Archive for October, 2009

The Fall of the Unlimited Choice in Subscription Music

In this economy, it is not surprising when we hear that the music subscription business is having a hard time. Lately, it seems as if the only way of making money in this world of digital music is to charge by the song. It seems as if people just aren’t going for the unlimited choice in subscription music anymore!

Yahoo! Music had the unlimited music for $12-$15/month, but soon shut down their service in February 2008 after losing too many people just a few months after they agreed to the payment. Yahoo! Music’s subscribers are now with Rhapsody. According to a blog called Music Ally, Nokia had some below expectations with only 107,000 subscribers sign up for its Come With Music service. It was announced by Real Network’s Rhapsody service that they lost more than 6% of their subscribers during the third quarter!

However, Lala, a web music service from California has been doing rather quite well. It was announced this week that Lala will be running the music section of the hugely popular Facebook’s Gift Shop. In addition, it is rumored that Lala will be running the results of Google’s music search- when searching for a band or a song, playable links at the top of the search results will appear. Lala only has a reported 1 million registered users, but with both the potential Facebook and Google deals, Lala could gain the 300 million Facebook members and the many billions of Google searches made everyday. The way that Lala works is that they allow you to play a track one time for free, then you have the choice of whether to purchase it for 10 cents as an unlimited use web song or purchase it for 89 cents as an MP3 download.

At MyMojo, users are able to download music and much more for free!

October 26, 2009 at 3:25 pm Leave a comment

Ringtones still going strong!

Nowadays, the music industry is growing fast, especially when it comes down to technology and the various ways of downloading digital music. It all began with Napster coming out in the late 90’s, but they shut down shortly thereafter. Then there was the effort to stop digital downloads, with arguments over whether music could be shared or not a certain way. Well, if you think all that was crazy, listen to this challenge that was taken to court! A mobile carrier was being sued for if a music artist’s ringtone happens to go off in public, it’s considered a public performance and is subjected royalties! Luckily, the court was in favor of the mobile carrier. Most of us have a ringtone, if not numerous ones set for our friends or family. Let us continue to take advantage of this rise of technology and digital music revolution… with MyMojo.com, users have the power to download ringtones, music, wallpaper, etc. all for free!
Visit MyMojo for more details!

October 22, 2009 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

Music In The Digital Age

If I were simply to count the types of options, not even the options directly, but the types of options available for obtaining music in this day and age, I would run out of fingers and toes in no time.  Streaming, purchasing from e-tailers, and online radio are just a few of the methods openly available for consumers to listen to music that they want to listen to.  But with the economy of technology and standards rising every day it’s becoming more and more challenging for artists to gain revenue by utilizing e-tailer platforms or selling disks in music stores.

Mark Robertson of the UK Modern Culture newsgroup The List makes an excellent point here and is truly proving what we at MyMojo have been saying all along. Artists must utilize a fresher marketing and distribution model, that combines the power and scalability of web based services with creative marketing initiative, to start seeing nice revenues again. This is where MyMojo comes in to save the day. Since we’ve always offered ringtones, music, wallpapers, and games in an ad-supported environment , DRM-free of course, we’ve been able to offer our users a free and easy download experience which allows us to pay royalties to artists and publishers. What’s more is that MyMojo invites a wide variety of artists to host their content and boost revenues while allowing the artist to continue marketing themselves by their own means and with no constraints on other ventures, a luxury seldom seen in today’s e-tailer market place.

Check out today’s article and remember to stop by MyMojo to check out today’s selection.

Developing technology has increased our access to music, books, TV and films, allowing us to get what we want, whenever we want it, and usually for free. With the music industry struggling to combat illegal downloads, there’s a rush to use internet technology to the benefit of artists, labels and music consumers alike. But will services like Spotify actually make a difference? Mark Robertson runs down the options for enjoying music in the digital age and asks, with consumers calling the shots, will the musicians ever survive?

To paraphrase the Creme Egg adverts, when it comes to music, how do you hear yours? Streaming over the internet? Nicking stuff from torrents on the web? A bag full of goodies from Fopp? Crates of obscure vinyl from your local specialist emporium?

Hair-splitting over which has more inherent value: a piece of vinyl in your hands or an MP3 on your mobile phone is a moot point now; the bottom line is we want to hear music when and how we please, without worrying too much about the details. After all, by the time any technology makes it into our lives we know it has a limited shelf life: as one platform – vinyl, CD, Minidisc, MP3 – arrives, another is lined up in the wings, waiting to take its place.

