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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, Turntable.fm, 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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:01PM (#45619065)

    The next generation may be the one that grows up without music.

    • by Whorhay (1319089) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:06PM (#45619117)

      Or maybe just not listening to music every waking moment possible. I like music but I frequently would just as soon not have any playing while I'm focusing on something else.

      • by fatgraham (307614) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:13PM (#45619203) Homepage

        Conversely, I find it hard to work in silence. Music, radio, (with inane chatter) or even a TV in the background helps me so much more.
        I find silence distracting as I instead here little irregular noises here & there (doors slamming in the building, people shouting in the street etc)

      • by Xicor (2738029) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:30PM (#45619399)
        or just get the music and put it on your own streaming server that you run for free...
      • by Hatta (162192)

        Or maybe just not listening to music every waking moment possible.

        There's enough free music on Archive.org to fill 24 hours a day.

    • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:07PM (#45619133) Homepage Journal

      The next generation may be the one that grows up without very expensively produced music.

      FTFY.

      Humans will have music for as long as we can find something to bang on rhythmically. But, in the future, most production will probably happen in small and home studios, as opposed to the monolithic labels owned by RIAA members.

      • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:14PM (#45619217)

        Making high-quality music used to require investment. Expensive instruments at a minimum - but if you didn't want to sound like Kenny, you'd also need high quality microphones, sound damped recording studio, mixing desk, specialist technician to operate it and several high-end recorders capable of syncronised operation.

        That's all changed now. One person working on consumer, affordable equipment can - on a purely technical level - match that quality with comparative ease. It's down to the level where people can and do make music as a hobby, without any expectation of payment.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Just one Antares VST plugin (Auto-Tune 7), and you sing as well as any modern pro can.

          • Just one Antares VST plugin (Auto-Tune 7), and you sing as well as any modern pro can.

            Always wanted to play with it, never wanted to spend the money.

            Still waiting on a FOSS alternative.

          • by tompaulco (629533)

            Just one Antares VST plugin (Auto-Tune 7), and you sing as well as any modern pro can.

            Caveat: as well as an modern pro that uses auto-tune.
            Also "pro" meaning someone who sings for a living and not necessarily meaning someone who is a good singer.
            Someone who is an excellent singer will sound better singing without autotune, as the autotune will translate it into a flat, sterile note within the timbered scale. Vibrato will be removed, a slur will be changed into a horrible electronic sounding glissando.
            It should also be noted that harmonies suffer using autotune. A harmony singing a 5th ab

        • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:26PM (#45619363) Homepage Journal

          Making high-quality music used to require investment. Expensive instruments at a minimum - but if you didn't want to sound like Kenny, you'd also need high quality microphones, sound damped recording studio, mixing desk, specialist technician to operate it and several high-end recorders capable of syncronised operation.

          Actually, that's largely been a myth since the advent of consumer grade, multi-track tape recorders.

          For instance, the Sublime album Robbin' The Hood was recorded exclusively on a 4-track tape machine, and it sounds awesome. The problem, however, comes in with mastering the tracks. Not sure how they managed it back in the early 1990's (I'm guessing they went to one of those expensive studios), but the solution today is as simple as downloading a free copy of REAPER [reaper.fm] and learning how to use it. If you don't mind spending a fair amount of cash, there's a plethora of other DAW options out there; I'm a fan of Logic myself.

          Hell, I bet dedicated audiophiles could probably come up with studio quality stuff using nothing more complex than Audacity. [sourceforge.net]

          • Reaper is only free to try. Although reasonably priced it is definitely not free. Continuing to use it for free is abusing their licensing and using it for anything commercial would open yourself up to potential legal troubles.
          • by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday December 06, 2013 @01:10PM (#45619767) Homepage Journal
            Why not go open source for DAW with Ardour [ardour.org]? Combine that with Rosegarden [rosegardenmusic.com], and maybe some of the other fine applications that all work with Jack Audio Connection Kit [jackaudio.org].

