Posts Tagged ‘rdio’

Music streaming – Spotify has won?

It seems clear that Spotify won the music streaming battle:

Spotify accounts for 86% of the on-demand music-streaming market in the U.S., according to data shared with music publishers. Its share of the international market is believed to be similar.

I’m an ardent Rdio user. However, they’ve lost songs that I want to listen to (in my playlists). And I just noticed that they’ve also killed Amazon Payments as a method of payment. They’re taking much less than 14% of the market, and were costing me USD$9.99/month.

It looks like I’m moving to Spotify. But I’ll hang in there to see what Apple launches in the meantime (you see, sometimes I might want to listen to some Taylor Swift). My major beef is with playlists — I’ve invested time in curating that experience, and I need to find an easy way out.

Bluetooth speakers

Back in 2012, we spent Christmas in London and when it came time to listen to some Christmas songs, we ended up using none other than the phone streaming music from Rdio. There was no external speaker or anything. It was just the four of us huddled together in a room. This experience was far from ideal.

Fast forward to 2015 and its worth noting things have changed. Today, hotels come with devices like the JBL Flip Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker by default. This is an improvement to the standard iPod docks that I’ve seen at most hotels because Bluetooth works with pretty much any phone/tablet.

At Christmas this year, we had a smaller party, and for the first time we used an iPad streaming music from Rdio to a Jawbone Mini Jambox. Audiophiles said it had good bass, but was missing a bit of treble. Keep in mind that the normal equipment is a Marantz CD Player, a Quad amplifier, and Harbeth speakers. At another property, the setup is similar, with a Tempest amplifier; and again we were impressed by the Jambox.

I don’t consider myself an audiophile by any stretch, but I do like to listen to music and am all the happier when I can hear it everywhere I am. Do I miss the quality of CDs? Nope. And I’m beginning to think more will listen to music the way I do so now.

Taylor Swift & the music industry

Catching up on reading, it’s worth reading Taylor Swift is the music industry. There’s good insight as to why she pulled her music from Spotify (an all or nothing deal; contrast with Rdio that still has her albums except the latest 1989).

Today I learned that a music CD in Malaysia costs RM62.90. When I used to buy CDs they cost around RM40 at most. Swift’s album is USD$13.99 + tax.

I’ve pretty much given up buying CDs. I purchased music from the iTunes music store & Amazon MP3s. When Rdio (& Spotify) came out that’s what I ended up using.

So I asked Sara how she was listening to Taylor Swift’s latest hit, Shake it Off, and she told me it was via a YouTube video. Simple reason is that I don’t believe her apartment has a CD player any longer (save for the externally attachable one that Apple sells you).

My friend Imran (popularly known as narmi) tells me that special CDs cost more money. Turns out some people really like the physical copies of artwork, and want to read the thank you notes. If you read the above article, that was one of Swift’s strategies – re-tweeting fan photos with the photos in her album. Smart.

Sales of the album have worked well for Swift. I am just unsure how many will pull this off successfully. Let’s hope that others don’t follow suit & streaming services become more useful (and pay the artistes a lot more).


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