Tuesday, 26 May 2009

PRS unveils new streaming rate

It's only taken the closure of Pandora's UK operation and YouTube banning music videos in the UK for the PRS to sit back and reassess the amount they charge companies to stream audio over the internet.

The Beeb are reporting today that as of 1 July 2009, the PRS will drop the rate per song from 0.22p to 0.085p. This should come as great news to not only Pandora and YouTube but also to other burgeoning services that offer streaming for free, and count advertising as their sole method of income - services like Spotify or Last.fm (in the UK at least).

Worryingly, the Beeb reports, "In 2007 [the PRS] published the proposed rates and there were a number of services who objected and so it went to the tribunal, who fixed the rates for a two year period."

It's still fantastic to see that the old school music industry, as late as 2007, was still running scared and playing catch up with the emerging tools and routes to market available via the Internet.

The PRS announcement today further fuels the argument of access versus ownership, as the cost of access continues to decline.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Commercial radio problems

I'm not one to listen to the radio at the best of times, as I have an exhaustive CD/MP3 collection and access to wonderful internet technology like Spotify and last.fm - tools that have actually introduced me to some interesting new music. However, at my new place of employ we have a radio on that blares out Heart and Magic FM.

Up until last week I didn't realise how repetition of a song could a) make you hate something you had a marginal interest in and b) make you homicidal.

Case in point is Magic FM's insistence to play Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" and The Killers' "Human" almost hourly. "Poker Face" was one of those tracks I could have got into, but now when I hear it I want to hurt someone.

We've since switched over to Magic which plays a bit more varied output - they had Lionel Richie's "All Night Long (All Night)" playing this morning. However, for some reason they want to kill what ear matter I have left by blaring Take That's "Greatest Day" hourly. From the frying pan into the fire.

I understand there's a place for these stations and if I was 16 or a mum trying to be trendy I'd probably love the fact that they replay the same stuff all the time. However, being a bit of a muso, I have now resorted to Spotifying myself at the office as well.

Thank heavens for small musical mercies.