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If Apple approves application, on demand music streaming (at a monthly price) could be close
If it gets approved, this could mean a new era for the way users experience music on the iPhone platform. If you don't already know, Rhapsody offers a subscription based, on demand way to listen to music. Basically users pay a fee of $12.99/month to listen to unlimited music on their computers. It's library currently has 8 million songs to choose from, commercial free.
Obviously, anybody can see how an on-demand music application could pose a direct threat to the iTunes store. Even Rhapsody mentioned on its blog, "I can’t even count the number of times I’ve wanted to hear a song on my iPhone and guiltily plopped down $.99 to iTunes to please my impatient self. When I first used the Rhapsody app it seriously felt like the sun shone a little brighter that day." While Apple is making a killing off selling individuals song downloads for about a buck a pop on it's own store, Rhapsody could bring unlimited amounts of music to users for a small monthly subscription.
So if the app gets approved, Rhapsody subscribers can upgrade their accounts to a $14.99 per month mobile plan which lets users stream music through their current data plans, like (3G or Edge), GDGT found this pricing information. This is pretty neat, but it means if a user is in a tunnel while riding on the subway, yup, no access to their music. Which is where the downfall of an application like this comes to light. On the other hand, Spotify, an up and coming European competitor to Rhapsody, which could be looking into US expansion, also offers a subscription based music service, but its application let's users cache music for offline enjoyment. Take note, this application also isn't available on the iPhone yet.
The one major deal Rhapsody has in the works with Apple is that, if a user decides they actually want to buy and download whatever song they are listening to, instead of linking to Rhapsody's own music store, users will be taken to the iTunes store, where they can make the purchase there.
As of now, the only music streaming services available on the iPhone are much more radio like. Pandora's application lets users stream music based on category and style and so does Last.fm's. Both applications have yet to offer users to actually pick whichever song they'd like, on demand, something Rhapsody aims to solve. Here's a video of the Rhapsody application in action.
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Last.fm is a social networking company which revolves around its music recommendation engine. Recommendations are made by comparing user data to the rest of the Last.fm user community. This community gives more potential to grow into media other than music. This is most likely a reason why media giant, CBS, acquired Last.fm for $280 million in May of 2007.Last.fm grew from very modest funding compared to its competitors Pandora, ilike, MyStrands and others.
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Pandora, the leading internet radio service, gives people music they love
anytime, anywhere, through a wide variety of connected devices: laptop and
desktop computers, smartphones, connected BluRay players, connected TVs,
etc. Personalized stations launch instantly with the input of a single “seed” –
a favorite artist, song or genre. The Music Genome Project®, a deeply
detailed, hand-built musical taxonomy, powers the personalization or
Pandora. Using this musicological “DNA” and constant listener feedback
Pandora crafts personalized stations from the more than 800,000 songs that
have been analyzed since the project began in January 2000.
More than 75 million people throughout the United States listen to
personalized radio stations for free on Pandora through their PCs, mobile
phones and devices such as the iPad, and connected in-house devices
ranging from TVs to set-top boxes to Blu-Ray players. Mobile technology has
been a significant factor in the growth and popularity of Pandora, starting
with the introduction of the Apple app store for the iPhone in the summer of
2008. Pandora instantly became one of the most top downloaded apps and
today, according to Nielsen, is one of the top five most popular apps across
all smartphone platforms.
Pandora is free, simple and, thanks to connectivity, available everywhere
consumers are – at the office, at home, in the car and all points in between.
In 2009 the Company announced that Pandora would be incorporated into
the dashboard in Ford cars via SYNC technology; GM has already followed in
announcing plans to integrate Pandora into its vehicles and Mercedes-Benz
introduced their Media Interface Plus device that works with the
free Pandora iPhone app to provide direct control of Pandora from in-dash
stereo controls. This was all great news for the millions of Pandora listeners
who had been plugging their smartphones into car dashboards to listen to
personalized stations while driving. More than 50 percent of radio listening
happens in the car, making it a crucial arena for Pandora.
Today tens of millions of people have a deeply personal connection with
Pandora based on the delight of personalized radio listening and discovery.
These highly engaged listeners reinforce the value Pandora provides to: 1)
musicians, who have found in Pandora a level playing field on which their
music has a greater chance of being played than ever before; 2) advertisers,
who benefit from the multi-platform reach of Pandora, as well as its best
practices in targeting consumers for specific campaigns; 3) the music
industry, which has found in Pandora a highly effective distribution channel;
and 4) automobile and consumer electronics device manufacturers, who have
noted that incorporating Pandora into their product makes it more valuable
Pandora continues to focus on its business in the United States. The radio
arena has never been hotter, thanks to technology that enables radio to be
personalized to the individual and more accessible than ever before. Right
now millions of people listen to Pandora in the United States and we hope
someday to bring Pandora to billions of people around the world.
• 2000 – Tim Westergren’s Music Genome Project begins.
• 2005 – Pandora launches on the web.
• 2008 – Pandora app becomes one of the most consistently downloaded
apps in the Apple store.
• 2009 – Ford announces Pandora will be incorporated into car
dashboard. Alpine and Pioneer begin selling aftermarket radios that
connect to consumers’ iPhones and puts the control and command of
Pandora into the car dashboard.
• 2010 – Pandora is present on more than 200 connected consumer
electronics devices ranging from smartphones to TVs to set-top boxes
to Blu-ray players and is able to stream visual, audio, and interactive
advertising to computers, smartphones, iPads, and in-home connected