NikeFuel API

Nike will unleash the application programming interface (API) for NikeFuel — the company’s metric for tracking physical activity — during a music hackathon Sunday at South by Southwest.

NikeFuel is the technology behind Nike’s FuelBand, a waterproof wristband introduced in January that measures a user’s movement and syncs with an iPod touch or iPhone.

The API will allow third-party music developers to infuse NikeFuel features into their apps or platforms.

“Nike will be joining the Managers Hack to open up a BETA version of the NikeFuel API for the first time to developers interested in combining music with the Nike+ FuelBand,” hackathon organizer and rep at startup Backplane told Mashable Friday.

Backplane, which created Lady Gaga’s new Little Monsters social network, along with music-streaming service Spotify organized the hackathon to build the future of digital music distribution.

SEE ALSO: Path Adds Nike+ Integration, Lets You Share Running Data With Friends
At the event, hackers have eight hours to create and plan a demo that will be judged by a panel of music industry managers, including Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter (who co-founded Backplane), Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun and Roc Nation President Jay Brown. People from Spotify, Pandora, Nike and SoundHound also will help choose a winner.

The Managers Hack will be live streamed (see video below) starting at 3 p.m. ET.

Randi Zuckerberg, who left her role as marketing director at Facebook in August to launch RtoZ Media, will provide commentary throughout the event.

What Is Nike+ FuelBand?


Nike+ FuelBand

The Nike+ FuelBand is a new wristband that tracks a metric that Nike has developed called “Fuel,” which measures all physical activity across sports.

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What Is NikeFuel?

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At its first-ever U.S. press conference, Spotify unveiled on Wednesday a new app platform that allows third-party developers to use the streaming service’s music library and community. Although the apps are only available in beta versions right now for desktop computers, a company executive told Mashable that Spotify will be “everywhere” in the future, including on mobile devices such as the iPad.

“Spotify will eventually be ubiquitous, especially as more users want music on tablet devices. Music lovers want music everywhere, including when they drive their car,” said Ken Parks, Spotify’s chief content officer and managing director for North America. “Based on how well the desktop apps perform, we are very open to the future. A music store will also come.”

A music store would allow members to purchase songs directly from the service could also arrive. This feature is already available for European Spotify. For now, Spotify is partnering with companies such as Rolling Stone,, Songkick and tunewiki to provide apps that will make the site more engaging for users, from allowing them to access song lyrics to purchase concert tickets. Parks confirmed that some users will start to see the apps automatically pop up through Spotify as early as next week.

Overall, Spotify’s business model is following a path similar to Facebook’s, starting first as a website before expanding to mobile and third-party apps. In September, the company rolled out social integration to Facebook and has attracted new members ever since.

Spotify has been under pressure recently from competitors such as Google Music, the recently-unveiled free service that allows users to upload, share and browse songs, and then listen to them on the go via cloud storage on Android devices. However, Park said he’s currently more concerned with “providing new ways to keep users engaged on the site and growing that user base” than standing out among competitors.

Parks also noted that the more people remain engaged on the site, “the more likely they are to return and pay for a premium service.”

Spotify members can use the site for free for the first six months and later opt-in to premium packages for unlimited access.

A preview of the new Spotify apps is now available for download.

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spotify office

Spotify is kicking off its first-ever U.S. press conference in New York City on Wednesday, promising a big announcement about a “new direction” for the company. Although the company declined to comment on what to expect at the “What’s next for Spotify?” event, a PR rep told Mashable that “so much is coming.”

The latest rumor is that Spotify will launch an “app finder” with apps that allow users to buy concert tickets, look for song lyrics and read reviews, all while listening to songs. Spotify is also rumored to expand its application programming interface (API), so third-party developers can make Spotify’s music library available to their own users for a fee.

CEO Daniel Ek will serve as master of ceremonies, and there should also be a special guest or two. Since this is Spotify’s first big press event and it’s not typical for Ek to address the press in this manner, we’re expecting this to be big.

