6 votes

"The streaming music business is one crowded jam session"

An article from BusinessWeek, with a line that caught my eye.

Beats Music Joins the Crowded Streaming Music Market
By Andy Fixmer | January 23, 2014

When recording artists as diverse as Sara Bareilles and Daft Punk gather to strut their stuff at the Grammy Awards on Jan. 26, it will be a welcome diversion for an industry that’s heading into another period of upheaval. The purchase of downloadable digital music, a format that is dominated by Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes and has propped up industry sales for a decade, is winding down. Streaming tunes on mobile devices is all the rage and may soon overtake downloadable music in terms of revenue.

The streaming music business, though, is one crowded jam session. Pandora Media, Spotify, Rdio, Songza, Google Play Music All Access (GOOG), iTunes Radio, and others all vie for music lovers. The category is full of conflicting formats, pricing strategies, and features, and no dominant business strategy has emerged. Nor is music industry officialdom in love with the technology. Most ad-supported music subscription services are free (recording executives really hate free) and don’t generate industry sales. This crowd also pays what artists such as Radiohead front man Thom Yorke and Talking Heads founder David Byrne say are unfairly low royalty fees even as streaming services send out millions of songs over their server networks.

All of which begs the question: Does the world really need another music app? Beats Electronics, the company behind the popular line of high-end headphones and speakers, launched Beats Music on Jan. 21. It’s the latest combatant in the music streaming wars and the brainchild of record producer Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre. Iovine, chairman of the Universal Music Group (VIV:FP) label Interscope Geffen A&M, is convinced Beats Music can be a standout service by being a more sophisticated music curator of the vast library of music available online. Then there’s the instant name recognition and cross-marketing opportunities that come with the edgy Beats brand. “Beats will draw a lot of attention to music services, creating a halo effect for the industry,” says Ted Cohen, managing partner with digital music consultant Tag Strategic.

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jrd3820's picture

I actually don't have much to say about the aps here

As I have no aps. I have no applicable devices. My ipod is from idk....2007? It's an ipod classic. I stream from Bandcamp, grooveshark, reverb, pandora, soundcloud. I actually don't like spotify much. All of them have their merits. Bandcamp is cool because that is supporting grass roots musicians right there. Directly supporting them.

This sentence caught my eye.
"Beats Music’s algorithms track users’ musical tastes and suggest personalized playlists"

You don't need an algorithm for that. You just listen to a song or 2 someone likes and you make a playlist. You told me one song Samantha liked from the jam session, I made a playlist. No algorithm involved.

Michael Nystrom's picture

I disagree

There was an algorithm. You just aren't aware of it. But the algorithm has a name, and its name is jrd3820.

Do you think just anyone could do that? It takes a talent. Samantha even said that. But talents are rare and precious, so it is a disservice to call jrd3820 an algorithm, but it is one way of describing us. We're all systems. I'm a system called Michael Nystrom. There is no other system quite like me.

But yeah, that is a dumb sentence.

"Beats Music’s algorithms track users’ musical tastes and suggest personalized playlists"

Duh. Doesn't every streaming music app do that? I know Pandora does, so what's the biggie? Like, ooh, Beats is so advanced. A computer generated playlist.

jrd3820's picture

Human algorithims....

They are more personal. I like them better.

Strangely, I actually

Strangely, I actually downloaded the beats music app yesterday. I rarely use any of the streaming services like pandora, ect. I'm kind of weird when I listen to music, I always have to listen to a song within the context of the album that it is found on. I downloaded the app in order to listen to the new Nine Inch Nails Remix EP. I also have a lot of respect for Trent Reznor, so I thought I'd give the app a shot.

Through the chaos

Through the chaos of fire, emerges the Phoenix.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Like the legend of the Phoenix

All ends with beginnings
What keeps the planet spinning?
The force from the beginning


jrd3820's picture

pssstttt.....what are you doing?

I'm trying to work over here. I can't read it right now.

oh, btw liberty is the right to be who you are, it's not a verb :)

crowded jam sessions.....

Wait... why am I in a business thread?

This is bizarre.....

Michael Nystrom's picture

It is still a verb

Irregular verb, which is a nicer way of saying its weird.

jrd3820's picture

thats not true

i didn't look.

did you get your assessment?

only reason i logged in today was to get that to you and then you're all here...jam session stuff.

jam session here. jam session there....

jam jam jam jam jam jam

Michael Nystrom's picture


What assignment?

Apparently not. What thread is that again? I can't keep them all straight. Or did you email it to me? I refuse to open email on the weekend.

I'm going to a used bookstore to find out what kind of inventory management software they use. Used bookstores are pretty sophisticated these days - they got barcodes and stuff for tracking inventory.

This is research for my masterpiece. (My other masterpiece.)

jrd3820's picture

assessment on fight club observations


I'm working on one of my masterpieces now also, but I have the dp jam session in the background.