup Ike raises $52M
Signal Sciences secures $35M to protect web apps
Ritual raises $25M for its subscription-based women’s daily vitamin
Little Spoon gets $7M for its organic baby food delivery service
By Humankind picks up $4M to rid your morning routine of single-use plastic

  • Turvo gets the spotlight

We don’t spend a ton of time talking about the growing, venture-funded, tech-enabled logistics sector, but one startup in the space garnered significant attention this week. Turvo poached three key Uber Freight employees, including two of the unit’s co-founders. What’s that mean for Uber Freight? Well, probably not a ton… Based on my conversation with Turvo’s newest employees, Uber Freight is a rocket ship waiting to take off.

  • Surprise! There’s money in women’s brands

Who knew that investing in female-focused brands could turn a profit for investors? Just kidding, I knew that and this week I have even more proof! This is L., a direct-to-consumer, subscription-based retailer of pads, tampons and condoms made with organic materials sold to P&G for $100 million. The company, founded by Talia Frenkel, launched out of Y Combinator in August 2015. According to PitchBook, it was backed by Halogen Ventures, 500 Startups, Fusion Fund and a few others.

  • Fresh Faces

Speaking of ladies getting stuff done, Bessemer Venture Partners promoted Talia Goldberg to partner this week, making the 28-year-old one of the youngest investing partners at the Silicon Valley venture fund. Plus, Palo Alto’s Eclipse Ventures, hot off the heels of a $500 million fundraise, added two general partners: former Flex CEO Mike McNamara and former Global Foundries CEO Sanjay Jha.

  • Listen to me talk

If you enjoy this newsletter, be sure to check out TechCrunch’s venture-focused podcast, Equity. In this week’s episode, available here, Crunchbase editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm and I chat about the expanding podcast industry, Reddit’s big round and scooter accidents.

Spotify launches Car View on Android to make using its app less dangerous behind the wheel

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Spotify is making it easier to use its streaming app in the car, when the phone is connected to the vehicle over Bluetooth. The company today confirmed the launch of a new feature called “Car View,” which is a simplified version of the service’s Now Playing screen that includes larger fonts, bigger buttons, and no distractions from album art. In Car View, you’re only shown the track title and artist, so you can read the screen with just a glance.

The site 9to5Google was the first to spot the feature’s appearance in Spotify’s settings. However, some users have had the option for weeks in what had appeared to be a slow rollout or possibly a test, pre-launch.

Spotify this morning formally announced the launch of Car View in a post to its Community Forums.

The company says the feature is currently available only on Android devices, and only when the device is connected over Bluetooth.

When the phone connects, Car View is automatically enabled when your music or podcast starts playing.

Above: Car View in action; credit: 9to5Google

While Spotify already offers several in-car experiences through integrations with other apps like Google Maps, Waze, as well as through Android Auto, using the music app while behind the wheel has been very distracting and difficult.

I’ve personally found Spotify so dangerous to navigate while in the car, that I just won’t use it unless I set it up to stream before I drive. Or, in some cases, I’ll hand the phone to a passenger to control instead.

Given the difficulty with Spotify in the car, Car View’s lack of support for those who use the app over an AUX cable is a little disappointing.There’s no good reason why users should not be allowed to manually enable Car View from the Settings, if they choose. After all, it’s just a change to the user interface of a single view – and it’s been built!

Of course, manually toggling Car View on might not feel as seamless as the Bluetooth experience, but a feature like this could prevent accidents caused by people fiddling with their phone in the car. Hopefully, Spotify will make Car View more broadly accessible in time.

According to Spotify, once Car View is enabled, you can access your Library, tap to Browse, or use Search. While listening, you can use the seek bar to skip to another part of the song.

In the case that a passenger is controlling the music on your phone, they can temporarily disable Car View by way of the three dots menu. And if, for some reason, you don’t want to use Car View, the feature can be disabled in the Settings. (But keep it on, OK?)

Spotify also noted Car View supports landscape view, and will arrive on iOS in the future. It didn’t offer a time frame.

Car View officially launched on Android this week, and is now rolling out globally to all users.

 

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Tinder is testing the ability to share Spotify music clips in chat

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Tinder has already developed a fairly robust chat platform within its dating app, with support for sharing things like Bitmoji and GIFs, and the ability to “like” messages by tapping a heart icon. Now, the company is testing a new integration – sharing music via Spotify. Tinder confirmed with TechCrunch it’s trying out a new way to connect users, by allowing them to share music within their chats.