            Pretty cool stuff out there for free, especially if you're just starting out and are a bit of a geek.

          • back when two-track was all you had, you recorded what you had on hand for talent, and bounced the two tracks onto one on another recorder. if you needed to add more later, repeat. the whole tape layer was used, and the oversaturation of bass in particular was the original development of "fat bass." it got easy when four-track head stacks were developed.

            oh, there is something about knowing what you're doing in there someplace, too, because you had to KNOW where you wanted sounds to end up before you laid

            • Plus, we had to walk to the music store uphill, both ways, in the snow, with DAT cases for shoes!

              Ah, the good ol' days. Heck, I still keep an old TEAC reel-to-reel on my studio desk, and use it from time to time - nothing like real analog tape delay!

          • by vux984 (928602) on Friday December 06, 2013 @03:14PM (#45620923)

            Hell, I bet dedicated audiophiles could probably come up with studio quality stuff using nothing more complex than Audacity.

            Dedicated musicians could.

            Dedicated audiophiles would blow the entire project budget on a 4 foot patch cord.

        • by ausekilis (1513635) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:30PM (#45619401)

          You're forgetting why bands sign to labels to begin with: Advertising.

          The record labels are the ones that can (and do) do the legwork to set up and promote concerts, to help design and create the T-shirts, to get the bands name out there for the masses. When the labels die out, there will be a mess of indie and smaller players, and the signal to noise ratio will get worse and worse. Something similar is happening with the games industry right now, there's only a meager handful of AAA games released each year, and lots of indie games.

          Of course, this could also be a great thing. I'd much rather get to the steam-sale level of purchases for albums. Dropping $3-5 on a band? why not, check them out. Spending $20 on someone you've never heard of? not likely

          • 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?

            • 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.

              I'd believe that, especially given recent developments in understanding evolved handicaps [wikipedia.org] and other forms of economic signaling [wikipedia.org].

              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?

              Then why not just enlist people from the demoscene to make a video for a particular piece of music?

            • by jbolden (176878)

              It was actually the opposite, a response to the cost of promotion getting too high. The old model had been a band gets a local following, then a record contract and the local experience plus contract gave them a platform. As the music scene became more national it was getting more difficult to cross over from local to national. So record companies had to do a national promotion for the groups they signed. MTV and videos were a cheap national promotion mechanism (comparatively).

          • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:46PM (#45619545) Homepage Journal

            You're forgetting why bands sign to labels to begin with: Advertising.

            The record labels are the ones that can (and do) do the legwork to set up and promote concerts,

            Which is now done by the band themselves on social media.

            to help design and create the T-shirts,

            Social media + boutique, online print shops (CustomInk, VistaPrint, CafePress, etc.).

            I found one site that does custom graphics for kick drums, too.

            to get the bands name out there for the masses.

            Did I say social media already?

            Social media.

            When the labels die out, there will be a mess of indie and smaller players, and the signal to noise ratio will get worse and worse.

            Only if you operate under the assumption that "major label bands" > "indie bands."

            Which is a false assumption to make. For example, look at some of the top acts from the late 1980's and early 1990's - Nirvana's first album, Bleach, was produced by a nobody studio known as SubPop Records; Sublime founded their own label, Skunk Records. These are but two examples of many great, at least moderately successful bands who broke into the industry without first selling out to the major labels.

            Personally, I see it the other way: the big labels do nothing but pump out pile of crap after pile of crap, generic poppy garbage that all sounds the same, from talentless hacks who, if there was no such thing as AutoTune, would still be asking SAG card holders if they want fries with that. The Indie scene is were we get modern wonders like Jonathan Coulton, DeadMau5, LudaCris, et. al.

            Seriously, the Thing A Week album series? You'd never see anything that progressive coming from an RIAA member.

