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jerryking : rdio   12

Rdio aims for streaming music’s sweet spot
As the world’s streaming music companies grapple for market share in a nascent industry, Rdio Inc. is betting that less means more, launching a new low-cost option targeted at casual music…
Spotify  royalties  Rdio  music_industry 
june 2015 by jerryking
How Beats' New Music Service Plans to Crush Spotify | Gadget Lab | Wired.com
By Roberto Baldwin
01.16.14

Beats Music won’t be joining the most-tracks arms race when it launches Tuesday. Instead, the new subscription service brought to you by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will win converts through a potent mix of smarter algorithms and human curation....Beats Music is different. The service is betting on smarts instead of sheer depth. While it will have enough songs to compete — anybody entering the game at this point has to — with a library millions of tracks deep, it hopes its unique approach to music discovery tools will give it an edge.

Setting up your Music DNA. Photo: Beats Music

As soon as you begin using the streaming service, Beats starts logging your “music DNA.” This serves as a personal profile used to determine which albums and tracks would be most relevant to you. To start generating your DNA, the service asks rudimentary questions, like which bands and genres you love.

But it takes other things into account. Your age,Your sex ,Who do you play quietly?Which artists do you crank up? ...But the system doesn’t solely rely on algorithms. It’s also backstopped by a small army of curators and behavioral scientists. This human element is there to help present music that doesn’t simply sound like the music you might enjoy, but also feels like it. Just because you listen to Mumford & Sons doesn’t mean you’d want to listen to a bunch of songs featuring banjos, for instance. You’d probably be more at home listening to Arcade Fire than Earl Scruggs. Humans can help make that determination. Algorithms can’t.
Beats  streaming  music  algorithms  curation  Spotify  Rdio  Rhapsody 
january 2014 by jerryking
An Ode to Joyful Music Streaming
Jan. 3, 2014 | WSJ.com | By John Jurgensen..

With more Spotify-like services on the horizon, a bounty of unexplored music beckons. But will they do a better job of helping you figure out what to listen to next?

As more people switch from the known confines of their personal music collections to the endless offerings of music-rental services like Spotify or Rdio, they're likely to suffer similar bouts of search-bar paralysis. As with the endless smorgasbord of gummy bears, Froot Loops and other toppings at those frozen-yogurt chains, what starts as a tantalizing abundance of music can suddenly seem overwhelming. That's one reason why we fall back on the same stuff we've been listening to since senior year in high school.....There's no shortage of guides designed to lead us through the wilds of digital music, but they all have drawbacks. .......Automated algorithms are OK for interpreting my personal listening patterns, but a music service should also show some humanity by reacting to what's happening in the zeitgeist [JCK: curation]. In the way that a cable-TV channel will program Will Ferrell movies when "Anchorman 2" is hitting theaters, why not play off the moment when everyone was talking about Beyoncé's surprise album by suggesting singers that influenced her or opened the door for her career? (Then again, I don't need an excuse to load up some classic Tina Turner.)

People complain that MP3s triggered the demise of extensive liner notes. While I'm not one to slavishly pore over the fine print in my LP collection, I want to click on a digital track as it plays to find out who wrote it, identify any samples it includes or—dare to dream—see how it connects to work by other artists......With every digital music service offering more or less the same stock—give or take a Led Zeppelin, which recently made an exclusive deal to stream its catalog on Spotify—my money will go to the one who can best guide me through the aisles.
algorithms  concierge_services  curation  humanity  music  playlists  Rdio  Songza  Spotify  streaming  zeitgeist 
january 2014 by jerryking
The Lease They Can Do: What the Fight Over 'Used' Music Reveals About Online Media
April 03, 2013 | Businessweek | By Paul Ford.

What is a song worth to Spotify or competitors such as Rdio? To them, a song is an entry in a very large database—and they solve the licensing problem by managing the licenses in bulk, then allowing listeners access to their libraries of music. At some level, Spotify is not a music service but a license clearinghouse that specializes in music....So far, the large music labels have been able to negotiate with streaming services, but as the streaming music players get bigger their power will increase; Spotify is apparently looking for price breaks from the major labels.

The big question now is not “whose album gets made?” but more “who gets to listen?” Not just who, but when—and who gets paid for the privilege? Oh, for the days when record stores featured bootlegs and cats. The clerks might have been snotty, but at least you didn’t have to have endless discussions about databases and doctrine. No one, anywhere, had to know how often you listened to Supertramp.

That’s another part of the puzzle. Streaming services generate a tremendous amount of data that has value of its own; sooner or later it will be used to make decisions about what gets produced....So this is not about technology. Nor is it really about music. This is about determining the optimal strategy for mass licensing of digital artifacts. Songs are the commodity but the licenses are currency....So this is the task: Figure out how to make money, reward artists enough that they continue to make new things, and pacify the labels and studios, while also creating something that doesn’t rip off, confuse, or upset the audience. If someone can do that, then why stick to movies, music, or perhaps books? New forms of media could be sold as well. Tumblr blogs, animated GIFs, casual games, and the like could all flow into such systems. Right now, when media objects are sold, it’s often as art (like the six-second Vine video called “Tits on Tits on Ikea” that artist Andrea Washko recently sold for $200). A massive marketplace in ridiculous pictures could emerge. Flickr (YHOO)could turn into a mall. Pinterest could become … Pintere$t.
clearinghouses  music  online  Rdio  Spotify  streaming  licensing  licensing_rights  downloads  musicians  music_industry  databases  digital_artifacts  artists  markets  data  music_labels  Flickr  Pinterest  music_catalogues 
april 2013 by jerryking
New Online Services Offer Hope to Music Fans - NYTimes.com
June 22, 2011 | NYT | By JON PARELES. Dematerializing
recorded music has consequences. The positive: it hugely multiplies the
potential audience, letting the music travel fast and far to listeners
who would never have known it existed. It escalates music’s
portability...Negative: it also drives down the price of recorded
music, often to zero, ...the unexpected combination of a nearly infinite
supply, constant availability, suboptimum sound quality and the
intangibility makes songs more trivial...a challenge to culturally
ambitious musicians: before they can be larger than life, they have to
be larger than the LCD screen. Or they can try to conquer that screen
and play the Internet as an instrument, using its defining attribute:
interactivity.....The evolving world of music: Bjork is working on an
album, “Biophilia,” that will have smartphone apps built around every
song: apps that diagram the song in both conventional music notation and
invented graphic notation. ....
Bjork  music  music_industry  cloud_computing  iTunes_Match  Pandora  Dar.fm  Rhapsody  Napster  MOG  Rdio  Spotify  smartphones  Jon_Pareles  streaming  Apple  free  mobile_applications 
june 2011 by jerryking

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