Spotify Introduces a Brand New Feature: Payola

To better match individual songs with listeners’ preferences, Spotify will add a “Sponsored Songs” feature to its free tier. But is that just streaming payola?

To better monetize their free tier, Spotify is testing their new ‘Sponsored Songs’ feature. The move will allow brands to put their ads in popular playlists, which sounds fine. But it’ll also allow labels to promote individual songs, a move that introduces some tricky payola issues.

The Swedish streaming platform confirmed to the BBC that they’re currently testing the ‘Sponsored Songs’ feature. According to the streamer, music labels can add individual songs to users’ playlists as sponsored content. Spotify will match the songs to listeners’ music tastes. And to avoid conflict with paid users, they’ll only add this feature to its ‘freemium’ tier.

Technically, Sponsored Songs doesn’t violate federal law. Under a 1960 federal statute, record labels can’t offer terrestrial radio stations a financial incentive to play their songs. Offenders can receive a fine up to $10,000 per offense and up to one year in prison. Spotify, however, doesn’t count as a radio station.

The streaming platform didn’t specify how much money they receive from labels or how much they charge for sponsored content.

It may also be confusing to users. Through the Sponsored Songs feature, Spotify integrates label-paid songs into playlists listeners follow. These songs then appear above the playlist. Users can also save these songs for later listening....more 

ART: Kit Mizeres

Lush wants you to 'Get Naked' for the planet

This ethical cosmetics company wants you to know about its extensive line of solid, package-free products that eliminate the need for millions of plastic bottles.

Lush Cosmetics is in the midst of its ‘Get Naked’ campaign. From May 26th till July 30th, the company is on a mission to promote its package-free products, which currently comprise an impressive 35 percent of the total product line. These items, which include bath bombs, massage bars, shampoo and conditioner bars, soaps, body butters, and, in the UK, makeup such as eye shadow and lipstick, are “formulated with as little water as possible to allow for a solid form and have the added benefit of requiring no synthetic preservatives to stay fresh – products with truly nothing to hide.”

Staff from stores across North America joined in the fun on May 31st, stripping down to nothing but their black Lush aprons in hopes of kickstarting an important conversation about unnecessary packaging....more 

10 TED Talks to inspire you to change and create a better you

We've been talking a lot this week about embracing change, and why it's good for yourself and your business. Now it's time to seek further inspiration from some of the world's leading thinkers through the following recommended talks. From creativity to mindfulness, from failure to success – these well-researched presentations will help you create an all-round better you.

Author of The Magic of Not Giving a F**K, Sarah Knight

2. Why you will fail to have a great career – Larry Smith

Larry Smith wastes no time in getting straight to the point, explaining why we'll fail to have a great career. With humour and brutal honesty, he shares some of the absurd excuses people make when they fail to pursue their dreams. Hopefully, it will inspire you to get off your ass and do something....more 

Pitching and Moaning: A Guide to Submitting Your Writing

How to get a story or essay published if you’re not James Franco.

In Publish or Perish, Tony Tulathimutte dispenses subjective, unsolicited, and frankly sort of aggro advice on the practical aspects of a building a writing career.

If you’re reading this it’s too late: You’ve already read my last article about the different types of creative writing career paths. Now we’ll talk about submitting and pitching creative writing and freelance articles to journals, magazines, websites, contests, MFA programs, residencies, fellowships, and the dumpster. You’re about to get hit with a big damp sack of rules, cover letter templates, submissions resources, and gate-keeping arcana, but for starters, the two overarching rules of submitting your work are: Always follow the submissions guidelines, and don’t try to “stand out” in any of your submission materials, aside from the manuscript.

This will hurt.

It’s Called “Submission” for a Reason

As everyone knows, the most surefire way to get a story published is to be James Franco. If you are not him or his adorable underrated brother, then you should start by reading Lincoln Michel’s “The Ultimate Guide to Getting Published in a Literary Magazine,” which is 169 percent facts. As usual I’ve got more to add (more like penultimate guide hurk hurk):...more 

MUSIC: DBFC - Disco Coco

MUSIC: Durante - Astral Projection

MUSIC: Washed Out - Hard To Say Goodbye