      • by tepples (727027) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> on Friday December 06, 2013 @01:36PM (#45620029) Homepage Journal

        Humans will have music for as long as we can find something to bang on rhythmically.

        Until humans get sued for banging on something rhythmically in the same way that someone else happens to already have banged on something rhythmically. See, for example, Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music and Three Boys Music v. Michael Bolton.

    • by sinij (911942)
      Please, music is in human nature. If everything else fails (for any definition of fails) "the next generation" will still be sitting around campfires beating cow-skin drums and chanting. "Without music" will never happen.
      • by MarkvW (1037596)

        I totally agree with you, but I don't think it will be just drums and chants! Home production of first-class music is now available to almost everybody.

        The problem remains distribution and promotion.

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      maybe the entertainment cartel is doomed, maybe a generation will rise up and put those and similar parasites under six feet of dirt

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      At the fault of no other than the RIAA.

      Gotta love the irony: their desire for control/restriction of use is dying out their very method of profit/industry itself.

    • by tibit (1762298)

      Yeah, because if we don't listen to internet radio, we're growing up without music. Ha ha. Frankly said, I find music radio to be almost unbearable, whether delivered over teh interubez or via airwaves. I like buying my music, and exactly the music I want.

      • by rosseloh (3408453)
        I like my Pandora list, because it introduces me to new artists.

        Not as much now as it did when it was new, sure, but I still find stuff I like by using their algorithm.

        (Granted, this is Pandora piped through Elpis, so I don't have ads or "are you there" confirmations or anything...)
    • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:35PM (#45619451) Homepage Journal

      Could you please point to a generation that had no music? Cavemen had music, as far as I can determine. Which generation since has done without music?

      The problem here is, that people expect to MAKE MONEY off of music.

      I don't pay money for music, yet I have music. If the web just dried up, if television and radio stopped broadcasting music, I would still have music. Two of my three sons have learned to play guitars. I used to play the trumpet, I could relearn all that I've forgotten.

      Grow up without music? Come on, just try to get in touch with reality.

      Big deal, the big corporate honchos may find that they can no longer make mega-bucks from music. It's not like they actually CONTRIBUTE any thing to music. They are frigging parasites. Let them die off. Just starve them. The world won't miss them.

      We will still have no-name kids playing music because they love music. And, if they are actually any good at it, people will reward them for playing. People will still be entertained.

      Grow up without music. Preposterous.

      • by budcub (92165)

        I think what he meant was "grow up without free music" (other than FM radio). I grew up when music wasn't free. You had FM radio, you had friends who'd share their CDs and records, trade tapes, maybe see a live show if you could afford it. Having a music collection meant a big investment of money, unless you could make lots of tapes off of other friends collections.

        Anyone remember holding the tape recorder up to the radio to record their favorite song?

      • by Moses48 (1849872)

        The future is full of wonders. Imagine your kid playing around with his guitar in front of a few friends. His mandatory house anti-terrorist (kinect like) system recognizes patented chord sequence.

        TV: *BEEP BOOP BAP* RIAAfia has determined that there are sufficient humans to constitute a public performance of patent 539fe34 "Chord sequence C A". Please cease and decist or the appropriate fees will be applied to your SSN credit line.
        Kids: Ahh man

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Christ, guys, this is the dumbest thing I've heard all week. Grow up without music? Right, like internet-only streaming music is the only music there is. You dumb kids do realize, don't you, that I was over forty before there was such a thing is internet-streaming music at all? Do you also know that there are these old-fashioned things called "radios" (I'll bet there's one in your car) that you can... GASP! Stream music from? Even record that streaming music?

      What's more, unlike when I was a kid when you cou

  • The article is FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sinij (911942) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:03PM (#45619085) Journal
    The article is FUD. Why? Because there is still demand for this service.

