The State of Digital Music: The Rdio Conversations

Rob Taylor
Here’s what David Hyman, CEO of MOG has to say about how streaming royalties are determined: (its page 4 of that Rolling Stone article)

David Hyman won’t divulge his subscriber numbers, but he offers broad royalty estimates that apply to both Pandora-style radio and MOG-style subscriptions. “Let’s say MOG has 1 million subscribers and everyone’s paying $10 per month. And let’s say the labels got 60 percent of that. Now, each label gets their piece of 60 percent based on frequency of plays. So if Warner [Music, a major label] was 30 percent of all plays in a given month, then Warner gets 30 percent of that 60 percent,” he says. “Then they get a wad of money. Once they get that wad of money, how do they distribute it internally? I have no idea.”

So I think that royalties are paid on a percentage basis, and not so much as a per-stream basis. So Biker Chick, I don’t think you’re costing Rdio money. It’s horribly complex, though, and there are tons of ridiculous algorithms.

I’m really fascinated by it, though, and I’d love to see how royalties are really split.
3 days ago

tod nelson
Read the article, maude. The RS writer claims 60 plays equals 19cents to the artist. He says this number is an estimate and a difficult one to be sure of–it’s a moving target depending on many factors. If an album of 30 songs gets played 74 times, that’s 2220 plays. At 19cents per 60 plays, the artist gets $7 plus. I suck at math, but according to the info in the Rolling Stone article, that’s the payout.

At your payout of .0003, it’s about 60 cents.
3 days ago

geemarcus
So a one hour album with 30 tracks might do OK, but what about the Kieth Jarret album that’s been floating around the last few days…The Vienna Concert. Same length…two tracks. Do YLT get 15x payment for the same amount of music?
3 days ago

maudeman
Rolling Stone gives streaming 3 Stars.

decimal points are important. ,03 is not 3 cents, but 3/100th of a cent. Ok, 20 cents is probably close, but not 7 dollars.
3 days ago

tod nelson
I’m going off the numbers listed in the Rolling Stone article, maude. 60 listens equals .20 to the artist PER SONG. The Yo La Tengo album is 30 songs long. I admit I “assumed” complete listens for the case of simplicity. I have no way of knowing how much of the album each person listened to.

Edit: 60 listens = .19 – I rounded up to .20 to make the math easier. Like I said, I suck at math. I was an English major!
3 days ago

maudeman
No, these numbers are wrong. Spotify pays .03 cents per play, rdio, maybe a little more

74 more plays would get YLT around nine cents..
3 days ago

ultra // dave
@GrETcHEn – this would be the reason why the push for the premium sub. if you sync the tracks to your device and play offline – these are not counted. this is one area where Spotify is smart – since you can not only sync the music to your mobile device, you can also sync it to your mac/pc. as far as i know, Rdio only allows offline sync to your mobile device only.

edit: now here’s the irony – if such is the case – shouldn’t the price be the other way around – $4.99/mo for mobile since you can sync and listen and $9.99/mo for web since you’re always online while listening….???
3 days ago

tod nelson
Lol–since I did my calculations for Yo La 18 minutes ago, they have logged another 74 listens–that’s $7 plus they’ve made in that time. Fascinating.

@Gretchen: yeah, that’s so true.
3 days ago

GrETcHEn
so, now I remember the irony of the model. heavy listeners help artists make some cash, but the more you listen, the less Rdio makes. and as someone said, Rdio will lose money until it gains enough casual listeners to offset the costs. niche players can’t survive? a land grab indeed.
3 days ago

tod nelson
Yeah, ultra//dave, if Rdio is smart, someday they’ll get labels and artists to pay for placement. It happens in every bookstore and cd store (and on iTunes and Amazon.com).
3 days ago

tod nelson
Oops. I suck at math. Cut that number for Yo La Tengo in half: $443.30. Still….
3 days ago

ultra // dave
@gee & tod – if such is the case then i foresee rotating banners filling up the available real estate on this website… i dread the day should it happen. my archaic pc here at work is already slow… i’m surprise my IT dept. hasn’t called and banned me from streaming… but then again, they probably know i’m more productive @ work when i’m playing my tunes…. or so they may be led to believe… 😉
3 days ago

tod nelson
I was wondering about that too, BC. I listen to a lot of my Rdio music on my iPhone.