The test is currently taking place across global markets, and Spotify is the only music service involved.

The new feature was first spotted by the blog MSPoweruser who speculated the addition could be an experiment on Tinder’s part, ahead of a public launch. That does seem to be the case, as it turns out.

According to screenshots the site posted, a green music icon has been swapped in for the Bitmoji icon. Clicking this allows you to enter a query into a search box and see matching results displayed above. You’re not able to share the full song, however – only a 30-second clip.

Above: Tinder music test with Spotify; credits: MSPoweruser

Tinder, like its rival Bumble, has offered integration with Spotify’s streaming music service since 2016.

Both apps allow users to connect their Spotify accounts in order to showcase their top artists on their profile. As Tinder explained at the time of launch, music can be a powerful signal in terms of attraction and plays an important role in terms of getting to know a new connection, as well.

The company even launched its own profile on Spotify with playlists focused on dating, love and romance as a part of its collaboration with the music service.

The Spotify integration has paid off for Tinder in terms of user engagement within its app, the company tells us.

“Users love connecting over shared tastes in music,” a Tinder spokesperson explained. “In fact, users who update their ‘Anthem’ are most likely to start a conversation via Feed. With this in mind, we’re testing the ability to share music with a match while chatting on Tinder,” they added.

The “Anthem” is a feature that lets you pick a favorite song or one that’s representative of your tastes or personality. This is then highlighted in a special section on your Tinder profile.

Tinder did not offer any details as to when it expects the test to wrap or when it would launch music sharing more broadly.

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Spotify for Xbox One now works with Cortana voice commands

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Spotify arrived on the Xbox One back in August 2017 to give gamers the option of streaming their own tunes while in a gaming session. Today, Spotify is upgrading its app with a few key additions, including most notably support for Cortana voice control along with other personalization features. With Cortana, gamers will be able to speak their music requests instead of using the controller. That means they can command the music – including being able to play, skip and pause songs – without having to leave their current gaming session, Spotify says.

Before, gamers would have to use Spotify Connect via an app on their phone, tablet or laptop to control or change the music while gaming.

For example, you’ll be able to say things like “Hey, Cortana, play my playlist on Spotify,” or “Hey Cortana, play my Discover Weekly on Spotify.”

This upgrade is currently only available in the U.S., however.

The new app is also introducing an updated experienced that’s designed to make it easier for Spotify users to access recently played songs, plus your “Made for You” hub, and your music library.

Spotify says the app can help gamers find their favorite background music, too, by taking into account their listening history when making its recommendations for a more personalized experience.

This part of the update is rolling out more broadly, including the U.S. as well as in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and the U.K.

Options like repeat and shuffle are available, too, as are a selection of curated gaming playlists over on Spotify’s “Gaming Hub” if you get stumped as to what to play.

The update will require the latest version of the Spotify app which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store, the company notes.

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JioSaavn becomes India’s answer to Spotify and Apple Music

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India finally has its answer to Spotify after Reliance Jio merged its music service with Saavn, the startup it acquired earlier this year.

The deal itself isn’t new — it was announced back in March — but it has reached its logical conclusion after two apps were merged to create a single entity, JioSaavn, which is valued at $1 billion. For the first time, India has a credible rival to global names like Spotify and Apple Music through the combination of a venture capital-funded business — Saavn — and good old-fashioned telecom, JioMusic from Reliance’s disruptive Jio operator brand.

This merger deal comes days after reports suggested that Spotify is preparing to (finally) enter the Indian market, a move that has been in the planning for over a year as we have reported.

That would set up an interesting battle between global names Spotify and Apple and local players JioSaavn and Gaana, a project from media firm Times Internet which is also backed by China’s Tencent.

It isn’t uncommon to see international firms compete in Asia — Walmart and Amazon are the two major e-commerce players while Chinese firms Alibaba and Tencent have busily snapped up stakes in promising internet companies for the past couple of years — but that competition has finally come to the streaming space.

There have certainly been misses over the years.

Early India-based pioneer Dhingana was scooped by Rdio back in 2014 having initial shut down its service due to financial issues. Ultimately, though, Rdio itself went bankrupt and was sold to Pandora, leaving both Rdio and Dhingana in the startup graveyard.