As with all genuine commercial innovations in the web 2.0 world – Love Film, BBC’s iPlayer, even match.com – the future success of artists and labels relies less on their marketing message and more on their methods of delivery. When Spotify arrived with us in 2008 it was immodestly expected to change our lives, much like iPods and other portable music players were supposed to almost ten years ago. Today, the standalone music player is on the way out, with mobile phones becoming the place not only to play, but also to download music. The song remains the same, it’s only the player that changes.

So what are the options afforded to you to find, listen to and keep music? The first port of call is those services that offer the chance to listen online, but not download music. Spotify (www.spotify.com) is the current site du jour offering free unlimited listening to their 3.5 million tracks as long as you don’t mind adverts piped between your tunes. If you can’t hack the ads then there’s a premium subscription for £9.99 a month. Similarly, one-time rebel Napster has gone legit, offering a £5 a month subscription for access to their catalogue.

Last.fm is the king of online radio: a social networking and music site that popularised the ‘if you like this, you’ll love this’ system of listening and recommending. More generally, there are thousands of straight-forward online radio stations offering streams of pretty much every possible kind of music. Start somewhere like http://www.streamfinder.com or http://www.radio-directory.com.

As far as buying and downloading music goes, iTunes remains the daddy of the retailers, offering over 10 million tracks for download. The likes of Amazon (amazon.co.uk) and HMV (www.hmv.com/downloads) have less comprehensive catalogues but do offer downloads without digital rights management (DRM), giving users more options for moving their music collections about. iTunes will soon be offering similar DRM-free download options in the UK, albeit with a higher price tag.

Aside from the big guns, there are several excellent specialist sites offering downloads by the track or album like 7digital (www.7digital.com), Bleep (bleep.com), Boomkat (www.boomkat.com), and local site tentracks (www.tentracks.co.uk). eMusic (www.emusic.com), which bills itself as the ‘indie iTunes’, offers a number of tracks for a monthly subscription starting at £9.99 for 24 songs, just 42p a track, and there’s a similar deal to be had at http://www.mp3.com.

The final option is not one we endorse, but recognise is a huge part of web activity: illegal downloading. Bit torrents are popular file-sharing tools that allow users to download large files by accessing the data on several different computers simultaneously. Thanks to their proliferation across the internet, a few quick torrent searches can turn up pretty much anything from TV series to the entire discography for a band. The reliability and quality of these files is variable, however, since there’s no central administrator checking who’s uploading what to the file-sharing network.

Every few months a new court case comes up regarding illegal downloads: the first high-profile case was against Napster back in 2000 when Metallica took umbrage at their music being shared on the network and took founder Shawn Fanning to court. The latest court wrangling involves Pirate Bay, a Swedish site that tracks bit torrent files for download. It has been dubiously defended as a piece of public art and not just an index of where to go to infringe the copyright of musicians, TV producers and software developers. But this wasn’t an argument that stood up in court and in April this year the founders were handed down one-year prison sentences and a fine of over £2 million. The defendants have appealed and the site continues to operate.

The long-term picture for the music industry is that a huge source of income – the sale of CDs – is dwindling. In its place are new income streams: paid-for downloads and royalties from sites like Spotify. The problem is the two don’t tally up. If an artist gets £1.50 from the sale of a ten-track album on CD, they might get 80p from the same download sale on iTunes, but only 5p for an album play on Spotify. English indie outfit Friendly Fires told NME this month that they reckoned they were making 0.5p royalty per song play on the service. Which means, to recoup the kind of same revenue, they’d need to have the same album played 30 times. Other reports have put the royalty rate nearer 0.04p, which would mean literally thousands of plays to recoup the same sum.

In the short term this won’t affect us consumers, as new music will still be appearing, but in the long term there may be fewer people making new music as there will be less money around for new artists to survive on.

Spotify won’t kill off CDs completely, and there will always be people wanting to have a physical product, as proven by the healthy trade in collectible vinyl. The question remains, however: do more options mean more great music?

In theory, yes: if you know what you’re looking for Spotify is ideal, but try to find to new music on the service and it becomes more problematic. There are other sites that will sate your appetite for new sounds, but the romantic notion of walking into a record shop and hearing music that will change your life, à la High Fidelity, might soon become a nostalgic memory. The chances of recreating these rare, but not extinct, revelations online depend entirely on just how determined, dedicated and thoughtful you are. The options exist, but in the absence of the hands-on, personal element, and given our growing unwillingness to pay for it, we might find ourselves increasingly cast adrift from the music we love.

October 2, 2009 at 6:13 pm Leave a comment


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