As it stands now, Ping is explicitly about selling music on the iTunes store. And while the new service is making us wonder whether Apple could build a viable social network, perhaps the real question is, “Does Apple want to build a real social network?”
Whether by design or accident, Ping’s lack of integration with other social networks, or even with the web itself, is now its most compelling feature — at least from a strategic perspective. It’s essentially an e-commerce platform for music disguised as a social network.
After two months in invite-only beta, streaming music service Rdio will enter general availability Tuesday morning, offering unlimited access to a library of seven million songs for a flat fee of $5 for desktop service and $10 to add a mobile component.
Mobile music has long failed to gain traction despite a tremendous amount of hype, but recent announcements about cloud-based services have reinvigorated the space. But as carriers and record labels should know, the only certainty in mobile music is that old business models don’t apply.
mSpot, a new music streaming service for your own audio collection, recently launched on Android 2.0 or better devices. Thanks to local caching, mSpot offers playback even when your phone has no data connection. But seamless on or offline playback is hurt by one main issue.
Perhaps the new limited smartphone plans from AT&T won’t hurt as much now that Slacker has introduced music caching in the latest version of it’s iPhone application. Subscribers can download and carry tunes instead of streaming them over mobile broadband, which cuts down on 3G usage.
The newest music subscription service to launch is Rdio, the creation of Skype and Kazaa founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. Like some of its newly launched peers, it’s a well-designed service that’s satisfying to curious listeners, but how many people will pay for it?
Pandora, the music streaming provider and Silicon Valley darling, has raised additional late-stage funding of an undisclosed amount. Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy said in an emailed statement the funding would be used “to invest in resources we need to continue to execute on our strategy.”
I’m tired of waiting for Apple to deliver a cloud-based iTunes streaming solution. In this weekend project, I’ll show you three cloud services that let me “carry” as much music as I want on my connected phone to enjoy when and where I want.
Sorry, “web song” buyers: Lala.com now says its service will be shut down on May 31. Whatever Apple is planning to do with Lala, the cloud-based streaming music service it acquired in December, it’s not going to keep the site functioning as it once did.