Saavn, the early competitor too Dhingana, seemed destined to a similar fate, at least from the outside. But it hit the big time in 2015 when it raised $100 million from Tiger Global, the New York hedge fund that made ambitious bets on a number of India’s most promising internet firms. That gave it the fuel to reach this merger deal with JioMusic.

Unlike Dhingana’s fire sale, Saavn’s executive team continues on under the JioSaavn banner.

The coming-together is certainly a far more solid outcome than the Rdio deal. JioSaavn has some 45 million songs — including a slate of originals started by Saav — and access to the Jio network, which claims over 250 million subscribers.

JioSaavn is available across iOS, Android, web and Reliance Jio’s own app store

The JioMusic service will be freemium but Jio subscribers will get a 90-day trial of the ad-free ‘Pro’ service. The company maintains five offices — including outposts in Mountain View and New York — with over 200 employees while Reliance has committed to pumping $100 million into the business for “growth and expansion of the platform.”

While it is linked to Reliance and Jio, JioMusic is a private business that counts Reliance as a stakeholder. You’d imagine that remaining private is a major carrot that has kept Saavn founders — Rishi Malhotra, Paramdeep Singh and Vinodh Bhat — part of the business post-merger.

The window certainly seems open for streaming IPOs — Spotify went public this past April through an unconventional listing that valued its business around $30 billion while China’s Tencent Music is in the process of a listing that could raise $1.2 billion and value it around that $30 billion mark, too. JioSaavn might be the next streamer to test the public markets.

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Spotify alums create Canopy content suggester that won’t steal your data

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Personalization comes at a steep price. All your data gets sucked up into a company’s servers where they can do whatever they want with it. But Canopy is a new content discovery startup that’s invented impressive technology that lets it learn about you anonymously while all your data stays on your device. Built by the co-founder and CTO of Echo Nest, the music data startup Spotify acquired to power its recommendations, Canopy wants to turn privacy into a competitive advantage. It plans to equip any content app with its tech that crunches your biographical and behavior data on your phone or computer so all it sends along are clues to what you want to see or hear next.

But first, Canopy will launch its own proof of concept app early next year that suggests long-form articles and podcasts based on your taste and activity. “There hasn’t been a great solution to private discovery. We think the reason people haven’t been excited about privacy is that they haven’t seen the opportunities” says Canopy founder and CEO Brian Whitman. “We are totally changing the value exchange of the internet” adds Canopy’s head of product strategy and former Spotify Director Of Music Publishing Annika Goldman. Matrix Partners is betting on Canopy’s privacy-safe vision for the future, leading a $4.5 million seed round for the startup.

That seems wise considering Whitman built one of the world’s most beloved content recommendation engines: Spotify’s Discover Weekly. “I’ve been doing music recommendation stuff since 2000” Whitman tells me. He left in 2015, and started to become disallusioned about “how much power we had put in algorithmic decision making and personalization. All your information goes to their servers.” Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal only confirmed his views. “All this data is now being used against people. You’re getting bad recommendations, bad ads, and people are being radicalized.”

A year or two ago he started discussing the idea of building a content recommendation engine that didn’t require your actual data as inputs. He came up with a solution where “Instead of sending thousands of data points to the server we can keep all that personal data on your phone” Goldman explains. “Take Spotify for example. You listen to a song. It knows where you listened to that, it know how long you listened to it, it knows what you did next — all this stuff they don’t need to know to make music recommendations. We condense and summarize all that information and send it as a single vector – a effectively a summary of things you might like and we make it impossible to reverse engineer the vector to understand the data behind it.”

She likens the system to a model of the content world on Canopy’s servers. Rather than sending it your past activity, personal info, and intentions, it just sends a set of coordinates of where you want the recommendations to go next. The 11-person Canopy team is now building out its app that will ask you questions and watch your consumption behavior to tune its suggestions. Since podcasts and longer articles aren’t owned by any one service, they’re an easy starting point for Canopy, though it eventually hopes to be content agnostic. And since it never has to suck up your data, there’s no risk of it being stolen in a breach.

That’s a big selling point for Canopy’s software-as-a-service it plans to license its tech to other apps.”Being able to build a platform that can understand your data without the liability of user data is gamechanging” Whitman declares.

