Sunday, May 19, 2013

It's All About Song Skipping

Song Skipping image
Probably the holy grail of listening to music is the ability to skip a song when we get bored. It was pretty difficult with vinyl records, easier with CDs, and much easier with digital music. Of course, it's always been impossible with radio, but digital streaming brings us many possibilities.

One of the features siad to be in Apple's new iRadio music streaming service is the ability to skip songs, and apparently that's become a big problem for Sony Music. It's not that they're opposed to it, it's just that they'd like to get paid full rate even if a listener only played the song for a few seconds. Apple would naturally prefer pay a portion of the royalty using a formula that determines the royalty rate based on the amount of the song that's actually listened to.

Of course, whatever is hammered out with Sony will no doubt be applied to the deals with Universal Music and Warner Music Group as well, since it would be a shock if they didn't have a "favored nation" clause built into their agreements that would keep the compensation equal regardless of who got the best deal.

Yet another feature of iRadio is said to be the ability to rewind a song. As a listener, I love the thought of this feature since there are so many times that I'd love to repeat a section of a song to analyze it. The problem then becomes, how much is paid for each rewind and how is that rate determined.

It's funny how some things that we take for granted with music we own become an issue when it comes to streaming. That said, this is another reason why I think that much better days are ahead for songwriters and artists. The compensation may be small but the increased number of revenue streams should increase income substantially.


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