streaming startups harshing mellow

The Sorry State Of Music Startups:

streaming music startups don’t want more people using their service, because they lose money from every one of them, and the perceived success from having more users makes it harder for them to plead with the labels to give them better deals.

The big music labels don’t like streaming music because it doesn’t help them offset declining CD sales, and the evidence now suggests that streaming doesn’t lead to music downloads. Everything we’re hearing says that the labels would like to see streaming music startups just go away for now so that they can focus on maximizing paid downloads and extend that ultimate surrender date.

So when you hear about labels renegotiating streaming deals to help out music startups, be skeptical. They’re likely lowering the rates from 1 cent down to something closer to .4 cents per stream. And all that means is that these startups will bleed a little slower. But they’re still going to go out of business, because the venture firms are done investing in them.

One complaint about this TechCrunch piece: it's easy to be negative and indeed pundits are always negative about internet music, unless they're writing about Apple. We're really not that fucked. Just challenged.


Re-reading this my comment sounds off-key, like it might or might not be sarcastic. I really did mean to say that all is not lost.

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3 Responses to “streaming startups harshing mellow”

  1. bs

    “Challenged” is much too nuanced a phrase for punditness.

  2. Lucas Gonze

    Nuance kills the drama. Pundits need white hats and black hats. The RIAA: hissssss. Stealing stealers: booooo. Apple: yayyyy! Google: hip hip hooray!

  3. gurdonark

    Sometimes the current situation is like those old Dune science fiction books, in which there are so many wheels within wheels of how future histories could unfold that it’s hard to know which one will prevail. If the major labels choke off internet radio, then CD sales will decline further. Yet internet radio may actually thrive and re-invent music without the majors.

    Take http://www.stillstream.com.
    When the itnernet radio rates jumped, it went all Creative Commons or direct permission from the artist. The result? It’s a vibrant little ambient netradio station with listeners all over the world.

    Of course the big companies have a right to profit, but there has to be a win-win here that the more myopic approach in vogue now seems to overlook.

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