Weekend Perspective: Jan. 13 – 17

Weekend Perspective: January 6 – 10

Beat Music pre-launched, or quasi-launched, its music service this week — which is to say, it publicized some of its marketing material along with a mission statement from CEO Ian Rogers. Our preview lays out how Beats is different from other services and speculates that the partnership with AT&T might be the key to its competitive prospects.

As if feeling the heat wave from an approaching meteor, leading music services melted a bit this week, changing their subscription models to either match Beats’ talking points, or counter them. Pandora added station recommendations to its app menu for the first time. Spotify made web listening completely free and uncapped — to the surprise of must users, who didn’t know it wasn’t uncapped before. Rdio quickly followed Spotify’s lead, creating ad-support, free web listening.

On the business side, a previously reported, but unconfirmed deal was finalized: Radionomy acquired Winamp and Shoutcast. Great synergy there, as Radionomy suddenly becomes the market-share leader in streaming Internet radio stations.

In legal news, the “Net Neutrality” law was struck down by an appeals cour in a decision that turned the tables in the lawsuit against the FCC brought by Verizon. The result could damage online music services, and their ability to compete fairly. RAIN untangled the complicated story.

Triton Digital released its monthly Top 20 Ranker of Internet listening. Overall, listening reached new highs in November, among the companies measured. Pandora increased its lead, moving upward against the downward moving of most radio webcasts.

Finally, Inside Radio released results from its year-end reader survey. The stop-in-your-tracks bullet point was that two-thirds of respondents believe Pandora is “no real threat” to radio. That story was the most-read RAIN article of the week.

Brad Hill