I. Music & Tech
Microsoft Technology to Recognize Conversational Speech
Last week Microsoft announced a tremendous milestone in the development of their speech recognition software with the ability to accurately transcribe conversational language at a word error rate of 5.1%. This 5.1% error rate matches the performance of actual human beings transcribing speech to text. Speech recognition software is the type of technology that enables Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple Siri to execute spoken commands. Typically successful performance of these technologies is contingent on clearly spoken phrases with minimal background noise. Previously, Microsoft’s highest rate of success was a 5.9% word error rate. Read more about the strides they are making here.
Road to IPO (or not) : Spotify SEC Filing Scrutiny
Spotify’s attempt to list directly on the NYSE, without the traditional share offering is reportedly being met with scrutiny from SEC regulators. Going this route would give Spotify the opportunity to circumvent the underwriting process, avoid restrictions on stock sales by current owners, and keep from diluting their current investor pool. Even with seemingly clear benefits, this untraditional route to a public offering paired with a very unique product and business model leaves a significant amount of “unknowns” on the table. One factor that may be working in Spotify’s favor is the two decade decline of corporations going public. This is something that SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has been adamant about changing. Check out what’s in store for Spotify as they prepare to go public here.
Spotify Secures Licensing Deal with Warner
After inking a deal with Warner Music group last week, Spotify continues to strengthen its position as the leader in the music streaming / audio consumption space. Having executed deals earlier this year with Universal and Sony, this latest deal essentially marks the securing of the “missing piece” of Spotify’s licensing puzzle. The details and structure of the agreement have yet to be revealed, but the terms may mimic some of the stipulations of other licensing deals – specifically surrounding limited availability of new content for non-paying listeners. Check out additional coverage here.
“It’s Me” : Action Bronson’s Blue Chips 7000
The most powerful man in the world is from Queens, NY. While that is the truth, and all too often President Trump seems to be top of mind, that was actually a wishful exaggeration describing Flushing, Queens’ own Action Bronson. While Bronson is not the most powerful man in the world, he is the brightest star to come out of Queens in recent years and one of the best MCs in the hip hop game. Classically trained in the culinary arts, the man known to many as Bam Bam Baklava, who fittingly stepped on the scene with his single Imported Goods in 2010, has not looked back since. Even with two shows on Vice, Ancient Aliens and F*ck, That’s Delicious, Action has stayed true to himself and his friends. On his road to riches, in a one pocket Carhartt henley, shorts, and a pair of New Balances Bronson has always put his verbal craft first, and judging from his latest album nothing has changed. Check out Blue Chips 7000, featuring production by Party Supplies, Harry Fraud, Knxwledge, Alchemist, and Daringer here. You can also, check out his latest video for The Chairman’s Intent.