Still, the biggest question facing the company is “Do people really care about privacy?” Every day we learn of a new hack attack, data exposure, or company selling our private info, but we go right on surfing. Even Facebook’s growth rate has only dipped slightly in the wake of all its privacy troubles. But Goldman believes that’s because it’s become so overwhelming that people “have a head in the sand view on privacy. ‘Hh my god, all my data is out there. I’m at risk. What do I do about it?’ Well I want to give people a way to do something about it”. Namely, trust Canopy instead of the data grabbers.

But if people can’t be tought the value of privacy, it’s hard to see partners going to the trouble of buidling in Canopy’s system. Whitman admits that services would take a modest hit to their recommendation accuracy if they adopt Canopy. He’s hoping the long-term goodwill of users will offset that. On the horizon, he predicts “there’s a great awakening of awareness.”

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Spotify stock slumps on $1.35B in Q3 sales; MAUs up 28% to 191M with 87M paying users

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Spotify, the streaming music company that went public earlier this year, posted its quarterly results today, and while it’s continuing to grow at a modest pace, it appears to be just about meeting analyst expectations when it comes to its financials, and therefore continues to struggle in the public markets.

The company announced that it made €1.352 billion in revenues for the quarter that ended in September. That was just ahead of analysts’ average estimates of $1.51 billion, or €1.33 billion.

Spotify’s revenues are up 31 percent on a year ago; its operating loss is now at €6 million, a 92 percent improvement on a year ago; and its margins are now at 25 percent, “outperforming” its expectations. With Spotify’s monthly active users now at 191 million — up 28 percent on last year — it will be interesting to see if investors will remain patient in the months ahead as Spotify tries to tip the scales in its favor.

The company’s stock has been getting hammered in recent times, with lingering skepticism in the market that Spotify will be able to sustain its growth and tip into the black over the longer term.

It doesn’t look like today’s news has done much to change that. At the start of this week, its share price fell to of $139/share. Currently, it’s at $134/share, down 10 percent, and it’s gone as low as $134.54/share in trading today — a sign that even with the gains reported today, investors are not hugely impressed. (Its market cap as of yesterday’s close was $26.9 billion.)

One reason for skepticism, despite meeting expectations, might be that Spotify has already warned that there will, indeed, be some dings to that margin in the quarters ahead. This week the company announced a partnership with Google where it will offer Google Home Mini speaks to people taking its Family plan as a holiday season promotion.

“We anticipate that this partnership will have an adverse impact of approximately 50 basis points on our Gross Margin profile in Q4,” the company noted.

The US continues to be the biggest part of Spotify’s user base, although the company said that Latin America and Rest of World are growing the fastest (which is often the case with newer markets for consumer companies).

Within its user base, paying premium subscribers now total 87 million, keeping it well ahead of Apple Music’s 50 million (which it reported this past summer). That figure is up 40 percent and Spotify said it was fuelled by the company’s Family and Student plans. The company is now working with other streaming providers like Hulu and Showtime to offer bundles of entertainment, with a Student tier it introduced this quarter priced at $4.99, which has helped the company lock in more users who are less likely to churn.

However, the company continues to rely heavily on the “free” part of its freemium model for growth: it now has 109 million ad-supported MAUs, up 20 percent. The company has been expanding the kinds of advertising it serves to these users, so while it doesn’t monetise them with subscriptions, it will be getting its pound of flesh in other ways. Its programmatic ad platform, Ad Studio, is currently only live in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, so there is still a lot of room for growth both in those markets and in others.

That will also mean that it needs to get its house in order. Specifically, Spotify has been facing — like many others that allow for easy and quick registrations to access services — a longer-term issue of weeding out bots and other fake users on the platform in order to get to a more accurate audience number. Spotify does not say how many users it’s identified through this process but says that it has been continuing that work.

The free users and the ad model that supports them, in any case, remain a relatively untapped part of Spotify’s business: the company said that premium revenue accounted for €1,210 million in Q3, up 31 percent on a year ago. That means ads are making only about €140 million at the moment.

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Spotify takes a stake in DistroKid, will support cross-platform music uploads in Spotify for Artists

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Spotify has taken a minority stake in music distribution service, DistroKid, a popular tool used by artists for uploading their music across platforms. The company didn’t confirm the size of its stake, only saying that it made a “passive minority investment.” As a result of the deal, Spotify will also upgrade its Spotify for Artists service to include an integration with DistroKid that allows artists to simultaneously upload content to other platforms.

