While prohibitive licensing keeps Europe off-limits for most U.S. webcasters, it's a different story for on-demand start-ups

Monday, November 21, 2011 - 1:05pm

Former Live365 exec Rags Gupta suggests the reason we see on-demand music services starting-up in Europe (and not, say, Silicon Valley) is that it's simply easier to license the content there than in the U.S. As such, "investors in Europe aren’t as jaded when it comes to music startups as their U.S. counterparts," writes Gupta. "Index Ventures stands out in this regard. Bolstered by their success with, they’ve added Songkick, SoundCloud, and RJDJ to their portfolio in recent years."

This apparent hospitality towards on-demand start-ups doesn't translate to Internet radio, unfortunately. Fragmented licensing regimes from country to country make it a virtually impossibly expensive and complex matter to license music separately for every country. This means many U.S. webcasters (e.g. Pandora) simply don't make their streams accessible outside the United States. (purchased by CBS for $280 million) and Spotify (now with more than 2 million paying customers across the 8 countries in which it's available) are two obvious examples of music start-ups coming out of Europe. Another is French-based Deezer.

"The minute that I tell the major music labels that I am not interested in signing for rights to the U.S., the negotiations over terms become much, much easier," Deezer CEO Axel Dauchez recently told Reuters. The company apparently has no plans to launch in the United States. 

Read Gupta's piece in GigaOm here.

New website recommends cocktail recipes based on your favorite music

Friday, November 11, 2011 - 11:55am

Drinkify recommends a 1 Fat Tire for RadioheadA new site called Drinkify aims to recommend the perfect alcoholic beverage to accompany your favorite music. The service mashes music info from and the Echo Nest with a proprietary drink database. 

The result? Recommendations for whiskey for Johnny Cash, scotch for Glee and merlot for Frank Sinatra.

Lifehacker has more coverage here.

Spotify, mash-up builds radio-like playlists

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 12:00pm
SpotalikeSpotalike is a new service that generates radio-like playlists related to a single song.
Give the service a song and it will find related music from Spotalike then generates a playlist of that music on Spotify. Try it for yourself here.
(Or, for more radio-like fun with Spotify, check out our coverage of Spotify/Echo Nest mash-up Echofi here. Find our review of Spotify's own artist radio service here, and coverage of their new genre-based radio offerings here.)


Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - 12:00pm

LG, Sharp and Philips are “joining forces” to create a development kit for web-connected TV applications, essentially creating a common standard for developers. This is good news for anyone hoping to gain a presence on new Internet-connected TVs, including webcasters.


Friday, September 2, 2011 - 12:00pm

The new Revo K2 is capable of streaming Internet radio (including, not to mention FM and DAB brodacasts. It also features a dock for your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and can be controlled by an app for said devices. The K2 will go for around $488 when in launches on October 17. Engadget has more coverage here.

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