Spotify and Samsung announced a new partnership whereby the music-streaming leader would become the new "go-to music service provider" for Samsung devices. Interestingly, Apple recently overtook Spotify as the number 1 music streaming service in the US and this obviously presents a challenge for Spotify. At the same time, YouTube launched its revamped YouTube Music App offering 1-month free trial and then an ongoing subscription for $11.99 per month. Samsung has been using Google Play as the default music partner on all devices, until now. In this sense, the partnership makes a lot of sense, particularly as Spotify tries to increase its presence in Asia. Samsung is the largest maker of mobile devices with 30.7% of the global mobile market, with Apple second at 19.4%.

A new AR experience

UK AR company Blippar has also launched a version of their AR experience which can map urban and indoor environments to within 1cm, providing a user with overlaid maps, navigation or other AR components for the mapped territory, or the application components can be embedded into other apps. The company suggests a wide range of potential environments for this platform, including retail stores, supermarkets, airports, shopping malls or stadiums. Use cases include AR menus floating in front of restaurants in shopping malls, reviews or product info hovering over products on shelves, treasure hunts or a virtual guide for tourists.

More and more startups are emerging offering decentralized social platforms -- often using blockchain technology.  The main purpose of these new platforms is to reward users and content creators and not only the platform owners. Angel List has highlighted what they see as the 2 most promising - Steemit and Sapien. Built off the Steem blockchain, Steemit is a Reddit-esque social platform that as of now boasts nearly 800,000 registered users. Steemit’s version of upvotes, however, are tokens that hold real market value. Users—not advertisers—are rewarded for engagement. Sapien is a social news network built on the Ethereum blockchain that already has thousands of active users. The platform features a global reputation system, a reward system for users, and a marketplace for creators. While Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, these new decentralized social media platforms are growing—and fast. 

This week Audi launched the first of a series of 3 big budget Hollywood style trailers from the creative team at BBH in the UK. Watch the Video: Audi Technology - Escape (Extended Cut).