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If you’ve used Pandora anytime in the last couple days, you’ve probably already heard about the Internet Radio Fairness Act that Founder Tim Westergren is encouraging all users to support by contacting their representative. I’ve already heard quite a few personal appeals from Tim Westergren myself that have interrupted my Pandora listening, as well as received a personal email from him about it. But what is the Internet Radio Fairness Act and why is it such a big deal?

The Internet Radio Fairness Act is a bill that was recently introduced in Congress that seeks to ensure equity in the royalties paid by various radio platforms. Pandora apparently pays 50% of its revenue in royalties, while satellite competitors like SiriusXM pay only about 7.5%. Clearly a stark and dramatic difference! To address the difference, this bill is proposing that the same royalty standard be applied across internet radio, satellite, and cable by decreasing Pandora’s royalty obligation to be more comparable with its competitors. In one of his appeals, Westergren points out that so many new artists that wouldn’t otherwise be heard are discovered on Pandora and Internet Radio, but the unusually high royalties that Pandora is forced to pay will prove prohibitive in the continued success of internet radio.

Opponents of the bill argue that it would reduce performance royalties to a level that is unfair to the artists. Instead, certain opponents are proposing that royalty rates applied to satellite and cable be raised to the same level applied to internet radio platforms, thereby leveling the playing field but also ensuring fair compensation for artists.

I personally don’t know too much more about this debate and the subtle complexities that are sure to take place. It is refreshing to me in this election season that the Internet Radio Fairness Act is a bi-partisan proposal in support of the growth of the internet radio market. However, I also share the concern that artists should be fairly compensated in this ever-changing music industry that seems to be taking more and more money away from them. Regardless of the outcome, I believe it will have strong implications in determining the future of internet radio and how music is broadcast in general.

Check out more coverage of this ongoing debate here, and learn more about the Internet Radio Fairness Act here.

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Pandora Internet Radio
We’ve covered Pandora Internet Radio in the past, and told you why it’s one of the best Internet Radio apps around. Well, it looks like the super popular Android app got a much needed makeover this week, and it’s quite a doozy…

I’ll start by saying I’m a big Pandora fan, and while I didn’t think the old look was all that bad there was definitely room for improvement. The Pandora app has basically been totally redesigned and it now has a better looking blue & white skin so it’s got a bit of a Facebook type look going on. Most of the buttons are in the same spots, and the way you search and create stations is basically the same. We do get a nice little drop down menu now though which is a nice added touch. Overall, the app is a lot easier to navigate and certain things like track information is much easier to get to as well. The one thing I wished they had changed and didn’t was the Widget, but overall as a Pandora user I’m very pleased with the changes.

If you’re a Pandora user you’re no doubt familiar with the old look of the app as it really hasn’t changed in forever. I have no doubt that users old and new will like the new look as it’s much easier on the eyes and most importantly easier to navigate. While it’s not a total redo of the app I’m pretty happy with it (except for the widget) and think others will be as well. If you haven’t already updated you can head on over to Google Play and check out the new Pandora.

Pandora

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As technology has improved I’ve often found myself listening to internet radio more than the local stations as there’s a wider variety of music available, and it’s pretty damned convenient if you’re on the move. We thought it was about time to take a look at a few good streaming radio Android apps, and there are a lot of them to pick through. We picked 4 Android apps we feel are the best of the best, so without further ado we proudly present you with Sosoactive.com’s Top Streaming Radio Apps for Android.


Pandora

Unless you’re a cave dweller you’ve probably heard on Pandora Internet Radio as it’s one of the most popular audio services around. Pandora lets you create stations based on artists or songs you like, and it then chooses similar music based on your preferences. You get to skip (some) tracks you don’t like, and can even give the thumbs up to those you do. There’s a full featured free version of Pandora you can use, and if you like it I highly recommend subscribing to the service as its cheap and well worth it. You can checkout Pandora Internet Radio for free on Google Play.


