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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

SoundCloud finally introduces discounted student pricing

SoundCloud wants to make its streaming music service more affordable to a key demographic: younger users who generally spend more time listening to music, compared with their older counterparts. This morning, the company announced the launch of discounted student accounts, offering a 50 percent discount off its top-tier SoundCloud Go+ subscription. That brings the cost down to $4.99 per month.

The company is a bit late to the party with its launch of lower-cost student subscriptions. All the major streaming services today – including Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited – offer special student pricing. They know that getting younger users hooked early on their product is an investment in the future – when the student graduates, they’ll hopefully want to continue using the service where they’ve spent so much of their time and energy. And they’ll pay the higher rate then.

Students have been asking for a discounted plan for years, following the launch of SoundCloud’s $9.99/month plan (SoundCloud Go+)  in 2016. On SoundCloud’s own community forum, for example, you’ll run into questions from students about the topic, with some even noting that the lack of a more affordable plan is the “only thing holding me back” from subscribing. Others just seemed perplexed that there wasn’t an option for students, given how standard it is these days to offer students a discount.

Instead of catering specifically to students, SoundCloud in 2017 introduced a $4.99 per month SoundCloud Go plan that had fewer features than the SoundCloud Go+ plan for those who wanted a more affordable option. The move was meant to help convert a larger portion of SoundCloud’s 175 million free users to paying customers – but a year later, the company was estimated to have only gained some 100,000 subscribers, according to Midia Research’s Mark Mulligan.

The new student subscriptions will include the perks that come with the flagship Go+ premium offering, like ad-free listening, track downloads for offline listening, high-quality audio, and access to SoundCloud’s full catalog of now over 200 million tracks, which includes originals, DJ sets, remixes and more.

To access the new student pricing, students have to verify they’re attending an accredited college or university full-time, in a market where SoundCloud is available.

SoundCloud Go+ for Students is launching today in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada today, and will be live in Germany, France and the Netherlands next week.


Source: TechCrunch

Apple MacOS hit with yet another critical system security issue

Apple, a company normally held in high stature for its software’s security, hasn’t had quite a smooth journey over the last few months. The Project Zero team at Google discovered a severe flaw within the MacOS kernel that could affect user data.

The post Apple MacOS hit with yet another critical system security issue appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

U.S. mobile bank Chime raises $200 million, valuing its business at $1.5 billion

San Francisco-based mobile banking startup Chime announced this morning it has raised an additional $200 million in Series D financing led by DST Global, valuing its business at $1.5 billion. The oversubscribed round also included participation from new investors Coatue, General Atlantic, ICONIQ Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group, along with existing investors Menlo Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Cathay Innovation and others.

To date, Chime has raised approximately $300 million, including last year’s $70 million Series C, which then saw the company valued at $500 million.

With the new funding, Chime has now raised the most funding and has the highest valuation among other U.S. challenger banks.

The company is now one of of several going after a younger, millennial audience who no longer sees the need for banks with physical branches, and who are sick of being nickel-and-dimed by bigger banks’ numerous fees. Like others in this space, Chime offers a “no fees” bank account, which won’t penalize users for things like dropping below a minimal balance or even overdrafts.

On top of this, is a modern-day banking app with features that make it look like it was actually built by a technology company – not a traditional bank. That’s because its team’s background is a mix of both tech and finance. Chime’s co-founder and CEO Chris Britt had previously worked at Flycast, was an early comScore employee, and worked at Visa and Green Dot; co-founder and CTO Ryan King spent time at Plaxo and Comcast before Chime.

Chime also includes a couple of innovative features that help to differentiate it from the other mobile banking apps on the market. This includes an automatic savings feature that rounds up purchases to pocket the change; another feature that automatically saves 10 percent of your paycheck into Chime’s savings account; and one that offers a no-fee paycheck advance that makes your money available sooner.

To date, customers have opened over 3 million FDIC-insured bank accounts on Chime, which makes it the largest brand in its category, the company claims. (This appears to be true. SoFi had 500,000 members as of last year, but Simple doesn’t disclose its account base beyond “hundreds of thousands.” Moven and Varo Money are smaller, according to American Banker’s round-up.)

Its size, scale, and growth trajectory, perhaps, have aided Chime in poaching a few execs from its other fintech businesses – including rivals. For example, the company recently added Chime VP Risk Brian Mullins, who was the former Head of Risk Ops at Square; and Chime GM, Lending Aaron Plante, who was the former Business Unit Leader for Student Loans at SoFi.

The company says it plans to use the new investment to continue to accelerate growth and launch new products, including those in lending and credit. It also plans to double its San Francisco-based team to over 200 employees and expand its leadership.

“We’re excited to welcome some of the world’s leading growth investors to Chime,” said Chris Britt, Chime Founder and CEO, in a statement about the funding. “Banking should be free, helpful and easy to use but traditional banks are reluctant to embrace this reality. We aim to set a new standard in the industry by using technology to create services that are truly aligned with the best interests of consumers.”


Source: TechCrunch

Galaxy S10 5G isn't the only 5G phone coming. Here are the others from LG, OnePlus and more – CNET

The 5G revolution is nearly upon us. Here’s when to expect super-fast 5G devices from top phone makers.
Source: CNET

Roku vs Amazon Fire TV: Which streaming device is best for Netflix, Hulu and YouTube in 2019? – CNET

This battle of the sticks and boxes pits the streaming specialist against one of the most powerful companies on Earth. Who wins?
Source: CNET

Save the Lemurs! Eat the Crickets!

Researchers are encouraging the people of Madagascar to embrace bugs as a source of protein, in order to take pressure off endangered lemurs.
Source: Wired

States Need Way More Money to Fix Crumbling Voting Machines

“We are driving the same car in 2019 that we were driving in 2004, and the maintenance costs are mounting,” one South Carolina election official told researchers.
Source: Wired

Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer concept is a boxy plug-in hybrid crossover – Roadshow

Named after a ski resort, the concept has a 43-mile all-electric range.
Source: CNET

Alfa Romeo Tonale concept previews an electrified compact SUV – Roadshow

It’s Alfa’s first plug-in hybrid.
Source: CNET

Aston Martin's AM-RB 003 debuts in Geneva and is gunning for McLaren – Roadshow

Aston’s pint-sized Valkyrie is bringing bleeding-edge tech to an increasingly crowded supercar segment.
Source: CNET

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