Technologizer posts about Streaming Music

MOG Goes Free to Fight Spotify, but With a Twist

By  |  Posted at 1:37 pm on Wednesday, September 14, 2011

3 Comments

If Spotify proved one thing with its U.S. launch, it’s that people will go nuts for free music. So now MOG, one of my favorite paid streaming music services, is getting a free version of its own.

Like Spotify, MOG lets you listen to any song or album you want from a library of about 11 million tracks. But unlike Spotify, MOG’s free service isn’t strictly time-limited. (Spotify users get six months of unrestricted listening, followed by 10 hours per month and five plays per track.) Instead, MOG uses a game-like system that rewards certain actions with more free listening. Refer some friends, get some free time. Recommend a playlist, get more free time. Click on an ad, get more free time.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , ,

Turntable.fm iPhone App? Sounds Good, But…

By  |  Posted at 1:44 pm on Thursday, September 8, 2011

3 Comments

The Turntable.fm bug hit me hard about a month ago. Suddenly I was wasting hours DJing alongside my friends, hoarding points to upgrade my avatar and building a big database of cool music that I’d never heard before. All the while, my friends and I asked the same question: Where’s the Turntable.fm smartphone app?

Now, TechCrunch reports that a Turntable.fm iPhone app is coming soon, and the site has a handful of screenshots to prove it. (Co-founder Billy Chasen seems to have confirmed the rumor, writing in the comments that “We were saving this as a surprise for [TechCrunch's Disrupt conference] when I’m on stage.”)

That’s great news, but it also makes me wonder whether the free ride on this very cool music service is coming to an end.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , ,

6 Questions About Spotify’s U.S. Launch

By  |  Posted at 3:31 pm on Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2 Comments

Subscription music service Spotify has announced that it will finally be launching in the United States — at some point. The company, which is known overseas for streaming millions of ad-supported songs on demand at no charge, provided hardly any details on its U.S. plans. Spotify simply confirmed the news and started a sign-up process for invites.

Naturally, that leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Here’s what I’d most like to know about Spotify’s U.S. launch:

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , ,

Microsoft’s Skype Buy Creates Conflict for Rdio [Update]

By  |  Posted at 4:24 pm on Tuesday, May 10, 2011

1 Comment

All Things D’s Peter Kafka picked up on an interesting wrinkle in Microsoft’s Skype acquisition: Subscription-based music service Rdio may be in trouble.

Skype has a $6 million investment in Rdio, thanks to some lawsuit madness involving Skype’s founders and several Silicon Valley players. Kafka said he’s “pretty sure” Skype and Rdio were planning to deepen ties and drum up more users for the music service.

But Microsoft has its own music service, Zune Pass, and it seems unlikely that the company will want to manage a competitor. For now, neither Microsoft nor Rdio are commenting. (UPDATE: See the end of the post for Rdio’s statement.)

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , , , ,

A Free Version of MOG is On the Way

By  |  Posted at 3:05 pm on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

3 Comments

As a happy customer, I’ve tried my best to evangelize MOG and other subscription-based music services to friends and family. The conversation is always the same: Millions of songs on-demand? Awesome! $10 per month? Not bad. You can’t keep any of the music after leaving the service? Nevermind.

It’s an idea that takes getting used to, and most people aren’t willing to take the plunge for $10 per month. So I’m not surprised that MOG is working on a freemium business model that it hopes to introduce in a couple of months. Evolver.fm’s Eliot Van Buskirk reports that MOG will give away limited access to its streaming catalog in hopes of roping in more users.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: ,

Google Yanks Grooveshark from Android Market, But Chrome App Remains

By  |  Posted at 1:02 pm on Wednesday, April 6, 2011

8 Comments

Grooveshark became a rare victim of Android Market policy on Tuesday, when Google removed the streaming music app without explanation of which policies were violated.

