April has showered us with a myriad of tech and social media developments and upgrades that are changing the game for creators. From Facebook live stream tipping to a Spotify free tier overhaul, here are this month’s hottest tech headlines to keep you up to date with the latest news:

Spotify’s Overhaul

Streaming giant, Spotify, is looking to revamp their free streaming tier to resemble the paid tier. The updates will make the service much easier to use, especially for those accessing it on mobile devices. While the pro and free tier are nearly identical on the desktop, there is much more restriction on the mobile device. The free plan currently prevents users from selecting tracks within a playlist, you have to just listen to what comes up on shuffle. Free tier users will now be able to access playlists via their mobile device more quickly and will have greater control on how they listen to music on playlists. One major update to the platform for free tier users is the newest option to play certain playlists on demand with the ability to choose a song to start with– if a playlist can only be played on shuffle mode, it will be designated with a blue shuffle icon. Spotify has also built in a low-data mode that cuts data consumption by up to 75 percent! The updated UI is available to select users and will be released to the public in the near future.

Introducing Facebook Live Stream Tipping

Facebook seeks to lure game streamers away from YouTube and Twitch with the announcement of their latest feature that allows people to ‘tip’ game live streamers. This new monetization feature is for video gameplay Facebook live streamers and allows users to tip the creators a minimum of $3 through the desktop site. Those who choose to tip don’t receive any special call-out or privileges yet, though Facebook is considering different options for creators and gamers (like a special emoji reaction floating across the stream as a way to thank the fan who gave money). Gamer Facebook live stream tipping is an opportunity part of Facebook’s latest gaming creator pilot program which helps gamers of all fame levels grow engaged audiences across Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus along with providing them monetization tools. An expansion of Facebook live stream tipping for creators that aren’t segmented in the gaming genre could be possible in the future, stay tuned!

YouTube To Offer More Monetization Tools

In response to creators’ complaints over YouTube’s new monetization policies, the video meca announced that it plans on rolling out more tools that will help creators make more money from their videos. Creators previously only needed 10,000 total views to join the YouTube Partner Program (which allows them to make money through advertising), now they need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time over the past year to join. This change resulted in wide-scale demonetization of that videos that previously relied on ads which fueled YouTube’s plan to come up with more ways for creators to monetize their content. YouTube recently implemented an expansion of “sponsorships” to the YouTube Gaming community where users can support their favorite creator through monthly subscriptions ($4.99/mo). They will begin offering sponsorships to many more creators in the near future as well.

iHeartRadio Adds ‘Playlist Radio’

Broadcast and internet radio platform, iHeartRadio, is expanding its feature for all its users (both free and paid) that blurs the lines between streaming radio and the premium-only option of using playlists, Playlist Radio. Playlist Radio will have playlists curated and programmed by radio DJs and other iHeartRadio staff, however, because it’s still “radio” you won’t be able to re-organize tracks, remove/add songs, or play a particular song on-demand. The songs will be played in order though you will have the ability to skip up to six times per hour. Playlist Radio will be updated weekly and is now available to all iHeartRadio users on iOS, Android, and desktops.

To stay up to date with what industry news will bloom next month, make sure you read our weekly blogs.