Ok, I just did the math for an album that just showed up here last week: Yo La Tengo is Murdering the Classics. It’s 30 songs long, so 2 complete listens nets YLT 20 cents. Assuming for the ease of calculations that each listen is a complete one, the 4,433 listens net YLT $886.60. Not a bad payday for a backlist rekkid that probably isn’t sitting around in too many cd bins these days.
3 days ago

Biker Chick
lol too true, CAW.

On that note, you know when you sync… well that influences your HR but doesn’t show up in the plays. How does that work? I know this because I was only playing that Pure Funk record on my commute to work and back each day. Then it popped into my HR and kept- moving on up – (shut up wheezy) anyways, so I stopped listening to it on my iTouch and it fell out of my HR. So, I guess those are free listens and don’t count except for the HR.

@Tod – 100 songs. It has around 90 subscribers too.
So they prob sync it also and then those plays don’t count. I guess.
It is true…. Rdio probably hates me.

3 days ago

tod nelson
@gee–195 plays=approx. $6 for an album of 10 songs (for the artist). And, yes, I’d agree that there are people here who aren’t helping Rdio get rich! Like BC and her workout playlist!

@BC–how many songs on that playlist?
3 days ago

GrETcHEn
That was a big objective of mine in creating the weekly favorites list — if someone didn’t have the time or inclination to dig through the New Releases to find something new, they could sample via a list. It may not have a huge impact overall, but at least those artists aren’t completely buried in the weekly avalanche of dance music remixes. Even this hype-resistant crew has a tendency to add popular/known artists first thing to the feed…but the list keeps the obscure in the mix.
3 days ago

CAW a.k.a. The Aquatic Ape
Who you kiddin’, BC – you don’t work-out that much!
3 days ago

geemarcus
The math in that Rolling Stone article simply doesn’t work if you try to apply it to people like us who probably stream 60 tracks a day at least. If it’s in the ballpark then rdio is losing money on us and hopefully making up the difference with people who average much lower play counts.
3 days ago

Biker Chick
my workout playlist has 6,665 plays. No one else listen to it lol or hurry up and listen to at least 2 songs.
3 days ago

geemarcus
Playlists definitely have an affect on obscure artists with a small number of plays. An album I put on the Favorite new music list this week (#2) is only a few plays away from being the band’s most listened to album on rdio in just two days. Of course, that’s only 195 plays; probably not significant. Which is to say that rdio is not significant to that artist…probably not a good sign.
3 days ago

tod nelson
@Rob–that’s an interesting article, and it makes a much stronger case for the economics of streaming than my calculations. He writes (or infers) that a single download on iTunes is the same as 60 listens on Spotify/Rdio. Thats way lower than my estimate of 311 listens! Wow. And given the long-tail aspect of streaming, the artist (and label) really stand to benefit over the long haul. So why are some labels and artists refusing to stream? Don’t they understand basic math?
3 days ago

tod nelson
I wonder how much playlists add to listens. I’ve noticed some playlists get pretty heavy traffic–I’ve got some obscure artists on many of my playlists. And when I listen to other’s playlists, I’m listening to artists I wouldn’t have listened to or discovered in any other way.
3 days ago

Rob Taylor
I found this article really interesting about how artists make money in the new digital world:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-new-economics-of-the-music-industry-…

Streaming, for me, is still a platform for discovery. I don’t buy cds anymore but i still do buy vinyl records and listening via Rdio makes me go to more concerts and basically just spend more money on music than I would otherwise. It’s interesting that some small labels see Spotify/Rdio as bad for the music industry.
3 days ago

GrETcHEn
I agree Johnny B. And I agree with Gee, adding, both types of listeners will present a real challenge for less popular artists. You may get more exposure through a streaming model, but due to the type of music fan who’ll give you a chance and like you, well, it may still not translate to many listens — they tend to be on the hunt for the next thing pretty quickly.