Unlike other streaming music services, such as Rdio and MOG, Grooveshark doesn’t license the entirety of its library. Songs are uploaded by other users, allowing Grooveshark to undercut the competiton with free web streaming and a $3 per month mobile app. Although Grooveshark has made an arrangement with EMI, a lawsuit against Universal Music Group is underway, and I wouldn’t be surprised if record labels complained. Apple yanked Grooveshark’s iPhone app last July.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , ,

Google Music Search’s Mysterious Disappearing Act

By  |  Posted at 3:22 pm on Thursday, March 31, 2011

8 Comments

TechCrunch’s Robin Wauters noticed something strange about Google Music Search, a service that debuted with fanfare in October 2009: It no longer exists.

Sure enough, a Google search for Lady Gaga — the requisite artist for all new tech ventures related to music — no longer serves up a box full of streaming songs. A special landing page for the service now re-directs to a general list of search features, with no mention of Google Music Search.

What happened? Google hasn’t said. In fact, this story could be quite old, given that the service vanished without a whisper. But over the last year and a half, the two main music services that powered Google Music Search, Lala and iLike, were acquired and subsequently killed by Apple and MySpace, respectively. R.J. Pittman, one of the main forces behind Google Music Search, now works for Apple. And a TechCrunch commenter who claims to have worked for iLike said adoption was minimal from the very beginning. With the driving forces out of the picture, I’m not surprised to see Google quietly put Music Search down.

Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Music Search’s demise even if the driving forces were still in place. The amount of music available on YouTube — official and otherwise — makes a single-serve streaming service from Google redundant, especially when YouTube results get top priority in search results. And then there’s the rumored Google Music, a store and digital locker that’s supposedly near completion. If that’s true, Google Music Search was approaching obsolescence anyway.

If you’re still dying for streaming music to show up in search results, consider Yahoo and Bing. Both search engines have all the Gaga you could ever want.



Read more: ,

MOG Mulls Higher Prices and Other Options as Apple’s Subscription Rules Loom

By  |  Posted at 1:11 pm on Sunday, February 27, 2011

7 Comments

With Apple declaring that subscription-based iOS apps must offer in-app sign-ups and hand over 30 percent of the subscription revenue, streaming music service MOG is considering every option — even a price hike.

MOG costs $10 per month for unlimited mobile access to its on-demand streaming music library, the same price as competitors Rdio, Napster and Rhapsody. After the music labels and publishers get their share, and after MOG pays other fees for things like bandwidth, hosting and reporting of listening data, the company will lose money on every in-app subscription if Apple takes a 30 percent cut.

“We don’t understand why Apple should get more from our business than we get,” MOG’s founder and chief executive David Hyman said in an interview.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , , ,

Okay, Everybody Calm Down About Sony and iTunes

By  |  Posted at 1:33 pm on Friday, February 11, 2011

Comments Off

I’m seeing a lot of frantic stories in the tech blogosphere today over some comments a Sony executive made about iTunes.

Speaking to The Age, Sony Computer Entertainment Australia Chief Executive Michal Ephraim said his company would like to get away from iTunes, if only it could move to a credible alternative, such as the Sony Music subscription service that’s rolling out now.

But thanks to some eye-catching headlines (including The Age’s own), Ephraim’s remarks got twisted into a threat to abandon the most popular music download service in the world. You need only look at the quotes to see that’s not the case.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , ,

Last.fm: The Free Ride is Over for Smartphones

By  |  Posted at 9:57 am on Tuesday, February 8, 2011

3 Comments

It’s no secret that streaming music services must pay a licensing premium to offer their libraries on smartphones and other devices, but now it seems that Last.fm’s ad revenue wasn’t enough to pay those bills.

Effective February 15, Last.fm will charge $3 per month for access on iPhones, Android phones and home entertainment devices such as Sonos and Logitech’s Squeezebox. The exceptions are Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which includes Last.fm with a $50 per year Xbox Live subscription, and Windows Phone 7, which will remain free through 2011. Ads will be removed as part of the shake-up.

