Want to be the next music star? Why not host your own internet radio station at http://blip.fm ? Like a kind of Twitter for music Blip.fm is a micro-messaging service that allows users the opportunity to post short “blips” (mp3 + 150 characters comment about the music), to a community of ‘wanna be’ Disc Jockeys. In addition to connecting to other DJs to share songs users can rate their favorite DJ and post their songs on their Twitter accounts.
Music discovery has always been a social sharing process so it is not unusual to find a proliferation of technology driven music applications and services vying for our attention in this arena. A quick search prepares a daunting list of applications, music sharing sites, mashups, and bookmarking sites, some who have open deals with record companies, some running under the radar, and some that are taking the You Tube approach by putting the responsibility on users not to upload pirated material. Here are just a few music services I thought were interesting:
- Muxtape – oops they were shut down last September by the Record Industry and are now trying to rebuild
- We are hunted.com – tracks the top 99 songs of the day around the world through social networks, forums, blogs and twitter and turns data into a chart
- Midomi – hum a tune into your phone and the service finds and plays the song for you. (Make sure you are in a private place when humming to avoid embarrassment)
- Last.fm – you listen to the music, then Last connects you to people who have similar tastes. Sort of a music gone dating service
- Pandora – type a song and Pandora creates you a customized radio station through a complex algorithmic analysis of your preference. Very cool but not available to Canadians due to licensing restrictions.
- LaLa – select a song from a library of millions, then get recommendations from friends and reviewers
With so many free services out there is anyone making any money?
Slacker Radio, at http://slacker.com a US only interactive radio service, appears to have a subscription and ad supported revenue model that is working. Founded in 2007 Slacker offers “Your Radio Everywhere”. Users have access to 100 programmed stations, 10,000 artists’ stations, and an unlimited amount of personally created stations. Slacker acquired the rights from content owners, including Sony MBG Music, Universal Music Group, and hundreds of independent labels, Slacker Radio is available via PC and on protable devices like the Blackberry and Iphone.
CEO and founder of Blip.fm, Jeff Yasuda when asked at the recent Ad Tech Conference in San Franciso about how his new company planned to make money indicated that while their arrangements were confidential he did indicate that monetization around music and their users can be well received if executed appropriately. For example he indicated that Ticketmaster interested in advertising an upcoming Metallica Concert to band fans on Blip.fm would be accepted by his users especially if targeted geographically. This certainly supports the notion of permission-based, customized and personalized advertising.
The other day my daughter asked if I could rewind a song playing on the radio so she could hear it again. I told her I could not because it was the radio. She found that puzzling. There is no question that technology has changed the way we enjoy and share music and that consumer demand is fueling the speed of innovative alternatives to the old radio station model. The key to survial for these old modeled companies is to embrace change and learn how to partner with innovative startups.