Tag Archives: Grooveshark

How The Big Music Sites Stack Up

Music consumption is increasing, and this heat map clearly shows where and who has the traffic. In case you thought Pandora was the big boy, let the visual speak for itself – the real elephant in the room is YouTube. 31% of all videos on that site are music now, and it’s the number one music consumption destination on the web – at least according to this info based on data from Compete.

ITunes is not web based and therefore does not qualify for this comparison. Grooveshark, which has been growing audience faster than its been obtaining licenses from big labels, grew traffic 236% in 2010. By comparison, Pandora grew only 116%. Shoutcast grew 180%. AOL Music, Last.fm, Slacker and MOG all grew, as did rdio – by a whopping 3680%. But given that rdio just launched last year, that growth was from nothing to tiny, as the heat map reveals.

Napster lost audience, but more surprising, so did Spotify. We7, the British startup with Peter Gabriel as one of its founding investors, is growing.

There are a lot of other sites on the map that aren’t so much streaming music platforms as they are music download sites, or artist communities, or other types of music platforms. It’s the best snapshot I’ve seen so far of the way that streaming music platforms stack up globally. You can get a better picture, along with mouse over data on each site, and a growth chart, here.

Major Label Sues Grooveshark

I like music site Grooveshark, and have written about it several times (here, and here). They’ve got a great service that allows you to listen to any song you want. They’ve been exploring some unique revenue models – for example, in addition to selling advertising, they have a service that allows musicians or independent labels to purchase a certain number of song plays to listeners who like their kind of music.

I spoke with Jack DeYoung, VP of Label Relations for Grooveshark, and Josh Bonnain, VP Marketing, when I wrote an article about Grooveshark in May. At the time, I asked them about licensing deals. I wondered how they were dealing with the major labels given their on-demand streaming service is precisely the kind of thing that the labels dislike. Jack explained that their license was an “experimental” license with the record companies which allow them to stream songs on demand and share revenue with the labels and artists based on how often a certain song or artist is played. Yep, experimental was what he said – I went back and checked my notes. What he failed to mention at the time was that it was only an experiment on the part of Grooveshark.

Well…it turns out that might have been wishful thinking because EMI has now sued Grooveshark. In fact, it turns out EMI had sued Grooveshark prior to my first blog post on May 21st. hmmm.

In any event, as Peter Kafka points out in his article on this topic, Grooveshark now joins the list of services that are being sued by the major labels, and their chances of survival are looking rather slim. The labels – including some of the independent ones – see on-demand services as a threat to music sales. Other on-demand services – Imeem, MySpace Music for example, pay hefty fees to the labels.

I’m not sure what was going on with Grooveshark – but their experiment doesn’t seem to be working out so well…

Imeem, Grooveshark, and Music Clouds

photo by MiiiSH

photo by MiiiSH

It’s been a big week for news about Pandora – they announced the launch of a new, ad free premium (read: freemium) service with lots of enhanced features, projected profitability for their company next year,  and made news by working with Ford Sync to get into cars. All great stuff.

A few other digital music services have launched new platforms. Music streaming service Imeem has a new iPhone app. Imeem mobile, like other streaming service’s mobile apps, offers the ability to stream, create personalized channels, search for and purchase music from iPhone and iTouch devices.

With Artist Radio on Imeem, listeners can listen to stations featuring their favorite artists plus similar sounding ones. They can also create lists of favorite songs and artists, and that information will be used to create personalized stations based on that feedback. Like most online brands, Imeem also offers a selection of Featured Stations, preprogrammed streams for listeners who don’t care for the interactive options.

The most interesting feature is Imeem’s MYMUSIC which allows listeners to upload their music libraries to the site and then stream their music on demand from their mobile device. According to CNET, the Imeem app allows you to call up any song or album in your collection and play it without the restrictions associated with most services (i.e. limited skips, and the inability to play songs from the same artist back-to-back). It’s a concept called Cloud Storage, the idea being that music is stored on one main cloud server and pulled to various devices by the listener.

groovesharkGrooveshark, an on demand streaming music service, is working with Ping.fm on an app that pulls music from the Grooveshark library, creates a small twitter-compatible url for it, and allows people to tweet songs to each other. It’s a similar concept – Grooveshark’s music library is the cloud storage for musical tweets on twitter.

Here’s how one might use it: Last week I tweeted that Rick Derringer was quoted saying Internet Radio is the future of radio. Someone wrote back about Derringer’s hit song RocknRoll Hoochie Coo. So I went to ping.fm and tweeted him back the song. It seems like just the kind of social app that could get traction. It also seems like an app that radio stations could use to interact with their audiences…

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