The State of Digital Music: The Rdio Conversations

And there’s also facebook/twitter social vs old-school conversation/real friend social. My feeling is having a gigantic catalog of music at your fingertips without much effort makes you more facebook/twitter social, but less good-ol’-deep-conversation-about-music social. Which seems to lean towards the Spotify model over Rdio’s. 4 months ago

GrEtcHen (heh heh JP is getting the full-on Rdio communication experience asked for it, you get it buddy! But…it’s mainly the same core folks again…it’s really so difficult to draw others in as I said before…to begin with, not sure how many people can “see” this discussion going on. Sure, it’s all in the Everyone feed, but how many people look at that beyond their first follow?) 4 months ago

Crippling Niles “I’m fetishizing pristine sound quality.” Nice one, K Rom. That should be on a t-shirt… 4 months ago

Crippling Niles Nice essay, Jason. For me, it came down to the part where you said:

“Where Rdio is all about discovery iTunes leans more on traditional promotion. Discovery is much better for artists so their work can speak for itself.”

For me, Rdio is where it all starts. From there, I can decide if I want to continue streaming or purchase the CD or vinyl for higher fidelity and/or the “touchy feely factor” that is still very important to me for some albums.

When it’s time to throw my money down – like with any art – I still see the Album as a whole and singular product of many successful facets. From forming the right band, to creating the right songs at the right time, to working out all of the details as a group, to finding the right studio and engineer or producer to capture and present everything accurately, to putting together the artwork and finalizing the order of the songs for maximum impact, every piece of that puzzle and history are in my hands and worth supporting.

But returning to the quote above from your essay, this is all made even MORE rewarding when I know that these discoveries came from a group of peers with similar interests and/or fearless random hits of the Play button, as opposed to having them come from some corporation or advertiser’s marketing strategies. The power is shifting back to the artists and the music fans, which makes me smile. 4 months ago

Turd Ferguson I did just get my invite for Google Music…although it maxes out out 20,000 songs. 4 months ago

GrEtcHen @Turd, yes, the Turntable success has me ironically equally optimistic my longtime assessment social is incredibly important to people is correct. But, my fear is Spotify’s success will ratify a more limited model for a long time as the “norm” — and this will force the minority who want a holistic, integrated social experience to cobble it together from various sources, such as: Rdio for a music focused feed for private conversations and peering into what other people like Turntable for the “live” sharing/discovery experience etc.

edit: We used to moan that Lala was the gold standard for the highest amount of all of this in one place. We’ve gotten used to it being fragmented since. Barring anyone taking the Lala approach of being all things to all people, I guess sites leaning on each other would be acceptable. I just hate that the FB/Twitter option is the *only* option, other than’s ubiquitous scrobbling.

BTW, meant to ask if anyone had tried AOL’s Play app. Apparently, Rdio is jumping into a space Lala was occupying (very successfully) — being the source for sampling music in another provider’s (this case, AOL) app! 4 months ago

GrEtcHen As a sidebar, I want to remark on how spaces for conversations have devolved utterly over time. It’s gone from thousands of newsgroups, separated by topic you had to proactively join, converging towards this one massive passive FB/Twitter-style feed. Weird! 4 months ago

Driggs I like sharing my music with my music friends. My Facebook friends, not so much.

I find that I actually have intelligent conversations and learn something new with my “music friends”. Rdio’s kludgy methods of social interaction make the conversations somehow more creative, underground, and fun.

4 months 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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