Slacker Radio

Slacker Radio is another super popular app that’s been around for awhile, and it was a very strong contender for the top spot on our list. Slacker Radio lets’ you “personalize” your listening experience with its selection of over 100 expertly programmed stations. If you prefer to get a little more in-depth with things you can also make your own stations from their library of millions of songs. This one is also similar to Pandora where it’s free to use and full of features, but you can get more if you opt to go with a premium subscription. You can pick up Slacker Radio on Google Play for free.


iHeartRadio

iHeartRadio is all popular digital music service that gives listeners more than 1,000 live stations to choose from coast to coast. There are more genre’s than you can shake a stick at, and you can create your own customizable stations as well. There are well over 14 million songs to choose from and your custom stations will be commercial free which is a nice change of pace. It’s easy to use, looks great, and does exactly as advertised. If you’re ready to give it a go you can pick up Clear Channel Digital’s iHeartRadio on Google Play for free.


TuneIn Radio

Most streaming radio apps work by choosing similar songs or nationwide channels whereas TuneIn Radio puts an emphasis on the global side of things. TuneIn Radio lets you listen to a wide variety of music from a selection of over 70,000 radio stations and 2 million on-demand programs. The app allows you to search for a song, show or artist to find a radio station that’s playing it anywhere in the world. There are free versions and pro versions of TuneIn Radio available to download on Google Play.

Download
Pandora

Slacker Radio

iHeartRadio

TuneIn Radio

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It would be a total and complete understatement to state the fact that music is more “social” now than it has ever been.

Honestly, can you remember another time in history where music in its most basic form has been more sharable and more consumable than it is now?

Through the use of social networks, streaming music platforms, and music festivals that have become stand-alone media outlets in themselves – music has become more than just a product that you sell. It’s now an experience that fans have more control over than ever before.

And all of this begs the question: When it comes to the new social music war that we’re witnessing, who is winning? Who has the upper hand and the distinguishing advantage? Who’s playing catch up? Who are the new kids on the block, that are just starting to make a name for themselves? Who’s the established juggernaut that everyone is aspiring to be like?

These aren’t easy questions to answer. Between some of the seemingly more established services such as Rdio, Spotify, Reverbnation and Pandora – things have truly gotten interesting. In addition, lesser-known services like Myxer as well as major tech and social network players like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google continuing to throw their hat into the social music ring.

Take, for example, how both Facebook and Spotify continue to toss their weight around in the social music wars. Many of us are aware that both companies created an exclusive partnership when Spotify first made its way to the States. But now, Spotify has announced a new Music Unlimited service exclusively for iPhone users, with plans available in the $3.99 and $9.99 price ranges.

Meanwhile, its partner Facebook has now added a ton of content to its artist pages including total number of Spotify plays, videos, a sharing feature and more – making it easier for listeners to reference a particular song and encouraging users to use both Spotify and YouTube more. Spofity also recently announced a partnership with Yahoo to provide users with on-demand music.

Not to be outdone by their bigger rival, streaming service Rdio has done a lot in the past year to make a name for itself as a company. Between announcing an exclusive partnership with Paste magazine and unveiling a newly revamped service, both in May, Rdio is looking to continue building on the momentum it gained when it was founded in 2010.

And Padora is looking to be no slouch on the social music scene, either. After a five-year hiatus, the company announced that its services would again be available in Australia after it dealt with several licensing issues in the country. Pandora has even been able to create an exclusive partnership with Chase Card Services and Chase Sapphire to offer personalized music in the summer months to its listeners. But it still seems that it still has some catching up to do if it is to regain some of the footing that was stolen from it by Spotify in the last half year.

But of course, the social music wars reach far beyond just regular ole music companies. For example, Bill Gates brainchild company Microsoft, still smarting a bit from the failure of Zune, recently announced Xbox Music, a brand new venture that will apparently challenge both Spotify and iTunes in streaming music over Wifi and 3G devices.

Beats By Dre, the company known for producing upscale headphones that have become status symbols for celebrities and regular folk alike, recently purchased digital music service MOG, which reportedly has about 500,000 subscribers, according to a report in the L.A. Times. The purchase gives Beats By Dre the opportunity to build on-demand music service into its ever-growing array of products.

The most interesting and dynamic thing about the social music wars is that they are all encompassing and non-discriminatory. There’s really no kind of music company or service that’s not being dragged into this new competition, be it a terrestrial radio station, a streaming radio service, a record label, a tech company or what have you. Companies of all kinds are realizing that music has, for one become more disposable, but for two, has also become more easily sharable and consumable, and they are taking advantage as such.