Last.fm’s website will remain free with advertising in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, but Matthew Hawn, Last.fm’s vice president of product, explained in a blog post that an ad-supported service is simply “not practical” on other devices and in other countries.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: ,

Sony Dives Into Subscription Music, Misses the Point

By  |  Posted at 9:43 am on Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2 Comments

Sony’s “Music Unlimited Powered By Qriocity” doesn’t roll off the tongue like MOG, Rdio, Rhapsody or Zune Pass, but it’s essentially the same subscription music service — with one major drawback.

The streaming music service launches today in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and next year in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and New Zealand. For 4 pounds per month, users get ad-free radio with personalized stations and categories, kind of like Pandora. For 10 pounds per month, Music Unlimited Powered By Qriocity (MUPbQ?) adds on-demand access to more than 6 million songs, playlists and all.

Here’s the problem: For now, the service is tied to Sony devices, such as Bravia TVs and Blu-ray players and the Playstation 3. An Android app is supposedly in development, but getting on a smartphone platform doesn’t solve Sony’s problem.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , ,

Streaming Music Now Neck-and-Neck With Downloads in U.S.

By  |  Posted at 9:50 am on Thursday, November 11, 2010

1 Comment

Fascinating finding from the folks at the NPD Group: Americans now stream as much music as they download, at least on computers.

NPD (via Evolver.fm) says downloaded music accounted for 30 percent of listening on Macs and PCs in August, compared to 29 percent in March. Over the same period, streams increased from 25 percent to 29 percent of computer listening behavior. Judging from those statistics, streams could leap ahead of downloads next time NPD takes measurements.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: ,

Groveshark’s Brief App Store Stint is Over

By  |  Posted at 3:53 pm on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Comments Off

The iPhone App Store now plays host to many kinds of subscription music apps, but Grooveshark is no longer one of them.

Apple brought the axe down on Grooveshark after five days in the App Store, and all it took was one complaint from Universal Music Group’s U.K. office, according to Grooveshark’s official blog. “This comes as an absolute surprise to us, and we are not sleeping until we figure out exactly how to fix this—and get Grooveshark for iPhone back in the App Store,” says the Grooveshark crew.

Grooveshark for iPhone was like a lighter, less-committed version of MOG or Rdio. For $3 per month, users could search for and play any song on-demand, and create playlists of their favorites, but the app didn’t allow users to create full music libraries, like you can with the aforementioned $10 per month apps. Grooveshark’s website does include these capabilities, and the ad-supported version is free.

Grooveshark’s rates are low because it doesn’t license music from any major labels except EMI, which negotiated a deal after suing the service. Instead, music is uploaded by users at their own risk and shared with the masses. I don’t know why Grooveshark has escaped the wrath of other labels, but I do know labels are particularly demanding with mobile phones. This is why Rdio costs $10 per month for smartphone access instead of $5 for PC-only, and why Napster acknowledged nearly a year ago that high licensing fees for mobile streaming would make its $5 per month plan impossible.

Curiously, Grooveshark remains available for Android, Blackberry, WebOS and Symbian phones. Maybe Apple was the only company Universal complained to, but unless the label thinks it can cripple Grooveshark without any further action, I doubt it will be the last.



Read more: ,

Slacker’s iPhone Music App Gives Pandora a Run For Its Money

By  |  Posted at 9:51 am on Wednesday, January 14, 2009

4 Comments

slacker-logoSlacker, the nifty personalized online radio service that’s available on the Web and on a dedicated portable player, is making its way onto phones. Last week at CES, the company released a version that runs on most modern BlackBerry phones, and today brought an iPhone edition. I haven’t tried the BlackBerry one yet, but the iPhone one is good. Good enough that it’s lured me from Pandora, everyone’s favorite iPhone music service, for the moment, at least.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , , ,