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Music Businesses The Almighty Buck

Get Ready For a Streaming Music Die-Off 370

Posted by Soulskill
from the tiny-pieces-of-a-tiny-pie dept.
walterbyrd writes "Streaming services are ailing. Pandora, the giant of its class and the survivor at 13 years old, is waging an ugly war to pay artists and labels less in order to stay afloat. Spotify, in spite of 6 million paid users and 18 million subscribers who humor some ads in their stream, has yet to turn a profit. Rhapsody axed 15% of its workforce right as Apple's iTunes Radio hit the scene. On-demand competitor Rdio just opted for layoffs too, in order to move into a 'scalable business model.' Did no one wonder about that business-model bit in the beginning? Meanwhile,, a comparatively tiny competitor with what should have been viral DNA, just pulled the plug on its virtual jam sessions this week—and it just might be the canary in the coal mine."
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Get Ready For a Streaming Music Die-Off

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  • Grooveshark (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:11PM (#45619179)

    And somehow Grooveshark manages to stay afloat. With an ad blocker installed, it offers a massive library of on-demand songs with no advertisement whatsoever. Anyone care to explain exactly how that works?

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:16PM (#45619251)

    The record labels want online streaming to die. I've not followed the pricing too closely, but the cost per stream is something like 10x the price of a terrestrial radio station. That is why Pandora I believe was trying to purchase an FM station somewhere. The rates are lower if you have a terrestrial radio signal that then also streams IIRC.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:36PM (#45619455)

    I have wondered if the increasing importance of the music video was in some way a collective response by the majors to keep costs high. They must have realised that their production advantage would lessen as the cost of making music came down. How better to counter that than to popularise the music video, an extra that serves as powerful promotion and still requires a substantial amount of money to do well?

  • by riskkeyesq (709039) on Friday December 06, 2013 @01:06PM (#45619729)
    My business, (as with millions of businesses), exceeds the square footage that's allowed for legally playing a radio. As a result, I pay DMX/Pandora for the privilege. The service sucks. I either need to download an app or load Flash onto my computer to administer the account and the music choice. The rotation is repetitive. It takes between 20 and 45 minutes for the genre or channel to change. The remote control doesn't work properly. The stream inexplicably stops often. Customer service is abysmal. iTunes Radio can't be used in commercial settings. Same with Spotify. And Rhapsody. When one's business practices consist of poor user experience, poor customer support, and poor product delivery one's business deserves to die. This isn't a result of a shit market, it's the result of shit products.
  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday December 06, 2013 @01:44PM (#45620125) Homepage Journal

    It is just a matter of finding correct monetization strategy.

    Just look at the pie charts - Pandora already has the system in place for music discovery, which is the coordination problem that the corporate model provided one solution for. Once bands don't need corporate music middlemen, they can get half of the revenue, or more.

    I've heard a bunch of great stuff on Pandora that I'd never heard _of_ before. Apparently there were a bunch of rock bands in the early 70's that achieved very little commercial success but recorded lots of fantastic music. I assume they each got a little piece of each of the thousand times Pandora played me the same blasted ad for an Intel ultrabook (which are overpriced).

    Getting new bands into the new system is the challenge. Their odds are low with the A&R man, so going into something like Pandora makes a bunch of sense. Pandora even has the filtering technology in place to detect the turkeys.

    Of course a random op-ed on RWW carries more credence than an entire industry, right?

  • by meerling (1487879) on Friday December 06, 2013 @02:45PM (#45620695)
    When music streaming started, they paid Riaa nothing.
    When Riaa made a fuss, they agreed to pay the same as radios pay. After all, it's basically the same thing, but over the net instead of the air.
    Riaa wouldn't agree to that and threw lots of lawyers at everyone.
    In the end, the streamers had to pay SIGNIFICANTLY MORE than radio stations.
    Most of the streamers died or quit very quickly after that.

    This entire mess has been well documented. Now it looks like we get to document the last days of the few survivors of the slaughter.
    Congratulations Riaa, you killed your godchildren.
  • by flargleblarg (685368) on Friday December 06, 2013 @08:45PM (#45623641)
    I am the same way! But only for left-brain stuff. If I'm trying to code, I can't listen to music with words, because it's super distracting. But if I'm, say, focusing on something right-brain like drawing a picture or coloring in a book, then the words aren't distracting at all. The exception in the left-brain case is if I'm listening to an album I've already heard a zillion times — then my mind doesn't divert attention away to listen to the lyrics because it already has figured them out.

"It's curtains for you, Mighty Mouse! This gun is so futuristic that even *I* don't know how it works!" -- from Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse