RAIN 10/23: 7Digital and Rara turn up the competition in online music

Paul Maloney
October 23, 2012 - 1:05pm

Online music store and "white label" vendor 7Digital has announced plans to expand its service to an online radio service, plus more on-demand streaming, and "scan-and-match" capability for its existing cloud storage.

The company, having raised $10 million, also plans to offer its 22 million track library to more markets in North America and Europe. Paid Content has more here. The company also announced it will be the "official music download provider" for the BlackBerry 10 line of smartphones coming out next year. More here.

Meanwhile, music streaming service Rara.com is launching new mobile apps, widening its footprint to 27 countries, and will have apps preloaded on Lenovo Windows 8 tablets, Android tablets, and some PCs. Rara.com is available in the U.S., the UK, most of Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, and more.

Rara offers "ready-made playlists and stations, put together by music experts," and offline listening. It costs 1.99 pounds, euros or dollars per month for three months of ad-free mobile access to 18 million tracks. After three months, it's £/€/$9.99 per month. Web-only access is £/€/$0.99 per month for the first three months, then £/€/$4.99 per month.

Add these services to the list of other on-demand streamers that include online radio among their offerings: Spotify, Rdio, Mog, the new Xbox Music, and more. 

TechCrunch has more on Rara.com here.

Paul Maloney
October 23, 2012 - 1:05pm

Adam Carolla, Dr. Drew, Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist), Mark Maron, Penn Jillette, and other well-known names in podcasting are joining a new "podcast platform" called Launchpad Digital Media. Launchpad is a new division of Courtside Entertainment Group, which produces and finances multi-platform programming to media outlets, and is a venture from Westwood One founder Norm Pattiz.

Digital, online, and podcast sales veteran Kit Gray will serve as president and COO of Launchpad. His experience includes working with media agencies nationwide, division manager for Clear Channel (Katz 360 Digital), and time as director of advertising for Verizon’s EV-DO networks Amp’d Mobile.

Bill Burr, CBS News, Afterbuzz TV with Maria Menuounos, Jay Mohr, Mark & Lynda, and Brian & Jill will also be part of Launchpad. RadioInfo reports "Launchpad will also be home to the Sideshow Network, The Fake Mustache Network, Riotcast Network, Splitsider Network and the Toad Hop Network making Launchpad one of the industry’s largest players."

Read more in RadioInfo here.

Paul Maloney
October 23, 2012 - 1:10pm

Buzzam Radio (at Buzz.am) is a new mobile app that can add local news and weather to your music listening (either local files or services like Spotify and Rdio), plus other nonmusical content (think Twitter and Facebook updates) to create "an audio stream customized for each user."

Buzzam, according to president/COO Greg Starling, was made in response to the shortcomings of Internet radio. "The problem with Internet radio services is that they omit critical elements of radio, like news, weather, commentary and other entertainment."

The app is in the iTunes store (there's no desktop version of the service). According to Wired.com, news options include BBC, NPR, CBS, NBC and Fox. You can also add podcasts to the stream. A "robot voice" reads your social media updates and local weather.

Read more in Wired here.