RAIN 5/19: Cautiously optimistic outlook for digital music at SF MusicTech, reports Washington Post
ROYALTY RATES STILL TROUBLESOME, BUT MAY BE MORE “SURVIVABLE”Though there was plenty of grumbling about music royalty rates at this year’s San Francisco MusicTech conference, the Washington Post‘s Rob Pegoraro reports that “things aren’t all that bleak for the music business.” Rhapsody VP Tim Quirk attacked major record labels for high royalties, saying “They charge more than we can possibly make…before you make $10 million, [labels are] going to charge you $15 million.” MP3.com founder Michael Robertson agreed: “It’s an impossible landscape if you’re an entrepreneur.” However, Quirk did predict that “there is a forthcoming 50 years of recorded music that won’t be tied down under these constraints.”
Pandora founder Tim Westergren had a more optimistic outlook. He said webcasting rates are “survivable” after last year’s settlements. He also previewed some coming features to Pandora, including notifications about when currently-playing artists are performing near you. RAIN publisher and AccuRadio CEO Kurt Hanson was also present at the MusicTech conference to deliver his “State of the Industry” address (RAIN coverage here). The San Fran Music Tech Summit is a semi-annual gathering of “developers, entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, journalists, musicians and organizations” in the music and technology space (more here). The Washington Post has further coverage here.
UPDATE TO SLACKER iPHONE APP INCLUDES STATION CACHINGA new update to Slacker’s iPhone app will include the ability to cache up to 5 stations for offline playback. “It’s a pretty great feature to have (especially on the [iPod] Touch), but it’s not without limitations,” writes CNet, which got a sneak-peek at the update. “For one, caching stations takes forever — even over Wi-Fi…and you must refresh all cached stations at once, so — once again — the process is terribly sluggish.” The station caching feature is only available to subscribers of Slacker’s Radio Plus package ($4 a month). The update has been submitted to Apple and should appear in the App Store in a matter of days. CNet has more here.
FRED JACOBS TO PRESENT TECH SURVEY FINDINGS TODAY IN WEBINARJacobs Media CEO Fred Jacobs will today present findings from the company’s sixth Technology Survey in a free webinar. “It will be a fast-moving hour,” Jacobs said, “including smart phones, Pandora, social media, streaming, and even Howard Stern.” The webinar — sponsored by Triton and AllAccess — is scheduled for 11AM Eastern time today. Register here.
NPR POLLS iPAD USERS: DEVICE USED MOST AT HOMENPR surveyed its iPad users earlier this month and has published some findings. Like the typical Internet radio listener, the majority of NPR iPad users have a college education and work full-time (for high salaries, too). Additionally, NPR found that users listen to audio and read news stories “fairly equally on the app,” and that “very few engage in one activity to the exclusion of the other.” iPad users also primarily use their devices at home (97% of those surveyed), with 27% using the iPad at work. Read more from NPR here.
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