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Spotify evaluates video courses to provide instruction in various areas such as music creation and excel

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Netflix has established a distinct market presence in the domains of music streaming, podcast entertainment, and audiobooks. In its continuous endeavors to enhance user engagement and financial investment on its platform, Spotify is introducing a novel content category known as e-learning.

Spotify is now conducting an initial launch in the United Kingdom to assess the viability of introducing an online educational platform consisting of freemium video courses. The course, which is developed in collaboration with external entities such as the BBC and Skillshare, offers a minimum of two complimentary courses. The overall cost of the course often falls within the range of £20 to £80. Currently, the costs will remain consistent for both basic and premium users.

In an interview, Mohit Jitani, the product director for the education business based in London, stated that pricing decisions are being tested. “Our primary objective with this launch is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the demand,” he stated. “Next, we will enhance our approach to make it more captivating and stimulating.”

The content will be available on both Spotify’s homepage and browse tabs, namely under the “Courses” section. It may be accessed both online and through the Spotify mobile app.

The courses are positioned between YouTube, Master Class, and LinkedIn Learning. The videos in the current catalog encompass a diverse array of topics, ranging from music production to Excel proficiency. Additionally, there are lessons on developing online learning materials to empower musicians and other individuals to become “education creators.”

While there are numerous online learning platforms available on the internet that offer interactive content and various media formats, including startups that aim to become the “Spotify for education” when searching for that term, Spotify’s educational strategy primarily revolves around providing one-way, on-demand video.

According to Jitani, certain courses may include supplementary material, albeit primarily in the form of additional documents rather than assessments or other forms of engagement. The individual refrained from providing an update regarding the potential implementation of gamification by Spotify in the future, as well as the potential inclusion of games in their future plans.

The initial collaborators for Courses include Skillshare, which will prioritize creative pursuits; PLAYvirtuoso, which offers courses in the music industry; BBC Maestro, which provides Master Class-like content; and Thinkific, which caters to individuals seeking to develop their abilities through online learning programs. According to Jitani, Spotify intends to customize its offerings through its course, taking into consideration the preferences and search queries of its users on the site. However, upon examining the catalogs of these individual suppliers, it becomes evident that the topics encompass a considerable range and depth.

According to Jitani, valuable insights would be gained into individuals’ genuine interests, leading to the emergence of numerous sectors centered around these topics. Subsequently, we will proceed to locate the most optimal content.

Third-party publishers who give Spotify a license own the content. However, the videos will be stored and purchased directly on Spotify’s platform. Regarding the distribution of money, the creator, publisher, and Spotify will each receive a portion of the sales, while content partners will be responsible for managing the payments made to the creators.

Spotify has not provided details regarding the allocation of the cut to specific individuals, nor has it indicated whether it will potentially provide any type of reduction or further advantage to existing premium members on the platform.

What is the purpose of education? What is the reason for choosing the UK?
The aforementioned action indicates Spotify’s strategic approach to further expanding its business operations, with the concurrent objective of establishing a trajectory towards enhanced profitability and improved profit margins. According to Jitani, the United Kingdom has been selected as the target market due to its significant market size and existing high level of engagement on a global scale.

Spotify experiences significant fluctuations in its financial performance within the current market. The company experienced three instances of workforce reductions in the previous year, and its financial performance has been predominantly unprofitable rather than successful. Notably, in February, the company reported a net loss of $81 million in its quarterly profits.

Indeed, the realms of online learning and professional development may appear unappealing for a firm mostly recognized for music streaming. However, there are three specific domains where it is logical.

As Spotify’s podcasting business expands, it is accumulating substantial data on user activities on the platform. It has identified a strong association between popular podcasts on Spotify and educational material.

According to Spotify, almost 50% of Spotify Premium customers have engaged with educational or self-help-oriented podcasts. Spotify has the capability to employ suggestion-surfacing techniques, similar to those employed for music and podcasts, in order to engage in cross-promotion. Consider, for instance, a podcast featuring a “business guru” who is now endorsing a paid course featuring that individual. Spotify is wagering that one will facilitate the sale of the other.

In addition, Spotify has been actively developing solutions aimed at assisting content creators in effectively managing and expanding their revenue streams. Providing educational materials focused on business management or enhancing music production aligns with this objective.