I notice there’s typically a huge gap in listens between artists who end up at the top of New Releases each week, and those at the bottom of the first page. If you go back just a page or two, the total listens is often only in the few hundreds. So, you get 5-6 new releases with tons of listens, and all the other listens are spread widely among about 100-300 albums, resulting in only a handful of listens for each — probably fractions of pennies in revenue for the artists?
3 days ago

Web Wires
I’m a little bit the opposite. For years I got tired of feeling ripped off for buying a CD that ended up having only a couple songs that I really liked. Plus, I have always been what I call a musical schizophrenic … I have to have a variety of music to listen to otherwise I get a bit bored. So, when I hear an album that I can actually sit through that band really earns my respect and I feel compelled to go out and buy their CD in order to support the band.

I’d rather be able to focus my purchasing power to bands that really put out good material and don’t give me a song or two of good stuff with a bunch of half assed filler songs.

I do get the whole apathy aspect. It seems that all I do is scour the New Releases for something new and have a hard time going back to anything I’ve listened to before.
3 days ago

Johnny B
I’m not sure we can take the experiences of the commenters on this list and translate them to the music-buying public. There are a lot of new-music addicts here, and a model that makes money on our habits probably wouldn’t make money overall. Everything I know about my friends’ listening habits (e.g., their CD collections, their listens posted to Facebook, etc.) indicates that they are perfectly happy listening to the same songs and artists over and over and over again. A successful business model will make money on the bulk of listeners, not a niche group like us.

BC, you are an otherworldly woman-bicycle hybrid. It is not possible to draw general conclusions from anything you do.
3 days ago

Biker Chick
Not me.. I listen over and over and over. Just look at my lastfm. Ok anything played between 12 – 1 is a coworker… like Gavin Degraw who has moved permanently into my HR.

I still consume mass quantities of new music. I sound like a conehead.

Edit: Thanks, B! 🙂
3 days ago

Ray Hewitt
i’ve been trying to wrap my head around this development as well. I don’t have the “fever” to go out and buy music anymore. It’s a wealth of riches here at rdio. And sometimes the gluttony translates to apathy in that respect. But it certainly came at the right time for budgetary constraints! I used to drop just under $100 everytme I went to Amoeba or the like-simply out of curiosity sometimes! Afterwards I’d feel like a cocaine addict. Asking myself what have I done!? All jittery and coming down from my high.
3 days ago

geemarcus
Dave r and I were talking about this very thing last night…there’s so much to sample it’s difficult to get deep into and really absorb anything. I haven’t decided how I feel about this yet but you raise an interesting point Gretchen in terms of how it affects the business model. Traditional methods (pay per play) may not ultimately work. What will work I have no idea. The internet revolution that allows smaller artists to sell directly to their fans doesn’t seem to work with the streaming business model, which seems to require a large infrastructure.
3 days ago

CAW a.k.a. The Aquatic Ape
Definitely not, popsy. It takes a truly special record to divert me back from the “kid in a candy-store” feeling of these streaming services. Two listens is a compliment, three listens is the truest recommendation, four listens is extremely rare (except for those records that lodge for months in my car’s CD player [hello, “hyphenated-man”!]).
3 days ago

GrETcHEn
I re-listen to very little music since streaming. I used to be the opposite — deep diving on a handful of albums for months on end, rotating one out for another as time passed. I used to want an lp or cd if I liked something. Now I do not. It’s really strange to have gone from one extreme to the other, in only a couple years. It must be the nature of streaming that has transformed my habits. I have to assume it will change the habits of others as well? I doubt I’m singular in that regard.
3 days ago

Nohbdy
Its not about how many times you listen to a song, rather how many time you listen to an artist as they would get paid regardless of which song you listen to.

Going from memory since I can’t access lastfm right now:
My top 25 on lastfm have 1k listens or close to. That’s going back only a few years and some of my recent favorites I accumulation those listens in less than a year. The problem with these number is they still reflect listens from my local collection which I still use about 1/4 of the time.

So an artist got 3 cents per listen and had a dedicated following of 1000 listeners that all listen to about 1000 times then that would be 30k. That doesn’t seem so bad for at relativity unknown artist (with only 1000 listeners)

I think the problem is that right now the industry is in the middle of the switch between digital and streaming (with some hold outs still clinging to physical copies). The label are concerned that they aren’t seeing the same profits that they had and do see a reduction in the old style, but there isn’t this new group of clientele just starting to consume (by streaming), its the same customer base that’s been there so as one rises the other must decline. The root of the problem (as I see it) is that the switch from digital to steaming is like switching from a pay at the pump to a pay per mile system. The initial profit for the former is bigger but the potential for long term profit in the latter is much larger, but it takes time to see the returns.

