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Microsoft working on new Spotify-like service on Xbox, Windows and smartphones

For this to work in the face of stiff competition from Mog, Spotify, Rhapsody, and rdio it must:

  • Not just run on Winphone 7, but also Android and iOS
  • Have a strong playlist generation feature
  • Have fully featured mobile clients that do more than the competition’s
  • Have a very large library of music
  • Have an open API so other’s can build apps and uses for it

If this just comes out for Xbox and Winphones it may be very good, but it will remain a niche product.

Follow the link for initial details from Digital Trends.

Filed under microsoft xbox rhapsody spotify rdio mog zune music subscription service

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Rara Streaming Music Service Competes With Spotify - AllThingsD

Yet another streaming music service vying for your money.  Follow the title link for more details.  This one seems to be emphasizing “simplicity”, which always makes me a bit nervous.  (It usually translates to “fewer features to confuse you”, which means a less capable service.)

On the other hand, it has a 3-month trial for .99 cents a month, so may be worth a shot.

UPDATE: When I went to check the site it said “coming soon”.  I’m not sure if that means it will launch later today, or if the US is not one of those countries it’s launching in.  I’ll update again once I figure that out. 

UPDATE 2: The site is up and available now. And, the .99 per month is streaming only, the special deal is $1.99 per month for the first 3 months if you want mobile access.  Worth checking out at least:

Filed under spotify rhapsody rara streaming music service

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Architects, Lacuna Coil, Napalm Death label pulls out of Spotify | NME.COM

One label’s not-so-positive reaction to Spotify and how it thinks it affects their artists.  

Although this article doesn’t mention it, these artists’ work still appears on Rhapsody, Mog, Rdio, and Napster. Does this mean these services pay the artists better, or is the label merely trying to get more money out of Spotify?

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Spotify has over 175,000 US *Subscribers*

According to this article Spotify is doing quite well in the US so far.  Unverified sources say that it has over 1.4 million users, but the especially interesting (and very important!) statistic is that they already have over 175,000 paying subscribers in the US.  

That’s critical, because for a subscription model like theirs to succeed, a significant number of users have to convert to paying subscribers.  This means that those enjoying the free level of service will continue to be able to do so, and those who are paying customers can hope that the money coming in will encourage whatever holdouts there are to start making their music available via Spotify and other services too.

Plus, a high number of subscribers will definitely make Apple sit up and take notice, and that will make for interesting times!

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Why use a music subscription service?

Back when I started this blog, one of my first posts was an explanation of why I think using music subscription services is a good idea.  With the recent huge amount of publicity given to Spotify’s launch, I’m seeing lots of the old canards surfacing when people discuss it (“I’d rather own than rent”, “Why pay when I can use Pandora/LastFM/etc.”, and others).

I thought it would be a good time to link to this initial post.  Even though the “landscape” has changed a bit, especially with Spotify’s generous free level of service, most of my points are still relevant, so I thought I’d resurface it again.

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Spotify: Tomorrow's the day for U.S. launch | CNET

Very exciting news! I will of course be signing up as soon as I can to give you a comparison to existing services as soon as possible.  (For the $10 version)  

It’ll be part or all “invite only” so with any luck if I need an invite some kindly person will offer one quickly. 

Interesting note: the article still mentions the 13 million track number, which if true would put them at about the same level, if not slightly better, than Napster, Rhapsody, and Mog. However I’ve also read they hadn’t formalized their Warner Music deal yet, so if that’s true I don’t see how the 13 million number could be right, at least for the U.S. launch.

One of the first things I plan to do is a comparison of availability between Spotify and the other services, as for me that will be critical to its chances as a viable alternative.  Even if it has some technical advantages or a slick UI, if their library size is lagging it would be tough to overcome.

But, this is all speculation.  With any luck we’ll all get the chance to check it out tomorrow or soon thereafter.

Update: According to this New York Times article they have signed a deal with Warner, so that hurdle has been overcome.  All very last minute! Also according to that article only the free version will be invite-only, and the $5 or $10 monthly subscription plans will be open to everyone immediately. (Hmmm, looks like I should have just linked to the NYT article instead.)

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