“For the past five years, DistroKid has served as a go-to service for hundreds of thousands independent artists, helping them deliver their tracks to digital music services around the world, and reaching fans however they choose to consume music,” the company announced in a blog post about the deal.

Spotify was already a partner with DistroKid ahead of this news. However, DistroKid’s service currently allows musicians an easy way to get their tunes to Spotify competitors, too, including Apple, Amazon, Google Play, TIDAL, iHeartRadio, YouTube, Pandora, Deezer, and over 150 other music streaming services and stores.

Given DistroKid’s formerly agnostic position in the industry, Spotify’s investment is likely to cause a stir. It’s unclear for now how Spotify rivals will react to the move.

Spotify declined to disclose any financial details, when asked by TechCrunch, but a spokesperson clarified that it did not acquire the company, does not have a board seat, and that DistroKid remains independent. It also said that it has no rights to see the data from other digital service providers and DistroKid will not share confidential information.

Asked if planned to take a cut of sales of DistroKid subscriptions, currently $19.99 per year, Spotify said it doesn’t have that information to offer at this time. “We’ll announce full details when we’re ready to open the integration to artists,” we were told.

It seems, then, that Spotify – for now, at least – largely wanted to solidify its relationship with DistroKid for the purposes of the work it has planned regarding the upcoming technical integrations, in addition to establishing an expanded business relationship in general.

Spotify says it will soon roll out a new tool that will allow musicians to upload to DistroKid through Spotify for Artists.

Launched out of beta last year, Spotify for Artists is the streaming service’s online dashboard that allows musicians and their management teams a way to easily update their profile information, track their streams, and gain insights about their fan bases. In September 2018, Spotify announced a major new feature for the service as well – music uploads. The company said that artists would be able to use a beta upload feature to send their tracks directly to Spotify, as well as edit the metadata around those files, and track the songs’ performance.

DistroKid’s integration will complement this new feature, by offering the ability to upload elsewhere, too.

Spotify did not say when it expects the integrations to go live, only that it would be in the “near future.”

 

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Mighty, the iPod Shuffle for Spotify, gets a bigger battery and better bluetooth

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Technology, like so much of life, is cycle. Gadget evolve, leaving holes in our lives that some fresh new startup is waiting in the wings to fill. There are few better examples of the phenomenon than the Mighty. Introduced last year, the product built a pretty solid reputation as “the iPod Shuffle for Spotify.”

The new Mighty Vibe is designed to address some of users’ concerns with the first generation product. Chief amongst the updates is improved bluetooth range. Enough of the product’s 50,000 users complained about spotty connections that the company made it a priority this time out.

The new version of the device should work at a range of up to 20 feet — of course, the thing is small enough to be worn on your person, so that’s not a huge issue in most cases. It’s also water/sweat resistant, making it a solid workout companion. The larger battery, meanwhile, should get upwards of five hours on a charge. The app has been redesigned from the ground up, too, for faster operation.

The Vibe is priced the same as its predecessor, at $86 (while the first-gen will come down in price until the company sells out of back stock). It still only works with Spotify, though Mighty tells me that it’s working with additional partners, with plans to offer more music service compatibility some time next year.

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Spotify Podcast submissions are open to all

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Statistically speaking, there are roughly five podcasts for every human on the face of the Earth. And now they all finally have a home on Spotify. The streaming music giant this week opened podcast submissions to everyone through the beta of Spotify for Podcasters platform.

The submission process is wonderfully simple — In fact, I just did it myself (note the confetti):

Cut and paste your show’s RSS feed, pick a couple of categories, click submit. Boom, you’re done. After that, it should take a couple of hours for it to appear. So, you know, I’m writing a post or two in the meantime.

It’s been more than three years since Spotify added the ability to listen to podcasts, but the selection has been fairly thin soup. And isn’t the democratization of voices kind of the whole point of podcasting? It sort of defeats the purpose when you’re only able to listen to content from the top tier of publishers. Now that the service is taking on SoundCloud, however, it seems it’s finally ready to offer that same sort of opportunity to small podcast providers, as well.

Once the show is added, it will update automatically. Like iTunes, Spotify will offer up a number of listener metrics, including daily stats and engagement.

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