Streaming Music Services: Here Comes the Era of Competition

Assuming the Apple-Beats thing goes through–and regardless what you might think about the the wisdom of this deal–we about to enter an era of massive competition in the streaming music space for the ears and hearts of consumers.

And this isn’t a n0t-in-Canada situation anymore.  With streaming rates finally set in stone by the Copyright Board–the rulings came out Friday–any webcasting music business can now set up shop in Canada knowing full well what using music is going to cost them for the short- and long-term.

Pandora had been waiting for this ruling before making a move on Canada.  Spotify will be in Canada sooner than later.  And because the existing players–Songza, Slacker, Deezer, Rdio, and so 0n–know what their costs are going to be, they’re free to perhaps expand their offerings.

Billboard goes deeper:

Talks continued at press time over Apple’s bid to buy Beats Electronics for a reported $3.2 billion. But the ripple effects are already being felt among players in the growing market of streaming music providers – which is set for a period of rapid consolidation during the next 12 months, say industry executives.

The deal may spur tech giants like Google and Amazon to make bids of their own for the likes of Spotify and Rhapsody — the biggest and first on-demand music streaming subscription services, respectively — as they seek to make their digital platforms more attractive to consumers. Google and Amazon declined to comment.

Insiders told us that rivals like Spotify and Rhapsody would not be surprised to see Apple, which took a tentative first step into the market by launching iTunes Radio last summer, roll out a competing service. The belief is that there’s still plenty of room for growth given the market is still quite small. “I’ve always assumed they would eventually offer on-demand streaming,” a source told Billboard. “We’re not fighting over market share here. It’s still such a small market that’s growing fast.”

Continue reading.  Boy, I hope the terrestrial radio companies are watching this closely…

And lest of you thought this was just about audio streaming, think again.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

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