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Bulletins

Spotify to expand to new markets, launch high-definition tier

The company has yet to announce pricing and other details for this new subscription tier.

 Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

Daniel Ek says that Spotify could have as many as 50 million creators on its platform by 2025.

Image: Spotify

The streaming service plans to expand to new markets that will allow the company to target a billion new potential customers in the coming days. Spotify announced its international expansion plans at a "Stream On" virtual press event Monday that also included a few product updates, including a preview on a high-definition streaming tier that is slated to launch in the coming months.


Spotify has yet to announce pricing and other details for this new subscription tier. The company did use Monday's event to also announce its take on the popular stories format, which the company calls Clips. Finally, CEO Daniel Ek said that the company ended 2020 with 8 million creators; he said that Spotify could have as many as 50 million creators on its platform by 2025.

Update: This story was updated to reflect that South Korea is not part of the new expansion plans. Spotify launched in South Korea on Feb. 1.

Transforming 2021

Truveta’s plan to make health AI that actually works

Former Microsoft executive Terry Myerson's new health data venture aims to apply big data to patient care with "an alliance of health systems."

Former Windows chief Terry Myerson on the move to AI in medicine.

Photo: Truveta

If health AI were a patient at a hospital, its chart up to this point wouldn't look too promising.

Its symptoms are long-standing and chronic: a lack of interoperability, a dearth of equitable data sets and a difficult-to-navigate relationship with patient privacy. And the specialists that have taken a crack at treating it — Big Tech, insurance giants, AI and cloud companies — have largely come up short with patient-care tools that have broad utility across the medical field.

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Kevin McAllister

Kevin McAllister ( @k__mcallister) is an associate editor at Protocol, leading the development of Braintrust. Prior to joining the team, he was a rankings data reporter at The Wall Street Journal, where he oversaw structured data projects for the Journal's strategy team.

Sponsored Content

Building better relationships in the age of all-remote work

How Stripe, Xero and ModSquad work with external partners and customers in Slack channels to build stronger, lasting relationships.

Image: Original by Damian Zaleski

Every business leader knows you can learn the most about your customers and partners by meeting them face-to-face. But in the wake of Covid-19, the kinds of conversations that were taking place over coffee, meals and in company halls are now relegated to video conferences—which can be less effective for nurturing relationships—and email.

Email inboxes, with hard-to-search threads and siloed messages, not only slow down communication but are also an easy target for scammers. Earlier this year, Google reported more than 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to Covid-19 scams in just one week and more than 240 million daily spam messages.

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Transforming 2021

Blockchain, QR codes and your phone: the race to build vaccine passports

Digital verification systems could give people the freedom to work and travel. Here's how they could actually happen.

One day, you might not need to carry that physical passport around, either.

Photo: CommonPass

There will come a time, hopefully in the near future, when you'll feel comfortable getting on a plane again. You might even stop at the lounge at the airport, head to the regional office when you land and maybe even see a concert that evening. This seemingly distant reality will depend upon vaccine rollouts continuing on schedule, an open-sourced digital verification system and, amazingly, the blockchain.

Several countries around the world have begun to prepare for what comes after vaccinations. Swaths of the population will be vaccinated before others, but that hasn't stopped industries decimated by the pandemic from pioneering ways to get some people back to work and play. One of the most promising efforts is the idea of a "vaccine passport," which would allow individuals to show proof that they've been vaccinated against COVID-19 in a way that could be verified by businesses to allow them to travel, work or relax in public without a great fear of spreading the virus.

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Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy ( @mcwm) is the director of special projects at Protocol, focusing on the industries being rapidly upended by technology and the companies disrupting incumbents. Previously, Mike was the technology editor at Quartz, where he frequently wrote on robotics, artificial intelligence, and consumer electronics.

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