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RAIN 8/2: Third-party services can turn Spotify into a "lean-back," Net radio-like experience

Posted on: 08/02/2011

PLATFORMS TAKE THEWORKOUT OF SPOTIFY BY GENERATING PLAYLISTS FOR YOU

Besides its Artist Radio feature (more here), Spotify is mainly a “lean-forward” experience. Users have to work to craft playlists and seek out good music. But a few third-party services transform Spotify into a “lean-back” experience akin to Pandora or other Internet radio services.

TruShuffle is one example (pictured right). It links up with your Last.fm account to create Spotify playlists filled with music you like and similar music you haven’t heard yet (sound familiar?). The playlists are even continually updated with new tracks based on your listening habits. Find it here.

Universal Music Group Distribution has also launched a Spotify add-on service called Digster.fm. It offers a range of curated Spotify playlists based on activities, moods and genres.

That’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Lifehacker recently featured a number of the services here and you can find more coverage of Digster.fm from All Access here.

CRB APPROVES SOUNDEXCHANGE’S “PROXYPROPOSAL FOR ROYALTY DISTRIBUTION

Back in April, SoundExchange requested it be allowed to use “proxy information” to distribute 2004-2009 royalty funds paid by services who have provided little or no useful play data about who to pay (more coverage here). Such services include small and noncommercial webcasters who can’t afford the expensive record-keeping necessary to provide play data.

The “proxy” system would allow SoundExchange to use known play data from other, similar music services to make educated guesses about who to pay.

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has now approved the request, industry attorney and partner at Davis Wright Tremaine David Oxenford reports.

SoundExchange has $19.4 million in unallocated payments from 2004-2009. Oxenford has more information and analysis at his Broadcast Law Blog here.

JACOBS SUGGESTS STATIONS GO AFTER PANDORA BY DROPPING AUDIO ADS FROM THEIR STREAM

Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs (pictured) in a two-part blog post suggests that one way for broadcasters to compete with Pandora is to make its online streams commercial-free.

Why? Jacobs points out that selling streaming ads is difficult (Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy recenty said that there isn’t enough advertiser demand for mobile, where 60% of Pandora’s listening takes places). As broadcast radio makes most of its money over-the-air anyway, why not just go ad-free online to compete with Pandora — which has to sell streaming ads to make money?

“Clean up the streams, and offer an online commercial-free radio experience,” writes Jacobs. “Why not offer something that Pandora can’t? A streaming experience that is cleaner and crisper than Pandora’s.” Find his blog posts here and here.

SIRIUS XM UP TO 21 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS

Sirius XM ended the second-quarter of this year with about 21 million subscribers after adding more than in any quarter since the merger. The company says it expects to bring on 1.6 million net subscribers this year, upping its previous 1.4 million projected increase.

More in PaidContent here.

ADULT MUSIC WEBCAST FLUFFERTRAX UP FOR SALE

John Dial, CEO of BowChica Mobile, is looking to sell fluffertraX, an Internet radio station that plays music from adult movies.

It launched in 2000 and has earned press from Rolling Stone, Wired, Blender and even won the “Most Unlikely to be Heard on FM Radio” award from Live365. Dial says the service has about 2500 monthly listeners. Find fluffertraX here (site just barely safe for work).



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