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Murdoch bets $77 million to transform music

Beyond Oblivion, a new startup with an innovative approach to digital music, raises massive round

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
March 8, 2011 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/17db

Beyond Oblivion, a digital music marketplace with grandiose ambitions to disrupt the music industry, has secured a $77 million investment round led by News Corp., according to an article in The Guardian.

The service, which CEO and founder Adam Kidron says is set to launch globally later this year, will be the “largest legal music library” for sharing and listening to digital tunes. And while a whole plethora of startups have already tried to claim hold of that title, Beyond Oblivion might actually live up to it; that is, if the company actually follows through with promises on its About Me page:
  • No more corrupt files.
  • No more inequitable download charges and subscription fees.
  • No more intrusive advertising.
  • No more Big Music intimidation.
  • The right to download from the biggest music library on Earth.
  • The right to play as much of it as you want and share it among
  • licenced friends.
Each one of those bullet points takes a jab at another big player in the music industry: non-paying Pandora listeners have to sit through “intrusive advertising,” MOG and Rdio customers must pay $5 or $10 monthly "subscription fees," and even pirates have to deal with the occasional "corrupt" download.

Beyond Oblivion says it will charge a license fee per device (iPod, PC, etc.) and pass on micro-royalties to content owners per song played. The truly innovative aspect of Beyond is that the company claims to not enforce any “behavioral changes” on the listener. That is, you can continue listening to your music, no matter whether you attained it legally or illegally. Somehow the service will figure out what you’re listening to and forward deserving royalties to the content owners.

How exactly the company plans to collect those licensing fees is still ambiguous at this stage.

Along with the music servicee, Beyond Oblivion will also include (of course) broad social networking features for sharing music and listening experiences.

Kidron says the listening and social features will be released to the world sometime in April, followed by launch of the commercial service somewhere between June and September.

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