    Sure, current generation of services might die off, but as long as there is demand there will be a way to make money off it. Just look at the radio - they found a way to keep music "streaming" and pay the bills for the past 100 years or so. It is just a matter of finding correct monetization strategy.
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      You realise you're arguing against something the article never says, while providing a hypothesis which is exactly what the article thinks will happen?

      Ultimately, the record labels are still calling the shots. And upstarts like Spotify, Rdio and the rest are learning that lesson the hard way, calling for sympathy while the shot-callers wring them out. In this old game, the dealer always wins. That is, unless you're a company with an excellent poker face and deep pockets to boot—and only Apple, Google

      • by sinij (911942)
        The article premise boils down to "there will be no streaming music at some point in the future". To that I responded that I think they are WRONG because of REASONS. What is your point exactly?
        • by Sockatume (732728)

          That's simply not the article's premise. The article's premise is almost exactly what you so smugly proposed should be its premise.

          Did you not read it?

    • 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.

      • > The record labels want online streaming to die.

        Wrong.
        They know it's the future, they just haven't figured out how to sustainably eat all its profits and make it grow.

    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:20PM (#45619287)

      Just look at the radio

      I don't think that's how radios work.

    • by synapse7 (1075571)
      The underlying issue is probably the billions they are paying their own execs.
    • The demand for music streaming may be affected by the experiences of those who pay a provider for a few years then all of the sudden have their whole music world shut off when their provider goes belly up. They'll find another service, but will it have all the same music? Maybe some of those folks will wish they had purchased the music instead of paying subscription... or maybe they'll move back to the pirate world.
    • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:41PM (#45619505)
      it's FUD because Pandora isn't fighting to pay artists 'less' it's fighting to be treated the same as radio...which, in the 21st century...is exactly what streaming services are.

      The RIAA has set pricing on streaming licenses ridiculously high - hence why no streaming service can reliably make a profit.

      The organization trying (and succeeding) at ripping off artists isn't the one actually playing the music...
      • I should add that the RIAA is also using the jacked up rates on streaming to suggest that cable and satellite music stations should also pay the ridiculous fees. They haven't as yet tried to get terrestrial radio rates jacked up...but that's mostly due to the National Association of Broadcasters lobbying preventing them from doing it.

        Yet again, the 'little' guy is squeezed because the big boys have money to buy laws.
    • by sjbe (173966) on Friday December 06, 2013 @01:34PM (#45620017)

      The article is FUD. Why? Because there is still demand for this service.

      The fact that there is a demand for something doesn't mean that demand can be met economically. There is arguably a demand for moon rocks but that doesn't mean that a business can be developed within the current economic constraints that can harvest and deliver moon rocks and make a profit doing so. Maybe someday in the future but right now it isn't feasible. An extreme example maybe but it's not hard to find more terrestrial examples of the same thing. There are lots of things out there for which there is some demand but the technology, economics or regulations in practice make it impossible to form a profitable business.

      Maybe streaming services will work as a business or maybe they won't. The fact that there is a demand out there is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a business to be developed that can profitably supply streaming services. The content has to be legally obtainable at a price point lower than the amount customers are willing and able to pay. So far that combination has proven to be difficult for a variety of reasons.

    • 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 kheldan (1460303) on Friday December 06, 2013 @02:07PM (#45620349) Journal

      Just look at radio

      I am looking at radio -- with an accusing eye, that is.

      I was 'raised on radio' -- been listening to it all my life, and I appreciate broadcast radio, and think it's sad that it's heyday seems to be over -- but I also like streaming internet radio, and broadcast radio is the reason I see that internet radio is having so many problems. Several years ago the broadcast radio industry threw a hissy-fit over internet radio and royalty fees, which almost immediately drove many internet radio stations out of business, and made the ones that remained in operation have to resort to selling ads. In short broadcast radio forced internet radio to use the same exact business model that they do, regardless of whether or not it applies to internet radio -- which it does not. Of course they knew this, and wanted to see internet radio go away entirely. Well, they may be getting close to their "goal". Of course the irony here is that what's really ripped the guts out of the broadcast radio industry is personal music players, but can they compete with that? No, they can't, so they lash out at whoever they can, desperately grasping at straws, in this case, internet radio.

