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Old 12-29-2012, 02:39 PM   #38
Joykins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
Terrestrial radio -- a prime competitor for streaming, really -- still has hundreds of millions of listeners around the globe. It isn't as deep of a catalog, but it's cheap to produce, ubiquitous, established and free for the listeners. Subscriptions have to offer one heck of a value proposition to beat radio.

Terrestrial radio is a "push" content business model (as is satellite radio, which is subscription based, but offers "premium" or commercial-free content). The playlists are corporately owned and the music or shows get pushed out to the audience, who can take it or leave it. Subscription such as Pandora is a partial-push--users designate certain parameters and tweak the settings, but the music pushed out to users is determined by Pandora (or really its algorithm). Rhapsody and, if I'm guessing right, Spotify (which I haven't used so I don't know how it works really), represent a "pull" model where the user selects the individual albums/artists/tracks to stream and/or download. iTunes represents a "pull" also but not on a subscription basis.

The more the user listens to niche music, the more attractive the "pull" or "partial push" model becomes (partial push aids discovery of new artists and songs, which can be an issue if you like niche music).


Quote:
Again, this is not to say that "subscriptions are a total failure," or have no merit, or are doomed. It's only to point out that even as they add listeners, they are currently struggling just to survive. Crossing an arbitrary number of subscribers doesn't mean success, if they can't fix their business model.

Proclaiming that they will eventually win the day is, to put it mildly, optimistic.
As long as subscriptions are free and advertising revenue doesn't make up the difference, these services will always have a freeloader problem.
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