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Music discovery startup Exfm announced this week that it will shut down for good on May 19. Exfm first announced that it was going to shut down late last year, at the time blaming “the litigious nature of the music industry” as one of the reason it called quits. However, in January, it just kept going, alluding at the possibility of a partnership. Now, it looks like that partnership won’t include the current service. In a blog post, Exfm’s executive team put it this way: “We are very excited for what’s next and believe we will ultimately provide you with the best music service in the seven kingdoms.”

In Brief

Music identification specialist SoundHound unveiled a new version of its iOS, Android, Windows phone and Blackberry apps Thursday, offering new ways for users to explore the results of their song searches. The app, which offers the ability to identify songs by listening in what’s playing around you or having users hum a melody, also expanded its lyrics catalog, which it displays in real-time while a song is playing. The new version comes just as competitor Shazam reportedly secured some smaller investments from the major record companies. The three majors each took a $3 million stake in the company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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In Brief

AT&T is in advanced talks to buy DirecTV for $50 billion, or about $100 per share, Bloomberg reported Monday. AT&T’s plan is to turn the satellite company into an AT&T unit, and keep management on board to run that unit, with plans for DirecTV’s chief executive Mike White to retire in 2016. The acquisition report, which neither company is commenting on, comes after three months after Comcast announced that it was going to acquire Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal.

On The Web

Microsoft’s biggest foray into exclusive content may actually not be all that exclusive: The company is negotiating with Showtime about a partnership for its Steven Spielberg-produced Halo TV show, according to a Variety report. The deal could lead to episodes of the show first airing on Showtime, and then making their way to the Xbox, where Microsoft wants to add interactive features – something Microsoft executives somehow forgot to mention during a recent press event focused on their original content efforts.

In Brief

Chromecast users just got a few more options to beam movies, TV shows and music to the TV screen: Video subscription service Redbox Instant added support for Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter to its Android app this week. Indie movie streaming service Fandor also recently added Chromecast support to its iOS, Android and web apps, and the Android Music app SoundTracker now supports casting as well.

On The Web

Spotify is getting close to having 10 million paying subscribers worldwide, according to a Guardian report that cites unnamed music industry sources with the estimate that the music subscription service will hit that milestone “in the next few months.” Spotify last shared subscriber numbers a year ago, when it had six million paying and 24 million active users. A Spotify representative also told the paper that it added more than one million active users in the last four months.

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