So, again, who’s winning? Well, from the looks of things right about now, the clear front-runner in all of this would seem to be Spotify. Having been able to successfully introduce services in the United States last year, and partnering with the biggest and most formidable social network in the world clearly gives Spotify the upper hand. In addition, being able to offer their services across a ton of different platforms Spotify is a social music juggernaut with no plans on stopping any time soon.

But the truth is, it’s still too early to tell. The social music landscape can change from day to day – and who was on top once can easily fall to the bottom very quickly and with a plethora of social music services being dreamed up there’s no telling who or what will be on top in the near future.

But at this point in history, it’s kind of a treat to see all of these companies duking it out to see who’s truly going to be top dog when it comes to giving music fans the most engaging and most enjoyable social music experience. And be prepared for more companies to start vying for the attentions, hearts and minds of those all important music fans. Ding ding!


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Right now there seems to be a serious over flow of mobile music apps hitting the markets from major players like Spotify as well as start-ups. The average person that I ‘talk to is just now getting familiar with Pandora, has heard about Spotify but never used it and is comfortable with manually streaming music via YouTube.

With summertime being one of the most exciting times for music, I wanted to share with you three must have music apps for my favorite time of the year.

Thrillcall
With so many concerts, festivals and outdoor events to choose from this summer; Thrillcall helps you to discover the best live music events in your city. Are you searching for the next Kanye West and Jay-Z show? Maybe you’re into the heavy stuff and would like to know where ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ is playing next. Thrillcalls offers a search engine like feature that easily allows you to find concerts by artists name or venue. In addition, Thrillcall offers concert recommendations based on your friends Facebook activity as well as last-minute deals via its mobile app.

Get ThrillCall

Spotify
Who can deny a great social music service like Spotify, and with its recent release of its new streaming radio feature iPhone and iPad users it’s a serious no brainer. In terms of social music services, Spotify leads all of its competition in terms of catalog size, buffering speed, and its ease of use. Spotify’s radio service is ad-supported, so you will be hearing commercial but they are less frequent than the desktop version. Even though the music discovery aspect on Spotify’s mobile app isn’t as robust as Pandora, Spotify kills in the social area by allowing you to see your playlists, your friends playlists and listen to “What’s New.”

Get Spotify

Songify
Are you looking for away to keep your house guest entertained or do you want to finally win the talent show at this summer’s family reunion? Songify is an awesome app that allows you to give vocals that T-Pain effect in no time. Let’s be serious what would a pop song be without auto tunes these days? Songify is the official app of YouTube phenoms the Gregory Brothers and it easily allows you to auto tune your voice and set it to a track. Songify comes with 5 free songs to record your voice over, but you will cost you a small fee to increase your library.

Get Songify

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I confess: I like to whistle while I work. Well, not so much “whistle” as “listen to music.” Usually I turn to my tried-and-true iTunes library, but lately I’ve been trying out Streambox 4.2 (Mac App Store link), a full-featured Mac client for the Pandora streaming audio service.

Of course, the app gives you access to several of Pandora’s features, such as the ability to give a song a thumbs up or thumbs down, skip forward and backward (up to Pandora’s own limits), view a list of song attributes, and create stations based on a song or artist.

There’s a lot to like about Streambox (previously known as Pandoras Box). For one thing, it’s largely designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. By default, the app resides in your menu bar as a simple “P” icon. It’s not until you click on the icon that it yields a window showing the track name, artist, and album; thumbs up and thumbs down buttons; previous track, play/pause, and next track buttons. To access the preferences and more features, just click the downward facing arrow between the thumb icons. Or, tear the window off the menu bar to turn it into a floating window.

You can also configure Streambox to use the media keys (previous track, play/pause, next track) on your keyboard or, if you prefer, assign keyboard shortcuts to those actions and more. And since keyboard commands are sent to the most recently active app, it doesn’t interfere with using those keys to control iTunes playback. Streambox can also optionally work with an Apple Remote if you want to use it while you’re not sitting at your desk.

Integration with other apps and services is another of Streambox’s strengths. You can configure the app to send a Growl notification when you start playing a track; if you use the Last.fm service, Streambox can automatically scrobble songs you play to that service. The app can even look at your iTunes library and try to find a match for the currently playing song (you can manually specify one if it fails to do so), and you can even have it increment the track’s play count in iTunes.

For more information, you can click on the artist, track name, or album name to be taken to the respective page on Pandora’s website. Should you decide you want to buy the song you’re jamming to, Streambox provides integrated links to iTunes, Amazon MP3, and, for the old school, even Amazon’s CD section.

Sound quality isn’t as good as iTunes, but you can enable high quality MP3 streaming if you have a paid Pandora One account. Not being much of an audiophile, it didn’t really bother me, but for those that demand it, it’s nice to know it’s there.

Original Source: Mac World


Perhaps you have found yourself checking out I Heart Radio, Spotify or Pandora in the past few months or years. Perhaps you have even enjoyed them so much that you opted to buy their premium service that features little-to-no advertising. Most however, prefer to stick to the free services, making advertising on these online radio stations very valuable to companies looking to reach out to potential new customers.

Previously, the acronym SMM was more commonly known around the web as Social MEDIA Marketing. Now, it is gaining new ground as Social MUSIC Marketing. Ads that play during these online music sessions typically include music themselves so that they seamlessly play into whatever you may be listening too. Between the new Kanye song and LMFAO, you might hear a little something about Doritos.

The great thing about Social Music Marketing, is that for the most part, the advertisements are swift, non-invasive, and (from a personal standpoint) do actually work. I myself have purchased things I’ve heard about while in the middle of listening to Pandora, I Heart Radio or Spotify radio sessions.

From Mashable’s report, we learned this, “According to data from William Chipps, author of the IEG Sponsorship report, corporate sponsorship by consumer brands incorporating music into marketing programs was expected to exceed $1.17 billion last year, nearly double what it was six years earlier.”

It seems like brands investing in social music marketing are going to do well for themselves with numbers like that on their side.

Have you invested in Social Music Marketing? Post a comment below and tell us how your campaign has been doing.

Original Source: Pop Creative

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Sonos has just rraised $135 million dollars for Digital Living Rooms. The evolution of home entertainment is coming and the money people are drooling!!!!Investors include Index Ventures, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Elevation Partners.

Online ticketing platform Eventbrite has hit the $1 Billion dollar sales mark, with 63 million tickets sold over four years. The top 5 Eventbrite markets includes the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands.

Spotify Brings Free Radio to iPhone and iPad. Spotify has added a Pandora like radio service to its IOS app which gives non-paid Spotify users a reason to download its mobile app. Lets hope this comes to Android and Windows soon!!!!

Music Royalty Collection organization SoundExchange has reached $1 Billion in payouts. While companies like Clear Channel are beginning to cut deals directly with the label, it looks like SoundExchange’s revenue may be slipping in the near future.

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By Paul Sandle

PARIS, June 15 (Reuters) – Digital music services battling to build a serious business out of selling tracks online need to embrace social media, smartphones and emerging markets, two of the most successful companies told the Reuters Media and Technology Summit.

Despite numerous attempts and the continued popularity of music, few start-ups have managed to succeed in launching new services as they struggled to secure the support of the record labels and compete with the might of Apple’s (AAPL.O) iTunes.

But more than 10 years in, groups such as the music discovery specialist Shazam and music services Rhapsody, Spotify and Pandora have become well established by delivering tunes to more consumers around the world and helping to grow revenues for the once-wary labels.

Telecom operators which can hide the cost of the music in their monthly contract fee and social networks which can raise awareness to millions of people are key. Tapping emerging markets can also prove fruitful.

“I think for younger music consumers it’s not about ownership any more: it’s about access to 16, 20 million tracks,” said Will Mills, Shazam’s director of music and content. “Then it’s about social curation to try to work out what you want to listen to.

“If you make it frictionless and priced right people will buy music still.”

The music industry has been criticised in the past for focusing too much on fighting piracy and failing to develop new online services that can attract consumers.