  • Who cares. (Score:5, Funny)

    by nospam007 (722110) * on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:05PM (#45619101)

    The musical taste of an peson set at age 14.
    So just download the last 20 years of music in about half an hour you have your music for life.

  • Too many? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:05PM (#45619111)
    I wonder how much of this is just adjustment of the market to over-saturation.

    That is not to say the RIAA is not shooting itself in the foot by pushing for higher royalties then the consumer will bare, but I do wonder if the explosion in sites has lead to more then there is room for.
  • Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:05PM (#45619113) Journal

    This is just the beginning of the end for the corporate music industry. This has been going since the Napster days, and is just jumping from format to format. There is no profit left in corporate music (Labels). The number of good music acts is increasing as the wealth that was centralized by Labels becomes decentralized. Will there still be megabands and huge starts? Of course. However, the number of quality musical artists, who are able to reach a much wider audience, will spread out the available dollars to a broader selection of talent.

    The real money will be made playing music live for fans to enjoy. Here's to hoping for the death of the "boy bands" and talentless whores who take off their clothes and call it a musical act.

    • Re:Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

      by X0563511 (793323) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:21PM (#45619301) Homepage Journal

      The number of good music acts is increasing as the wealth that was centralized by Labels becomes decentralized.

      Huh? No, technology has advanced such that good musicians/songwriters/performers can become good acts without a middleman. That's all. The Labels are not becoming decentralized, they are becoming deprecated.

    • by gsslay (807818)

      The value of your insight is severely compromised by your idea that you can quantitatively measure "good music acts" and "quality musical artists".

      The quality of the act and the music they play is almost entirely a matter of opinion. It cannot be measured without being influenced by your taste in music. Therefore you cannot demonstrate in any meaningful way that they are increasing in number.

      Fact is, the "boy bands" and "talentless whores" you describe will continue to make money because people are willin

      • Re:Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sique (173459) on Friday December 06, 2013 @01:00PM (#45619693) Homepage
        Boy bands have existed for ages, and while no one expects each of them to last long, they make big business while they are existent. They were never expected to produce music with an everlasting impression, they are expected to land one or two big songs, sell a huge amount of copies and then cease to exist.

        Lets just put "There is no quality music anymore" to the same group of sentences which have accompagned humanity since the first conversation about 1.7 mio years ago, like "They don't make things to last, like they used to" and "Those children of today! When I was young, we never...".

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      I'm hoping you are right. Recently, one of the biggest changes in mainstream music was that the big labels stopped signing bands and started building bands. This difference doesn't sound big, but it means that instead of having an album from a group that has its own sound, stage presence, and lyrics, it means one is getting a singer who is especially chosen because he/she can follow orders, lyrics specifically chosen to appeal to a certain market segment by the MBA types, and then form a band around that.

    • by starX (306011)

      The real money will be made playing music live for fans to enjoy.

      Point of fact, that's how the real money is made right now. What most people still don't realize is that a recording contract with a major studio is not a payday, it's a loan; all of that studio time and promotion is something the artist has to pay back through album sales. Where the artist really makes bank is in touring and merchandise sales while on tour.

      Is there money to be made from a recording contract? Absolutely, but just like in TV and Hollywood, not much for most of the people who sign one. Big

  • pay artists??? don't the labels take a big cut of that so they only get like $0.02 a play and only after they pay off there fees?

  • Grooveshark (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    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 jythie (914043)
      Grooveshark is being sued for copyright infringement, so historically they have 'stayed afloat' by not paying royalties. It is much easier to keep costs low and provide a cheap (or free) product when your bypass such fees. The other services that the piece goes over are all paying royalties to one degree or another.
    • by X0563511 (793323)

      It won't, if everyone using it is blocking the advertisements.

