Tag - cloud

Lefsetz Nails “The Model,” Pareles Nails “The Cloud”

Hard to imagine, I know, but every now and then I read something that sums up the State Of The Arts far more succinctly than I have ever done with my rambling missives.  Today I wish to share two such somethings with you, my vast and loyal readership.

There are two sides to this “music business” equation (a proxy for all business, really) that are effected by evolving technologies.  There’s the creator/producer side, and then there’s the user/audience side.

Again, the easiest nomenclature for the user/audience side would be “consumer;” Then we could just call  the two sides of the transaction producers and consumers.  But the distinction is important: particularly where “digital” music is concerned, there is no “consumption.” Consumption applies, to, say, grapes: when you eat a grape, that grape is gone.  It has been consumed.  But when you listen to a digital recording, or even purchase a track from a server somewhere, nothing is “consumed.”  The original is still there.

I keep stressing this bit of pedantics because I firmly believe that thought processes are formed by language. Vocabulary determines perspective and maybe even attitude.  That’s why I keep reminding readers that “Internet radio” is an oxymoron, and you can’t paste a “label” on a stream of electrons and digits.  But I digress…

From the user side of the equation, it was encouraging to read this assessment of the burgeoning new market for “cloud” services from Jon Pareles, a senior music critic at the New York Times:

I can’t wait. Ever since music began migrating online in the 1990s I have longed to make my record collection evaporate — simply to have available the one song I need at any moment, without having to store the rest.

That’s the promise of “The Celestial Jukebox” that I have also been anticipating since the mid 90s – “whatever you want to hear, whenever you want to hear it, wherever you are.”  As Pareles points out, we still wait for “the bastards to let us.” Read More

Orphan Business Model Attracts More Prospective Parents

For a business model that supposedly has no future, there sure are a lot companies trying to jump on to the "Celestial Jukebox" bandwagon. Earlier this week I read that British TV company BSkyB is planning a subscription service called "SkySongs." Now comes another entrant, from the guys who brought you Kazaa.  The New York Times reports:

The idea of selling monthly subscriptions to a vast catalog of online music has met with only limited success. That isn’t stopping a new batch of entrepreneurs from trying to make it work, The New York Times’s Brad Stone writes.

The latest and perhaps most surprising entrants to the field are the European entrepreneurs Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. In 2001, they created and financed Kazaa, one of the original peer-to-peer file-sharing services that hurt the music industry. The two have created and financed a secretive start-up called Rdio, with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

I've lost count now, how many subscription services are now climbing on the Celestial Jukebox bandwagon. Let's see… Rhapsody and Napster are now the old kids on the block. There's my personal fave, Lala.com. There's the infinitely over-hyped Spotify, now I read about something called "Mog," there's the BSkyB service that is supposed to launch next week, and now Rdio, from the Kazaa guys.
For a model that so many people scoff at, the landscape is starting to get crowded. Hopefully I can get a decent count of the options before they start shaking each other out…