Here’s another way to look at it (Sticking with the car metaphor) which do you think would make more money a car dealership or one of the new cars to go businesses? One gets paid up front and that’s it the other literally gets paid by the miles driven. So one gets 40k and the other get 5 buck a mile (just a random #).
If the car is driven a total of 75k miles then the former will have still only received the original 40k plus any maintenance received a the dealership. The latter on the other hand would have received 375k over the life of the car, minus maintenance cost of course. This does come with the risk of the car being wrecked before reaching this point though. the same risk applies to the music industry if you by a album and find out you only like 1 song on it or just get tired of it the label still has your money it you are streaming it and this happens they won’t see the same profit.
3 days ago

geemarcus
Tod’s comment ties into a concern I was having…just how many times does someone listen to a song? My most-played track in 3+ years at last.fm is only up to 131 plays. My tenth-most played track drops all the way down to 52 plays. I’ve bought CDs that I probably have played less than ten times, so from this perspective I can see how streaming can be a losing proposition. But maybe my listening habits aren’t typical.
3 days ago

tod nelson
Here is an interesting graphic showing how subscription based music streaming pays out to the labels and artists compared to iTunes/Amazon downloads and cds. If I’m reading this right, approx. 311 plays on Rdio/Spotify = one (.99) download on iTunes. So for the artist, there is a diminishing rate of return when someone listens to a download more than 311 times. And look at the chunk the labels take!

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/how-much-do-music-artists-earn-onlin…
3 days ago

Qat
SOPA … good grief.
3 days ago

geemarcus
Tod, thanks for summing up so well what I couldn’t seem to. The industry will have problems if it is unable to find a way to adapt in the digital age. I’m assuming you know of which you speak (that the companies are getting paid even for plays by “free” users) and it’s worth pointing out that there is at least one case in the old model where they don’t. Ever gotten “free” CDs from BMG music service? I recall reading once that nobody’s getting paid for those.
3 days ago

Biker Chick
@tod — excellent point. I never thought of it that way but yes, they will continue to make a profit 10-20-30 years from now by people streaming the same song as opposed to the 1 sale of the album.

It would seem they would rather take less upfront than be patient and wait.
3 days ago

unhillbilly
@tod Indeed. I didn’t know the labels distributed by STHoldings were that obscure. Perhaps it portends a trend for niche products: experiment with scarcity value and/or snob-effect. Might a très chic self-produced artist pull off a limited vinyl-only release (or some other rarified format) and make a respectable profit? I dunno.

I’m afraid the road ahead for digital music purveyors will continue to be bumpy. The multi-billion dollar social media investment bubble will eventually get serious about demanding returns from the various advertising, entertainment, gaming, and publishing revenue streams. The old guard will get stepped on. Maybe it’s already started with Facebook.

Perhaps as an appropriate The-Dinosours-Aren’t-Dead-Yet seque – what about that☟&✖% SOPA bill in the House? Run any kind of a web site, link to the wrong place and have your DNS pulled and payment processors turned off, just like they do in China and Iran. Regard who’s giving supporting testimony: the Register of Copryights, the MPAA, Pfizer, MasterCard, and the AFL-CIO. Likely not friends of our kind hosts here.

Ugh. Sorry. I’ll include ponies and rainbows in next post.
4 days ago

Jason Paul
@tod when you put it that way makes a lot of sense over the long view. I wonder, if/when streaming becomes the norm rather than the exception will artists/labels yearly balance sheets come out looking the same.
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4 days ago

tod nelson
@Jon–when Rdio and Spotify let you listen for free, they are still paying the artists and labels per stream. They consider it a necessary cost to acquire paying customers. It’s the same reason Amazon.com sells books for a loss–it’s worth it to take the short term hit to get the long term sale. Right now the streaming sites are losing money–just as Amazon did for the first 4 years of their existence. If somehow Rdio gets 1million customers paying $10 a month (or 10 million!) then they’ll turn a profit. Right now its a land grab for market share for the streaming sites. How much are they willing to spend to get their customers? Obviously Rdio felt it necessary to start giving music away to compete with Spotify’s free service–at least for now.

