Rischia di diventare alquanto affollato il mercato internettiano delle alternative alla radio. La materia prima è sempre la musica. Il cui consumo, secondo il modello genericamente riferibile a iTunes di Apple viene sempre più manovrato dal basso, coinvolgendo in prima persona l'appassionato che si informa in modo attivo attraverso i social network e riceve input automatici dai vari sistemi di "raccomandazione" musicale, anche loro sociali.
C'è una sola pecca in tutto questo discorso: la sostenibilità economica dei siti di raccomandazione e aggregazione (che per mantenere la legalità devono pagare i diritti e quindi finanziarsi in qualche modo) e le possibili ricadute sul mercato tradizionale della musica, che per il momento fatica a trovare online la sua nuova strada. Per un iTunes che ha successo ci sono decine di proposte alternative sul cui futuro a medio-lungo termine è impossibile fare previsioni.
Microsoft is launching a music streaming service this month
Microsoft is gearing up to launch a music streaming service similar to Spotify by the end of this month.
By Emma Barnett, Technology and Digital Media Correspondent
Published: 13 Jul 2009
The service, which Microsoft aims to have ready by the end of July, will offer users the chance to stream music for free and also download to own.
Peter Bale, executive producer of MSN, Microsoft’s news and entertainment portal, told The Telegraph exclusively: “Music is an important area for Microsoft. We are looking at launching a music streaming service imminently.
It will be a similar principle to Spotify but we are still examining how the business model will work.”
Spotify users can stream music for free in exchange for listening to around a minute of advertising every half hour but for £9.99 a month, the ads will be turned off. It is thought Microsoft’s offering will be ad-supported too as well as having a paid-for premium service.
Mr Bale added: “We are looking at how other similar businesses have structured their business models and trying to figure out what will work best for both consumer and Mircosoft.”
The service would be operated and owned by Microsoft, while being promoted through MSN and other parts of the Microsoft network.
He also hinted the service could be tied in with Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console, but would not be drawn on the details of how a partnership would work. The addition of a Microsoft-owned music streaming service would tie in with an increasingly consumer focussed strategy from company to make its Xbox 360 console the main “entertainment hub” in the family home. Users are already able to download movies through their console and play games against one another online.
In what is becoming an increasingly competitive marketplace, Mr Bale thinks Microsoft can bring “scale and a quality of product” to the music streaming scene.
The service is expected to bolster the appeal of Zune, Microsoft’s music player. Mr Bale said the knowledge of the music industry the company had gleaned via Zune and also the player’s technology, had all been incorporated into the service’s development process. Microsoft recently announced it would launch a high definition version of its music player, but it will only be available in the United States.
No download partner has been signed yet but Microsoft is in discussions with several companies. Spotify’s download partner is 7digital and is in the process of offering one-click to own functionality.