1/2/13: New year could bring a new on-demand player to U.S.

Paul Maloney
January 2, 2013 - 12:05pm

Deezer CEO Axel Dauchez recently told an interviewer, "We are looking for a partner in the U.S., maybe an operator or a blue-chip company, that is able to provide us with a significant volume of subscribers," and said his company has already opened discussions with potential American partner firms.

The Wall Street Journal reports Dauchez is concerned by the U.S. music streaming market's "unbelievably high" entry costs (as well as a marketplace that already includes Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, Xbox Music, MOG, and others).

The Paris-based on-demand music subscription service Deezer just began offering a limited free ad-supported service for desktop listening (no mobile) in more than 150 countries. Deezer is partly owned by Access Industries, Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik's company that owns Warner Music Group. Deezer raised $130 million in fall.

Read more in The Wall Street Journal here.

Paul Maloney
January 2, 2013 - 12:05pm

Philadelphia non-commercial adult rock station WXPN has launced the new "Singer Songwriter Radio" on its XPN2.org stream, which had been its online-only alternative/indie music stream.

"Hosted by WXPN DJs, including Michaela Majoun, Helen Leicht and Dan Reed the playlist includes music by both heritage and new artists, as well as exclusive in-studio performances," according to the press release. The channel will include programs like "World Cafe," "Mountain Stage," "Folkadelphia," "Folk Alley."

XPN's "Folk Alley" stream, by the way, is still operational, as is its "XPoNential radio" stream (here).

Paul Maloney
January 2, 2013 - 12:05pm

Among tech blog ReadWrite's "The 5 Most Pivotal Moments for Digital Music in 2012": the introduction of the Internet Radio Fairness Act [We covered this extensively in 2012.].

The Internet Radio Fairness Act (IRFA), among other measures, would require Copyright Royalty Judges, when determining royalties for web radio, to use the same legal standard (known as 801(b)) they use for satellite radio and cable radio royalties. Under current law, CRB judges are instructed to try to set royalties at a "fair market value," using a legal standard known as "willing buyer willing seller." This has led to the current state of affairs in which webcasters like Pandora pay many times the royalty of other types of digital radio when expressed as a percentage of revenue.

"Whatever happens with the IRFA as it was originally drafted (many predict its demise), something needs to give, and that something will have to balance the need for innovation with the rights of those who create music for a living," says ReadWrite. "The end result of the debate that kicked off in 2012 will have a huge impact on radio's future."

See all 5 of ReadWrite's "Most Pivotal Moments" here.