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Category Archives: Media

Music Streaming

For a while, I have been using Deezer while in France, Spotify while in the UK, and Pandora while in the US. Each time, I used each related free version with ads every {x} songs.

I did not mind the ads unless I was studying or working.

For a few months now, I have been looking into subscribing to a music streaming service. I am into music but I do not need to own albums or songs, I am more a “mood” listener. Depending on my mood, on the time of the day, or on the context of the day (working, chilling, ready to party…), I will just start a playlist or a radio channel. Therefore streaming services are perfect for me.

I have been looking at subscribing at either Spotify or Google Play Music All Access (oh my, that’s a longggg name!), given that they are priced at the same level and work in many countries, therefore ideal while travelling. As I have many Nexus devices and use almost all Google services, I thought GPMAA would make more sense.

While GPMAA has a standard 30 days free offer, I saw on my Google Play Store an ad for 60 days free. After contacting Google, this seems like a bug, therefore I would not be able to get 60 days free. Disappointing. However, this week Google started offering 90 days free of GPMAA to Google Chromecast owners. Guess what, I have a Google Chromecast, of course. The product is about $35/£30 while the offer is for 90 days free or a $29.97 / £29.97 saving; pretty sweet deal!

I have started my 90 days free GPMAA 2 days ago. It works great. No complain so far. I am using it as I did Deezer, Spotify or Pandora.

 

Now, the thing is, I recalled a 6 months old article about artists and how they get paid now that music streaming services are so big and powerful. See below:

What Musicians Actually Get Paid By iTunes, Pandora And Spotify Is Truly Pathetic” by Business Insider

What Musicians Actually Get Paid By iTunes, Pandora And Spotify Is Truly Pathetic

 

US Cable Cord Cutting!

Coming from Europe, something struck me when I used to work in TMT M&A in the US: Cable Cord Cutting phenomenon in the country.
In Europe we do have Cable providers, but they are not as strong as in the US as people can get 20+ channels for free with just a roof aerial.
With the development of broadband internet, Cable Cord Cutting has been a rising in the US (as well as Netflix share price!).

Here are two interesting recent articles on the subject:
http://buzz.money.cnn.com/2013/10/29/cable-satellite-cord-cutting/
http://www.forbes.com/sites/amadoudiallo/2013/10/16/how-to-cut-the-cord-cable-tv/

When my American friends tell me about their TV experience or when I stay in the US, I hear the same thing, which South Park summarized quite well in this video:

Europe I watch you / I listen to you. USA I can’t

As per the previous posts, I am just back from one year in New York. It was a fantastic year; I discovered plenty of new things and developed new habits.

I came back from the US with habits that I am starting to miss badly:

  • Cable TV with more than 1,000 channels… European FTA TV is not quite the same!
  • Hulu
  • Food delivery. Any kind, any time, 20mins tops!
  • Pandora / Rdio
  • Lounges, movie theatre, etc… open late at night. To do something after work
  • And so on…

 

What I am missing quite a lot are online services provided in the US only, completely restricted here in Europe:

  • Latest TV Shows online on FOX, NBC, USA websites
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Pandora
  • Rdio
  • Sports videos (ESPN etc)
  • And a few more to be discussed below

 

In other words, US videos or music websites are restricted because of licensing constraints.

When in Shanghai in 2006 and now in the US in 2010/2011, I used to access online European music or videos services quite a lot, and there was almost never a restriction:

  • Deezer
  • Canal+ (the French HBO) “clear” shows’ videos. There were/are pre-roll video ads, they were/are the French ones (not US ads because of my US IP address while in NY for instance)
  • iTélé (French news channel, group Canal+)
  • Sports videos on Marca.com or As.com
  • And a few other…
It always worked and kept me “close” to home when I was homesick.
The other day, I wanted to check Turntable.fm out because of this post from Fred Wilson on his blog AVC. As Pandora and Rdio, Turntable is perfect for me as it allows users to interactively share music.
Since I left France in 2006 for an internship in China, a Master in Spain and an M&A job in London and New York, I stopped getting mp3 that I liked. Lack of time pushed me to start listening to online music. A theme, an artist, a song can start a personalised “radio”.
I use Deezer a lot. I created a few personal radios, from calm music to work, to pop for home, to house/tech music to party or model late at night. That works great for me. I remember using Pandora in 2006 while studying in Barcelona. It was not restricted at the time. I created a few lists on it. Then it got restricted for Europe. On Deezer or the other services, when I like a new song I just need to hit the “+” and put it in a “radio list”.
Same story with Last.fm by the way.
I would not be the best provider of “sounds” to Turntable as my music library is old and I don’t get new mp3, but I am excited to type a theme or type of music, get in a “room” and listen to what other would have to share.
While reading this post from AVC again, I was really intrigued in listening to DJ Woooo’s Dance/Electro Turntable room. I like Electro music and was interested in listening to a new DJ as well as intrigued to listen to what the blogger I read every day uses to listen.
I cannot access DJ Woooo’s remix, I am in Europe now. It is sad.
I wish there will soon be something done to fix that. Ads based on IP, European TV/Radio channels will be more flexible when it comes to protect the rights they acquired from US content providers, etc…
I think Europe is missing out on great services. I know I am.
This continent has more than 700 million people; this is a lot of customers, ad viewers, and so on…