The State of Digital Music: The Rdio Conversations

But IMO, this is the apex of all sites I’ve ever seen. It’s the way things could be everywhere — free, and a highly ethical business model that doesn’t require you to sell your soul just to participate.

Because I see the way it could be — that everything social doesn’t have to automatically mean you are a commodity to be sold — that’s why I get so irritated with the FB model, and other services dumping right into it.

And by the way, Ravelry is created and supported by one programmer. That’s right, one guy. Small guys can win. 5 weeks ago

G Marcus Trying to decide how I feel about this being on my FB profile:

“Marcus Sherwin listened to the playlist Fuck YOU on Rdio.”


I mean, my niece is probably not looking, but still… 5 weeks ago

unhillbilly Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Looking from the other side of the table, the market structure of the business has gone through enormous upheaval, yet has gotten only marginally more efficient and the situation may be getting worse. By my calculations, a solo artist would need 3.5 million plays in a year on Spotify to make minimum wage ($14.5k). ( By other measures, for every $1000 in music sold, the average musician makes $23.40 (

What has changed is that costs of both mass exposure and production have almost dropped to zero. Therefore, there ought to be fewer entities between artist and consumer. To me, it seems that Facebook is replacing one distribution layer with another.

Someday I would expect to see an anti-iTunes mash-up something like Bandcamp-plus-Lala that is both label and distributor. 5 weeks ago

Jon Springer Most people I know including me are trying to use facebook less, not more. Not sure what’d be in it for me to publish what I’m listening to there ? 5 weeks ago

Nohbdy I’m wondering if it is kinda like the whole lala/google integration, and you have to tell your browser or FB which one to default to? Restricted access so I can’t look right now. (I’m so glad our IT dept. knows nothing of Rdio) 5 weeks ago

GrEtcHen @Nohbdy, it is not using Spotify by default. FB will play the track using the service the original listener used. I was using MM’s Spotify listen as an example. If I click on tod nelson’s Rdio listen, it will play that track in Rdio.

I agree it should use whatever player YOU have/want to use (as long as the tune is in that service’s catalog, obviously).

Yes, I may blown past a notification. I admit I don’t understand half of what FB tells me it is doing. 5 weeks ago

Nohbdy @ BC: Facebook’s latest overhaul was designed to compete with G+. And trust me Google is just as bad as Facebook.

@Gretchen: That’s what I thought was supposed to happen. Say I listen to something and it posts on FB, then MM comes along and hits play but he doesn’t have a rdio account (hypothetically). He does however have a spotify account. I thought it was supposed to search for and play my listen at what ever service the button pusher has, provided that service provider is participating in this. As for it using spotify by default for you I’m sure that is an error and they will get it sorted.

About the previous facebook overhaul that defaulted all your settings: when they had the notification on my home page about it, it said that it would apply the defaults automatically unless I told it not to by using the link that they provided. I hit it and I kept all my settings (well the settings that were still there, some new ones replaced old ones). My wife however ignored the notification and lost all her settings. Could this have been what happened? 5 weeks ago

Buzz stein Hmmm. For me the prompts go away. 5 weeks ago

GrEtcHen cripes. When I loaded Spotify, it tried to force me to link to FB. A big prompt came up I could not exit. I couldn’t even end the Spotify program without dumping it via Task Manager. I just tried it again: I can’t use Spotify without agreeing to the FB prompt. 5 weeks ago

4 thoughts on “The State of Digital Music: The Rdio Conversations”

  1. Great post and comments!

    Right. So… Is Rdio the Future of Music?

    The problem with these sorts of “x is the future of y” discussions, particularly where technology is concerned, is that x always changes the nature of y. Because of this, you can never quite arrive at point y.

    I see Rdio and it’s ilk bumping into a few issues shortly that run along these lines:

    1) The closer these services get to delivering on the promise of offering “almost everything” in the world of music, the more they will underscore what isn’t offered. Put another way, how much music needs to be available to make up for the fact that what you want to hear right now isn’t?

    2) Part of the appeal of these services lies in the social aspect, which presently is built on the enthusiasm of early adopters and music nerds. The tone and quality of the social interaction will change as more users sign on. Will Rdio still be compelling?

    3) Rdio is presently a novel way of trying to monetize music in a time where monetizing music is difficult. It’s an experiment that is occurring concurrently with other experiments at trying to resuscitate the monetization of music. A verdict will be reached. Recent high profile releases by Coldplay, Black Keys, Tom Waits — to name a few — are not present on Rdio. Presumably this is because posting on streaming services is viewed as possibly undermining the success of other channels, both experimental and traditional. Is this the start of a verdict being reached? Will this assessment be shared by others?

    Just a few thoughts.


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