    • 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?

      and this is why websites hate adbockers you are using their service but not paying or veiwing ads.

    • Grooveshark stays afloat because they don't bother with all of the pesky license agreements that the other services require.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grooveshark#Lawsuits_and_Controversies [wikipedia.org]

      I enjoyed using Grooveshark, but switched to Spotify since Grooveshark typically doesn't pay the artists that I listen to. Spotify might not pay them much, but at least they pay them. It was also irritating to create a playlist with Grooveshark and then open it again several months later and find out that half the son

  • Oh snap! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:11PM (#45619183)

    Back to downloading music for free and setting up playlists then!

  • by shuz (706678) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:16PM (#45619249) Homepage Journal

    Or all these services could embrace the google business model which is to supplement services paid or unpaid with heavy data mining and profiling of people. The real prize is being able to target an individual with information that has a high likely hood to cause that individual to spend more money. It really doesn't matter who or what they spend the money on. If the individual spends more as a result, then the original company that data mined and profiled the individual can monetize the entire process in their favor.

    1. Give individual service for reduced cost
    2. Profile individual
    3. Sell or use profile
    4. Profit

    The only other option is to offer a service at the true non-competitive cost, which the majority of people are not willing to pay.

    • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Friday December 06, 2013 @01:46PM (#45620145)

      That model would work so much better for music services too. In the services I use, I straight up tell them exactly what I like and don't like. They don't even have to guess. There are little "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" buttons that I press that do all of that work for them. They could easily make a deal to send out a notice to everyone who expressed a like for a particular band that a new album has been released, with a deal for their users if they buy today or something like that. They could even do a query expansion type of search for that. If band A releases an album, and I like bands B, C, and D, and most people who like band A also like bands B, C, and D, then they send me a notice of the new album (unless I specifically indicated that I don't like band A).

      All of the data mining is already done by the users. Streaming services are the way I find new music now, generally not the radio. If the record companies figured that out and started treating the streaming services like radio on steroids (direct connection to the listeners - how novel!) then they might actually discover the future of their industry.

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Friday December 06, 2013 @12:19PM (#45619285)

    Its doing quite nicely thank you - admittedly thanks to googles large bank balance - and its what pretty much everyone I know uses to listen to music on now. If you want to download music of course thats a different matter , but to just listen to ad-hoc music in the background while doing something else YouTube is as good as any.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      "Doing quite nicely thanks to Google's large bank balance" is actually what the article expects to happen.

    • No one I know uses their computer to listen to music anymore. It's always on their phone or tablet.

  • What about the effects of cell phone companies moving away from unlimited data? I never got into it just because of that.
  • FM radio stations all get to play music for free and in some cases they get paid to play it. Yet on the internet BMI and ASCAP turn into vampires sucking dry anything that is different.

    The blame is The labels, BMI, and ASCAP. Those are the ones that deserve all your anger, ire, and hatered.

  • 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.
  • Just think... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Friday December 06, 2013 @01:37PM (#45620053) Homepage

    The big problem used to be the media companies paying the radio stations to play their artists music...

  • by boristdog (133725) on Friday December 06, 2013 @02:00PM (#45620295)

    I work for #LARGE CORPORATION# that doesn't want bandwidth eaten up by streaming. Hence, most streaming is blocked. Work is where I have the most time to listen to music.

    I suspect a lot of other employed people have this situation. And since employed people are generally the target market for ads or they are the ones who pay for streaming services, that cuts down on a huge revenue source.

    And like many, I hate most of the usual mainstream pap, so I find and download interesting new (and old) stuff. I'm not a hipster, I'm just old and cranky. Most lesser-known bands happily give away their music(so you'll come to their shows) or they sell CDs/MP3s cheaply. Result: NAS full of music at work for everyone in the dept.

  • 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.

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