We’ll be bringing you the latest news from the event in our live blog below, starting at 11:45 a.m. ET.

UPDATE: The big news is, as we suspected, that third-party developers can now create apps on the site.

You can watch the live stream below, using the password l0vemus1c

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Spotify Events

As Spotify gears up for its first-ever U.S. press conference in New York City on Wednesday, speculation is heating up about exactly what the streaming music service will announce.

All Things Digital is reporting that the company is likely to announce that third-party developers can make Spotify’s music library available to their own users. These users would then in turn have to pay Spotify for privileges. However, Spotify declined to comment on whether the event will include news about the company expanding its application programming interface (API).

It’s also rumored that an iPad app and a new music store where members can purchase songs directly from the service could also arrive. The latter is a more likely guess since it’s already possible for European Spotify members to buy songs from the streaming service.

Spotify – which arrived on U.S. shores just four months ago – sent out press invitations last week announcing that it has “exciting news” to share about a “new direction” the company is taking. The event called “What’s next for Spotify?” will stream online and should feature a special guest or two, along with CEO Daniel Ek.

Spotify has been under pressure recently from competitors such as Google Music, the recently-unveiled free service that allows users to upload, share and browse songs, and then listen to them on the go via cloud storage on Android devices.

There has also been an increase in concern among music partners about the impact of streaming on their business. More than 200 labels and publishers pulled out of various streaming services, from Spotify to Napster and Rdio, after a study claimed streaming music was hurting record sales.

Since this will be the company’s first time addressing the press in this manner – it didn’t even hold a press conference for its U.S. launch – buzz surrounding the event has been big.

Some experts believe that if Spotify opens up its platform to third-party developers, the music industry would be more open to a “music everywhere” concept, similar to how the TV industry gave cable customers access to watch TV programming online and via iPad apps, according to All Things Digital. The move could also entice more Spotify users to sign up for paid accounts instead of using its basic free model.

Spotify’s business is growing fast, helped along by its expansion onto Facebook. In addition, the company recently announced that its premium subscription growth doubled in the last year to 2.5 million, making it the largest music subscription service on the Internet. But with the addition of third-party developers having access to the site’s catalog, the growth could be much larger.

“What’s next for Spotify?” will kick off at 11:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday and Mashable will be there live blogging the event.

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Spotify is releasing its API for iOS Wednesday.

The red hot music streaming service, which recently made its U.S. debut, will open its catalogue of more than 15 million tracks to third-party iPhone and iPad app developers.

The application package, Libspotify for iOS, is available to Spotify Premium users. It rounds out Spotify’s API suite, also available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

“We hope this will enable a new category of iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch applications with Spotify inside and allow for more immersive music experiences within iOS apps,” Director of Platform Sten Garmark says.

The API release is important considering the bevy of music subscription services competing for end user attention. Now, Spotify has the opportunity to piggyback on the popularity of Apple’s iOS platform to reach an even greater audience.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Andreas Blixt

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Spotify may finally be on track to come to the United States, as the startup has reportedly struck a deal with Sony Music Entertainment.

The deal will be similar to the ones Spotify already has in Europe, reports MediaMemo. In other words, you should be able to stream several hours of SME music for free, but have to pay to access the ad-free or mobile versions. Sony Music’s artists include AC/DC, Alicia Keys, Leona Lewis, OutKast and Michael Jackson.

Rumors about a potential deal surfaced last week. Spotify is also rumored to be in talks with another label, though it’s unclear which one.

While popular in Europe, Spotify has been unable to break the U.S. market due to the hesitation of the U.S. labels. They are not convinced that Spotify’s freemium model is economically feasible. Spotify also lost $26.7 million in 2009, giving labels more reason to doubt its profitability.

That looks to have changed, though. With Sony reportedly signed up, the other major labels could soon follow. Spotify will need at least one or two more record labels on its roster to have a large enough library for U.S. consumers. We’ll be watching and listening to find out who will be next to strike a deal with Spotify.

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