I am not sure how to pronounce the title of new music streaming service ‘Rdio,’ but it is clearly lining up to be a premiere place for artists to be properly compensated for their work. Sure, it is a far stray away from Pandora and Spotify, but ‘Rdio’ is building a foundation of artistic and creative payment.
Their initial push is promising artists $10 for every artist subscriber they obtain to the service. For prominent artists, this could mean a healthy payday if they opt to advertise the service to their mini army of fans. You create an artist page, similar to last.fm, and allows users to create custom radios and streaming, merging various artists and genres.
Music streaming has come under fire by artist and industry insiders who find their compensation measly at best. The numbers vary extraordinarily. Some record income relative to about 2 cents per play of any of their songs, and some record fractions of a penny- an amount equating to 4,000 plays monthly to reach minimum wage. For doing something an artist loves and sitting back and watching their play counts rise, this may seem totally fair. Yet there must be a way to compensate artist uniformly and reasonably, without resorting to a wide spectrum of possible income tallies. It is amazing the inconsistency in the income reported from artists in all levels of popularity.
With that said, there is a fear that independent labels will opt out of music streaming, citing it as not profitable enough to continue the arrangement and ultimately reflecting too poorly on direct purchases through the label (as in, buying the damn album)
‘Rdio’ is largely developed and fronted by Janus Friis- most notable for his direct involvement with the phone calling service Skype. Knowing the massive success of Skype, it is interesting to watch Friis to hopefully continue his track record into a new service. In the meantime, music streaming services must be revamped, either later or earlier, and perhaps it is ‘Rdio’ which will change the coming tide.