If I were an artist, I’d be thrilled with the streaming model. Every time someone listens to my song, anywhere, I get paid? Hell yeah. Right now it’s a small amount because not that many people are streaming. But if, say, by 2016, 250 million people are streaming music and I’m getting paid per stream, I’m thrilled. Now when artists sell a cd or a music download, they get a one time payment. That’s it. That download could be played a million times, and they still only get that original .99c the customer paid for it. Compared to the streaming model, after a certain point the cost per play gets lower and lower. With streaming it is a constant–for the life of the music.
4 days ago

Jon Springer
I don’t profess to understand the numbers or the record industry but can’t imagine how streaming would make any sense for labels or artists (or the streamers) as long as they are giving it away to us for free. I have enough trouble getting my mind around how anyone gets by on our $5 or $10 a month, but it’s something at least.
4 days ago

Joseph Thornton
Agreed, the Google Music interface and experience seemed slow and clunky to me.
4 days ago

geemarcus
Yeah everything about google music sucked in my experience. The mobile app was constantly taking over and playing music on me. I’d get in my car and all of a sudden there would be Christmas music playing…I’d be like WTH?!
4 days ago

Biker Chick
@Tod — I will take your word for it. I feel like I am already spread to thin with too many music sites and services.
4 days ago

tod nelson
@BC–I’ve been using Google Music’s storage locker for a while now. It completely sucks. Took weeks to upload my music, and the entire time my computer slowed to a crawl. Terrible interface. I’d rather use iTunes, which says something….
4 days ago

tod nelson
I just read the report that prompted STHoldings to pull their music from the streaming sites: it was conducted by NARM. What is NARM? The National Association of Recording Merchandisers–essentially a lobbyist group for the labels and the record stores, including Apple. Not biased at all.
4 days ago

Biker Chick
Google’s online music store article: http://tinyurl.com/7fhplvc

Google touted that, unlike other music stores, people who find songs through Google+ will be able to listen to each one in full for free one time before they buy. ITunes only provides 90-second previews. Google has also secured exclusive access to live records from popular bands including Coldplay and the Rolling Stones. Apple is still the only music-download store that has the Beatles.
4 days ago

tod nelson
Here’s a list of all the labels STHoldings represent:

http://www.stholdings.co.uk/label_list/

It seems so short-sighted, esp. for a comp. distributing obscure labels. Streaming is reaching the tipping point, but it isn’t by any means mainstream. I’ve read stats that say it will be mainstream by 2016–so they are basing their decision on metrics from ONE site early in the technology’s existence. Instead of being happy that their songs are being discovered and listened to in a new way (and one that requires no distribution or coop costs) they’re worrying about current metrics.
4 days ago

geemarcus
@BC (and anyone who my comment may have inflamed): Just to be clear, I’m not saying piracy is OK or not illegal…just that it’s a bad metaphor that has allowed the MPAA and the RIAA to abuse the legal system. Read the article, it’s written by a sociologist/law expert and it’s pretty interesting, whether or not you agree.
4 days ago

Biker Chick
🙂 I was just taking the mickey.

We have some passionate people with passionate thoughts on the whole is it or is it not stealing. Many discussions in the past.
4 days ago

CC Longboards
oh well we will just have to hope that now begins a dance. They will have to supply the music though because we might be lacking.

Music Removed…New Rates Agreed Upon…Music Returned…New Rates Forced Upon (Us)…I think everyone Happy 🙂

@ Gee – thanks for the Steve Albini article. Always knew but never saw it spelled out so well.
4 days ago

geemarcus
Sorry BC, I’m not following you. No, I don’t mean I’m literally now following you as you back away…I just don’t know what I’ve “gone and done”. hehe
4 days ago

Biker Chick
@geemarcus – Oh now you have gone and done it.. slowly backing away from the blurb.
4 days ago

geemarcus
@CC I got it, no worries. I re-read my post and realized that “selling their shit” probably sounded harsh…wasn’t meant to be. I wasn’t trying to imply their stuff was shit, just being loose with my words.
4 days ago

geemarcus
Jason, I hear what you’re saying. I’m sure the business model is difficult. It’s got to be tough to create a 1:1 correspondence between plays and dollars when some people pay $5 (or nothing) to stream for an hour or two a day and others are here 24/7.

