It’s been a few months since Kim Dotcom was in the news. Back in June he was screaming at LeaseWeb over the deletion of what he claimed to be petabytes of data, but that entire situation was confusing. Then there were the PRISM discussions and Edward Snowden / NSA debacle freight train that picked up steam, followed by Dotcom’s announcement that his company would first roll out a spy-proof web-based messaging platform, which will be followed by encrypted email.
The latest twist in the Kim Dotcom narrative is taking away his attention from all of that, at least in the job title. Kim Dotcom stepped down from Mega today to focus on his music venture. The name is still secret, but will not carry the Mega branding. There are currently 22 developers working on the project and it’s expected to launch in just a few months.
Which had me thinking: what is the current state of online streaming music? NPD, a global research firm, released a recent study that noted that iTunes has impressive 63 percent of the overall market cornered for the Q4 2012, which means that over six out of every ten song downloaded were taken from the Apple store. That number puts a the company well ahead of the second-place store, Amazon, which holds a 22 percent share of the market. Let’s take a temperature recap of the online streaming music space over the last six months…
Rdio CEO Steps Down as iRadio Disrupts Music Streaming Space
Amid the announcement of Apple’s iRadio, Drew Larner, CEO of Rdio, stepped down. Larner believed the time is right to bring on a chief executive who is better equipped to help the streaming music company compete with rivals such as Google and Apple. Larner spoke about this decision, saying, “The best person to take this to the next level, is probably someone with a different skill set. I’m a business guy and a deal guy. The next stage of the company is about building an enormous user and subscription base, and there are people out there better at that than I am.”
iTunes, iRadio, iUnfair
Apple unveiled iTunes Radio or iRadio at WWDC this year, a free Internet radio service, that, as Apple puts it, “features over 200 stations and an incredible catalog of music from the iTunes Store, combined with features only iTunes can deliver.” Couple that with its iTunes store music-industry domination, and Apple is pretty iDominate in the online streaming music and online music purchases space. Oh, and PS: Warner Music Group and Universal Music, the third and second largest record labels are onboard to supply music for iRadio too.
Google Unveils $9.99 “AllAccess” Music Service
Google unveiled “Google Play MusicAllAccess” its much rumored (and long awaited) music subscription service at the 2013 Google I/O conference, which rivals Spotify, Pandora and iRadio. Similar to Pandora, AllAccess users have a personalized radio station option, tailored to listening habits. Google suggests its radio station is superior given that you can view a queue of upcoming songs and remove the songs you wouldn’t want to hear. What distinguishes it from Spotify is that its available across the entire Internet, given its Google affinity. There is no ad-supported freemium version with AllAccess though. Is AllAccess setting up to be Androids version of iTunes? Only time will tell.
3 Ways Spotify Can Beat Netflix : Mixtapes + Movies
Spotify is still my personal online music streaming service of choice. I’m a $9.99/mo. plan kinda guy too. Spotify has built a model out of importance of digital music curation, social sharing and data analytics that chart the evolution of a song’s success. But the iTunes generation has seen several offerings crowd the space. And as Spotify recognizes the potential of Consumer Cloud Services, it may be eyeing another sector beyond music: video streaming.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Spotify is looking into video streaming as a way to bring more people to subscribe to the service. But unlike Netflix and Hulu which started by offering content made by others then eventually produced their own original series, Spotify is looking for partners that would help them deliver exclusive, original content to subscribers.
Have you noticed HBO’s original content blowing the doors off? Spotify has.