The news came this week that Bloom.fm, the streaming startup with the massive London Underground campaign, will be shutting down after their investors ‘unexpectedly’ pulled their funding. Andrea brought up some interesting points over at Rockol about the fact that they were providing a lower price point than other streaming services, so had more mainstream appeal. However, I’m not sure that there was space for them in the crowded market dominated by the likes of Spotify, Rdio, Deezer and Beats, considering that was their only real differentiator. Update: As expected, Bloom.fm are putting in a last ditch effort to find a new investor within the next week. Know anyone who has a spare couple of million?
The beginning of the week saw a government group come out and say that tougher restrictions needed to be brought in on secondary resell of tickets for gigs and events. There’s some interesting arguments from both sides, but it seems that the bill could really hurt a lot of ticket reseller startups. Viagogo came out in response, saying that a lot of the measures could just push ticket reselling back to the black market, meaning that regulation is near-impossible. I doubt there’s going to be a comfortable middle ground for both sides, as it’s a complicated issue, and the parliamentary group need to look further than the next election to see the potential ramifications on the industry and punters years down the line.
It feels a bit like there’s a battle for differentiation between the major streaming services. Spotify has (had) apps, Beats has playlists, Deezer has operator tie-ins. Rdio have signed up to Bob Weir’s (he of Grateful Dead) ‘Artists for Quality’ initiative, aiming for higher quality audio in streaming. The commentary so far seems to have asked whether mainstream consumers give a shit, which judging from the Loudness Wars, is a fair question, but this might differentiate Rdio as the ‘serious listeners’ service.
In depressing news of the week, Simon Cowell has announced a partnership with SFX entertainment to bring an X-Factor for DJs called Ultimate DJ. To be honest, I’m not sure that there’s enough entertainment value in watching DJs do their stuff for a mainstream audience, so I’ll be surprised if this makes it past a first season.
Because we need a bit of comedy in our lives, the man behind hits like Friday and Chinese Food has done an “exclusive interview” with his own PR team to set the record straight on how he’s revolutionising the music industry. If you enjoy cringing, watch this.
The Latest Awesome
Workaxe have created a nifty little hack that allows you to control Soundcloud via in-browser command line input. It’s a neat little hack, even if it has little actual application in the real world. I’ll be more impressed when they make it actually work from Terminal (I’m sure someone already has).
Beatcamp is a one-day event in London, run by a couple of DJs and music producers. It’s a neat idea: get a bunch of music producers in a room for a day, team them up and aim to have a full track finished by the end of the day. It takes the concept of a hack day and applies it to the problem most music makers have, where you labour over tiny elements of a track and end up with loads of half finished tracks that never see the light of day.