Midomi has rebranded itself as SoundHound and introduced a new freemium model aimed at challenging Shazam on both free and paid music app charts. Its ambitions could also make SoundHound a target for acquisition, since it does something Google and its rivals cannot.
Music subscription provider Rhapsody became an independent company, two months after RealNetworks revealed plans to cede majority control of the unit. Rhapsody, in which RealNetworks and Viacom now hold minority stakes, also slashed its monthly subscription price to compete with innovative rivals that have appeared recently.
Well-funded Australian music site Guvera launched quietly in the U.S. this week, offering a new twist on the free ad-supported download model some have left for dead. But if users don’t engage with the ads they serve, will advertisers get their money’s worth?
A smash hit in Europe, streaming music service Spotify now reportedly aims to launch in the U.S. by the third quarter of 2010. Once expected in the second half of 2009, the rollout has been delayed as questions about Spotify’s business model have arisen.
Music is moving into the cloud. Access is replacing ownership of albums and song files, online streams are replacing desktop playback and mobile access is renewing interest in on-demand music subscriptions. So how come I’m still not ready to pay for any of it?
Music subscription services promise unlimited access to enormous libraries of songs, typically on the order of 6-10 million tracks. But there are plenty of empty trays at the all-you-can-eat music buffet, some of which will leave you hungrier than others.
Music service MOG unveiled its new mobile applications today, promising premium subscribers the ability to stream any song, anytime, anywhere. Its launch also represents an erosion of opportunity for Spotify, the European service that has promised (and delayed) its U.S. launch for several months.
If Apple’s iTunes LP format was supposed to give music fans a new reason to buy albums instead of individual songs, its impact on record sales has been a major disappointment. Six months after its introduction, the format is more a curiosity than a game-changer.
If music subscription service Rhapsody hoped that adding a mobile component would turn around its fortunes, new numbers suggest otherwise. Rhapsody’s subscriber base dipped below 700,000 by year’s end, meaning that its mobile applications aren’t winning over new customers fast enough to replace cancellations.
Warner Music Group president Edgar Bronfman articulated yesterday what we’ve known for awhile: Major record labels have lost confidence in the free streaming model for music consumption. But while WMG may not be ready to pull content from Spotify, it can stall its stateside growth.