Furthermore, there is the video component. Spotify has been endeavoring to expand its presence in the video industry for nearly ten years.

That has not yet resulted in becoming a competitor to YouTube or Netflix. The company’s most recent earnings call included a single mention of video, with CEO Daniel Ek providing a vague description of video podcasting as “growing in a healthy way.”. However, earlier this month, it introduced music videos in specific regions, and now we are making a sincere endeavor to produce informative videos. It may still find its rhythm.

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

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X has decided to remove the option for premium users to hide checkmarks

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Last year, social network X, owned by Elon Musk, introduced a new feature that allows paid users to conceal their checkmarks from other users. Currently, the company is notifying users about the upcoming removal of the feature.

Similar to many decisions made by X, there is currently no set timeline for when the hide your checkmark feature will be removed.

Before sending notifications to users, the company took down the part of the X Premium help page that explained how to hide the checkmark feature last week. The basic level of subscribers couldn’t use the tool.

If you pay for Premium or Premium+, you can hide your markings from view on your account. There will be no sign of the checkmark on your page or posts. “The checkmark might still show up somewhere, and some features might still let other people know that you have a subscription,” the description said.

The social network started giving blue checkmarks to people with more than 2,500 “verified” followers earlier this month. The company also began giving these users the Premium subscription and users with more than 5,000 confirmed followers the Premium+ subscription.

Musk got rid of the heritage verification checkmark last year after making a subscription service for it. But the company quickly put the blue badge back on top accounts. The proof program is basically going back to what it did at first, which was to check the identities of famous people.

 

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WhatsApp is testing the Meta AI robot in India and other places

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Users in India and other markets are currently testing Meta AI, a chatbot with a sizable language model, on WhatsApp. This move indicates the company’s interest in leveraging its extensive user base to expand its AI capabilities.

According to feedback from users in India and select markets, including the U.S., the company has started testing the AI chatbot. India has over 500 million WhatsApp users, making it the largest market for the instant messaging service.

Meta officially announced the move in a statement. “Our generative AI-powered experiences are currently in different stages of development, and we are conducting limited public testing for a range of them,” a spokesperson from Meta informed.

In late September, Meta unveiled Meta AI, its general-purpose assistant. Our AI chatbot is specifically designed to provide direct answers to user queries during chats. Additionally, it has the capability to generate photorealistic images based on text prompts.

With a user base of over 2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp provides Meta with an exceptional chance to expand its AI offerings on a global scale. With the integration of Meta AI into WhatsApp, Facebook can showcase its cutting-edge language model and image generation capabilities to a massive user base, potentially surpassing its rivals in terms of reach.

Earlier this week, the company confirmed that it will be launching Llama 3, the next version of its open source large language model, within the next month.

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iOS

Apple News is now doing a trial of a game that bears some resemblance to NYT Connections

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Apple News is now conducting a trial of a new game called Quartiles for iOS 17.5. The objective of the game is for players to arrange a grid of 20 syllables into 5 words, each consisting of four syllables. The New York Times’ most recent successful release, Connections, has a striking resemblance to the UI of Quartiles, as Gadget Hacks has noted. Did Apple News plagiarize or copy the New York Times?

Quartiles differ from connections in that they do not involve the organization of 16 words into four contiguous groups of four. It can be compared to Boggle, as it evaluates your skill in constructing words from their constituent parts. However, the act of discovering sets of four has become particularly captivating to us lately. Currently, Connections has surpassed all other games and is currently the second most popular game in the Times, following Wordle.

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Apple introduced crossword puzzles and small crossword puzzles as a new feature exclusively for Apple News+ subscribers last year. Despite the unconventional nature of a news aggregator investing in gaming, the New York Times has found success in doing so. In 2022, the newspaper acquired the game Wordle for an undisclosed amount in the range of seven figures. This acquisition resulted in the addition of “tens of millions” of new users within a single quarter. According to recent data from the Times, consumers have been dedicating a greater amount of time to playing the newspaper’s games compared to reading the news.

Apple is currently conducting beta testing for Quartiles; however, this does not guarantee its inclusion in iOS 17.5. Considering the fact that the New York Times is discreetly operating a gaming studio at present, it would be advantageous for Apple to provide a selection of fresh, preferably square-shaped games.

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