Tag Archives: wired

Slacker Will Launch On Demand Streaming Service

Streaming music service Slacker is readying an on-demand streaming service for launch, according to a report by Wired. Slacker’s current offerings include interactive streams as well as pre-formatted channels. The service launched in 2007 with a dedicated portable device that could have, would have been a unique selling tool for the platform if streaming apps on smartphones hadn’t started to soar. Instead, Slacker abandoned the dedicated mobile device strategy and turned its attention to mobile apps. It’s available on iPhone, Android, Blackberry and other popular off-the-pc devices.

The new service will reportedly allow for an even greater degree of listener interactivity. The station already allows more interactivity than Pandora – listeners can add specific songs to their stations or playlists, while Pandora only permits adding artists. For five bucks a month, listeners can also nix audio ads, add unlimited song skips and requests.

Slacker intends to use the service to upsell its audience to a more premium offering that gives them greater control over their music. There’s no word on how much the service will cost.

During a panel that I hosted in Toronto at RAIN Summit North on March 12th, Slacker VP Jim Rondinelli indicated that ad sales have been healthy for Slacker. He noted that over the past year, they have sold almost all of their audio inventory through audio sales firm Targetspot as well as through Google’s Audio/Adsense platform.

No doubt, the launch of a highly interactive service is a move to position themselves against Pandora, the most popular streaming radio platform, as well as a few new services. MOG is an on-demand streaming service that costs $5 a month for unlimited streaming of whatever you want to hear. Last week they announced new mobile apps for iPhone and Android, upping the ante for the service that had previously been tethered to pc’s. Spotify is another on-demand streaming service that – although they have yet to launch here in the states – Slacker no doubt has on its radar…

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Study: Digital Song Sales Would Go Up If Prices Went Down

Last year iTunes changed its pricing strategy for songs and began charging more for more popular tunes. The result? Music sales have slowed dramatically. According to several sources, digital song sales grew only 8% last quarter, versus 20% a year earlier for Warner Music Group, with the industry’s fourth quarter growth rate at only 5% over the previous year.

I guess consumers didn’t like seeing the prices increase 30% from .99 to $1.29…

There’s a new study that even suggests that if record companies lowered prices, not only would it spur song sales, but it would also help to combat illegal downloading. The optimal song price, says Wharton business school marketing professor Raghuram Iyengar, is between 60 and 70 cents per song. That’s based on research with over 600 digital music consumers, and laws of supply and demand. See, the forces at play here would indicate that music prices should be lower, not higher:  there’s increased competition, free alternatives, and declining distribution costs. But instead, prices have held steady and recently jumped substantially.

Unfortunately, as an article in Wired points out, the music industry wants to believe that by marketing their wares at higher prices, they are encouraging consumers to perceive greater value in them, rather than subscribing to the theory of supply and demand…

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