September 15, 2023
Music Runs into Licensing Problems. Will Cut Back to 8 Countries in 2013 was one of the first streaming music services that purported to recommend users new music based on on what the program “scrobbled” from their hard drive.  It works pretty well.

But like all similar services, has run into issed with licensing.  It costs just too damn much to pay for the rights to stream music.  As a result, the company has had to kill free streaming in most countries, save the US, the UK and Germany.

Those nations will continue to get ad-supported streams through’s website, although the desktop and mobile apps will be subscription-based.

Meanwhile, five other countries (including Canada) will see their subscription-only service continue.  The rest of the world?  Cut off as of January 15.

While I’m all for artists and content creators to get paid, these kinds of barriers only hurt innovation.  And you know what happens when users can’t get the content they want, right?  They find other places to get it. Illegal places.  Just sayin’…

Details here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37051 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “ Runs into Licensing Problems. Will Cut Back to 8 Countries in 2013

  • Ah shame. I've been scrobbling my plays there since 2005. I did pay for streaming for a while, and the recommendations were pretty great. What made me stop the paid service though was that they weren't licensed to stream to "mobile devices" in Canada.

    The internet is the internet. Why does it matter whether the packets of data are being transmitted via LTE or cable?

    I used for a long time to stream my own library to my phone for mostly-free (one-time donation). I wanted to get access to new music more easily though, so now I've ponied up for

    Rdio annoys me too because while the $5/mth to stream to my PC is a no-brainer … why the hell does it cost an extra $5 to, again, stream to my phone?

    Anyway, I decided to suck it up eventually because $10/mth isn't really that much considering all the album purchases it's saving me. (I still buy stuff I love, but rdio is saving me from buying albums that aren't particularly great.)


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