This may be straying off topic but I read an interesting article recently that basically tore apart the idea that piracy=theft, which ties into the whole debate about how artists get paid.

http://torrentfreak.com/piracy-is-not-theft-111104/
4 days ago

CC Longboards
@ gee – sorry I was being sarcastic, I think we are on the same page.

@JP – Take into account that they did not indicate for which artist such sum was paid. A more popular artist holds more leverage to getting online. My bet is that Explosions in the Sky for example held out until they felt the price was right here at Rdio.
4 days ago

geemarcus
Yes, but they make more money from performing and selling their shit directly to fans anyhow. And just in case anyone’s heart is bleeding for the record industry (and I don’t think anyone is) Steve Albini’s breakdown is a great read:

http://www.negativland.com/albini.html

Edit: this “yes” was to CC…this one’s heating up tonight.
4 days ago

David Crompton
When they say special can we read obscure?
4 days ago

Jason Paul
Great catch Unhillbilly. Is anyone missing any artists from that distributer? It seems like a lot of very obscure stuff. Electronic music seems to have its own culture where people/djs actively buy vinyl at actual stores. Maybe this isn’t indicative of an ugly tidal wave coming at streaming music but a niche music culture that arguably does better outside of the streaming paradigm. I think those millions of Facebookers have already had a taste of streaming music and even if they’re just using Spotify they are not going to want to go back to paying high premiums for less music.

What I don’t understand is where the metric of how much a stream is worth comes from. Perhaps $3376 for 750,000 streams is just too little money paid out to make this appetizing to labels/artists. I mean, the Adele album on Rdio is a bit over 1 million listens…so after all that Rdio has only paid out 4 digit figures still? May I suggest there is a problem with the financial equation on the streaming side?
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4 days ago

CC Longboards
Thanks for that I needed to add some comedy to my night. It’s definitely the little known and unexposed bands who will suffer here, but at least their music will still be special… right?
4 days ago

geemarcus
@CC: They were the band that brought the shit-storm down on Napster…and came off looking like assholes. As if they didn’t have enough money already.

4 days ago

Joseph Thornton
@GrETcHEn I partially agree, but there are services outside of Apple’s ecosystem that charge more than 99 cents like BeatPort.com and BandCamp.com. I’ve paid up to $200 for albums for indie artists that I love and respect.
4 days ago

CC Longboards
Not in the Metal History world Maybe you can enlighten me?
4 days ago

geemarcus
@CC: Yeah, how’d that work out for Metallica, eh?
4 days ago

Biker Chick
Well, will that go into effect immediately?
Will they have to fulfill their streaming contractual agreements?
When should we expect to see the results of this?
Geesh, feels like waiting on a tsunami to make landfall 🙁
I agree with maudeman btw (mark this day on the calendar)

Oh AND how long is this Nigel Tufnel avie going to last?
4 days ago

CC Longboards
I like how labels play it off like it is a band decision… like the decision was for the good of the band. To keep their records “special”, breaks my heart they are such good folks.
4 days ago

maudeman
iTunes revenues are going to continue to drop, streaming or no. The good old days are not coming back, Mr.Record Executive.
4 days ago

geemarcus
Rdio has prevented me from illegal downloading. There, I said it. There is already far too much music missing from this site that I want, but there’s so much more available that there’s really no need for going to illicit sources. We’ll see if that continues.

This being said I really try to avoid buying physical copies of music simply because I can’t stream it here. I made an exception for the new Tom Waits but I really don’t want to reward this behavior. Rdio has convinced me that purchasing “digital copies” is ridiculous, akin to the record companies picking my pocket. CDs are a delivery system…a shopping cart. If they want to sell me a shopping cart they need to make one worth buying (Tool is a good example of a band that tries to do this…each CD has a unique physical feature that makes it interesting to have as a collectible).

Rant off…this news is just so disappointing.
4 days ago

3 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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