Who’s Winning The Streaming Showdown?

Spotify2According to CEO Daniel Ek, Spotify has reached another milestone as the streaming platform recognizes 30 million paying subscribers and 55 million listeners. The oft referred to market-leading global music service added 10 million paying customers, growing its subscriber footprint by 50%, in less than a year.

Despite Spotify’s lack of exclusive content, it’s remarkable growth is impressive for happening in the shadow of Apple Music. Clearly, Spotify appears to be focused on continual forward motion. Spotify has also enjoyed accolades for its Discover Weekly feature, a personalized playlist that effectively broadens music discovery for many users.

Apple MusictidalAs Tidal and Apple Music scoring exclusive releases such as Tidal’s “arrangements” with the likes of Kanye West, Prince and T.I. or Apple’s kiss and make up with Taylor Swift to score exclusive releases or their Music Memo feature to lure musicians away from other providers that may be a conduit in leveling the music streaming playing ground.

PandoraPandora, with the acquisition of Rdio, and will release its own on-demand streaming platform late this year while YouTube Red, a new player in the paid music service landscape has already been chumped by competitors offering the service free of charge.

Spotify has also enjoyed accolades for its Discover Weekly feature, a personalized playlist that effectively broadens music discovery for many users. Spotify’s Discover Weekly is updated every Monday morning, delivers a two-hour playlist of personal music recommendations based on your listening habits. The playlist is also full of music you may have never heard before from new artists as well as deep cuts from some of your favorite artists, Apple Music has gone gangster and infringed on SoundCloud’s territory, announcing a deal with Dubset, a service that legally distributes DJ sets, remixes, and mashups. Music like this, which often wades into legally deep and complex waters, is the sort of thing that originally put SoundCloud on the map.

With this move, Apple insofar may attract fans of EDM and other forms of electronic music that lean heavily on music sampled from other sources. Sources claim the licensing of such music samples can become incredibly complicated as some tracks have multiple rights holders.

Soundcloud-logoSites like SoundCloud have avoided lawsuits by referencing the safe harbor clause of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. More recently, SoundCloud has begun to strike licensing deals that allow it to host such music without running afoul of copyright or irking remix artists by issuing sometimes costly takedown notices.

Which service do you prefer and why? Talk amongst yourselves and expect more changes in the coming weeks and months. To quote Jimmy Castor (youngins can Google him), “it’s just begun!”

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