Everyday there’s a new service, a new site, something remixing two different things to be the thing of a different thing. What is Instagram? It’s the Twitter of pictures. What is Hulu? It’s the Netflix of TV. You get the idea. Everyday there’s a new music service that threatens to be the savior of the industry. The service that, with just enough users, could change everything. Too often though, promises are made only to be broken later. So, which music service are worth getting excited about, which ones may actually change things? The results may surprise you.
The Earbits team is extremely proud to announce what we believe is one of the industry’s most technologically-advanced online radio innovations yet.
Recently, Jordan Crook of TechCrunch touted Songza as the new rising star of radio with its mood and activity-based stations. But since Pandora went public on the New York Stock Exchange, our team has been collaborating with leading technologists and financial analysts to build a complex music-selection algorithm that chooses music based on Pandora’s stock price and profitability forecast. The result is the first playlisting algorithm that not only predicts the future financial success of one of the world’s largest music companies, but selects the perfect songs for users to listen to based on the behemoth’s financial outlook.
Earlier this week Michael Epstein posted his article on the Music Think Tank website, We do need curators, but we don’t need gatekeepers or why you should stop using Pandora. To summarize his article, Pandora allegedly controls now 3.6% of all radio listening. With more people shifting to online radio we can expect this number to grow. Michael submitted 5 of his albums to be considered for airtime on Pandora, but only one of them was accepted. He was upset by the fact that a single person listened to his music and decided it’s not good enough to be on rotation. In other words, a single Pandora’s employee decided that Pandora’s 100+ million listeners are not likely to enjoy Michael’s music.
Honestly, if you follow digital music at all, you’ve been hearing about the impending emergence of Spotify on US soil since 1843. At this point, you may mistakenly hear Sarah Palin say that Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride was to warn US music companies of Spotify’s arrival. (Seriously, is it that different than what she really said?)
For the last week we’ve been hearing that not only have they closed deals with 3 of the 4 major labels, but “at least one Spotify executive claims Warner Music Group is in the bag,”as reported by Digital Music News.
Apple recently announced that it will take 30% of revenue from all subscriptions — such as Netflix, The Wall Street Journal, and Sirius XM– which are acquired through their iPhone subscription service. Apple will also prohibit subscription-based apps from providing links to alternative subscription methods, or from offering better pricing via other methods.
It does makes sense that Apple would want to get in on the profits of popular subscription-based apps (what company aiming for a profit wouldn’t?), and they ought to get something for building in such easy subscription mechanics. Services like Netflix and Hulu make tons of money off subscriptions and are only benefiting from the ability to get subscribers easier through their handy tools. Apple’s new policy is a smart and justifiable business decision in terms of the company’s success.
The attractive thing about the internet is that, at least in most countries, it’s open. Within legal boundaries, users are free to access information, share ideas and content, and connect with each other.
Just as AM and FM radio dominated music markets for years by offering free, ad-supported music, internet radio companies have largely offered their services to users for free. Pandora, Last.fm, and other websites, including this one, have allowed music fans to enjoy radio that operates like much of the internet: free and open.
Online radio is expected to grow 147% in the next 5 years, according to Bridge Ratings, and keep its steep growth well into 2020. There is a sharp increase in websites which offer online radio, some of the most popular ones being Pandora.com, CBS Radio’s Last.fm, and AOL Music. Some compare the growth of internet radio these days to the early days of FM radio.
What is it about internet radio that makes it appealing to so many listeners? Should we really expect to see most people consume their radio programming online?
For those of you who have missed our other discussions about Pandora and the crippling royalty rates they and other online radio services pay, it goes like this…
Online and satellite radio providers pay performance rights royalties to SoundExchange of .19 cents for every song they stream, per user. So, if you listen to 15 four-minute songs in an hour, it costs them about $.03. It doesn’t sound like much, but with over 20+ million active Pandora users streaming an average of 10-14 hours per month, it adds up quick – nearly $30 million in 2009 paid by Pandora alone.