While Apple’s (AAPL.O) iTunes dominates the market, consumers often buy single tracks rather than albums.

In response, the industry is now expanding its horizons with more players and a push into subscription services where fans pay a monthly fee to access millions of songs. Including that fee in a mobile phone bill can help drive sales while also increasing customer loyalty for the operator.

French music streaming company Deezer is growing globally using a partnership with Facebook and deals with telecom operators to encourage people to discover music through their networks of friends and listen to it via phones and computers.

Chief Executive Axel Dauchez said one important issue was the need to teach people that they could access the music offline on their phones without running up huge data bills. “If you reach that point there is no more need for ownership,” he said.

Deezer offers a limited free service in France, its biggest market, but outside the country its streaming services, which are targeted at smartphone users, generally carry a monthly fee.

Dauchez said the labels’ attitude changed after they realised streaming services were a new source of revenue. “It is now much easier (dealing with labels),” he said.

Streaming also has huge potential. He said an average of two CDs were bought per household in 2000 In France, whereas a subscriber to its streaming service generated 10 euros a month.

Independent music industry analyst Mark Mulligan said major labels welcomed streaming services, but their enthusiasm was not shared by independent labels and some artists, who were not seeing much return.

“Something in the region of 130-140 streams is equivalent to one download (in returns),” he said. “It looks better if you’re a record label because you aggregate everything, but if you’re an artist and you’re swopping one download for 20 plays you are looking at a massive drop in your income.”

But he said the opposing argument said the number of people downloading music was quite small so streaming could be one way of getting everyone else involved with digital music.

“The theory is things will essentially right themselves over a period of years as more people move into the consumption paradigm, because ultimately it’s a scale game,” he said.

The industry has also woken up to the potential of services like Shazam, a smartphone app that recognises and identifies tracks.

It has attracted more than 200 million users, who tag more than 7 million songs each day. Users can then click through to Shazam’s partner sites to buy the song.

“Eight percent go on to buy a track, that’s primarily an a-la-carte download from the big players in the space,” Mills said. “It drives more than $100 million of music sales a year.

“We have deals with a lot of record labels around the world,” he said. “A very big track, such as Goyte’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ will get more than 1.5 million tags a week, which nets out to sales of 120,000.”

Shazam is bolstering its strong position in music by agreeing deals with broadcasters and advertisers to enable consumers to tag adverts or programmes during major events such as the Super Bowl, enabling programme makers to directly interact with consumers.

Other opportunities include selling tickets to live music. “It’s not just about selling units anymore, it’s about maximising the value around the whole music experience,” he said.

Mills said the labels were now much more open to working with a range of new business models.

“Five years ago they were very much about wanting to get very large advances, but now they want to innovate, (they) throw as much against the wall as they can and see what sticks,” he said.

Deezer has a tie-up with France Telecom (FTE.PA), helping it reach 1.4 million paid subscribers in the country.

Dauchez said it had taken time to establish the right model in working with telcos. “Now there is a specific know-how at every level to make sure it works,” he said.

The ability to reach millions of people through social networks and to provide music through smartphones means those who have got it right are starting to feel more optimistic about the future.

“We are coming out of the trough now,” said Mills.

Original Story : Reuters.com

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Frank Sinatra knew he was getting a raw deal.

He could sing, but he was not much of a songwriter, so he never saw a cent when most of his 300 or so singles were played on U.S. radio. He spent years fruitlessly lobbying Congress to change a 1909 royalties law that requires radio broadcasters to pay composers but not performers.

Broadcasters, a more formidable lobby than artists or record labels, long have fought any change, arguing that airtime gives singers free publicity. This month, however, the artists and labels have had some good news.

On June 5, Clear Channel Communications, America’s largest radio broadcaster, announced a deal with Big Machine, a country-music label, to pay performance royalties on all its radio channels, terrestrial — that is, over the air — and digital. The plan is for Clear Channel to pay the label and its artists, who include Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift, a cut of its advertising revenue. The agreement indicates that Clear Channel plans to invest more in digital radio, the part of the industry that is growing. Unlike terrestrial broadcasters, however, digital stations are obliged by a 1998 law to pay fees to artists whenever a song is played.

Read Full Story : Star Tribune