Spotify Is Dead: Long live the King?
If you are living in The Netherlands and want to legally enjoy your digital music, there are plenty of solutions available. However, there is a good reason why so many people have not embraced one platform to fulfill all their music needs. Either the legal music platforms are not very user-friendly (e.g. restrict the user with DRM, unclear pricing, dramatic UI, insufficient music database, strange recommendations, advertisement policy) or divide the profits between them and the record labels as opposed to the artists.
In 2010 Spotify tried to fill this gap for Dutch users. With a rapidly growing global market share of 9.1% in 2010 and a market share of almost 20% of the global market for streaming services in 2011, it was bound to become the leading service provider in the industry in a few years.
But, as Elise Zonneveld pointed out, Spotify has trouble achieving profitability, despite its ever growing user base due to high royalty costs. Sound quality, limited supported formats and DRM are also not encouraging new users to convert to a premium account.
Do you remember Kim Dotcom? While this media mogul awaits the outcome of the increasingly scandalous efforts by the US and New Zealand governments to extradite him to face charges of copyright infringement, the founder of Megaupload is preparing to launch a new business line soon—a cloud music service called Megabox. Put top-notch programmers and designers in their natural habitat, feed them bacon and over-sugared energy drinks and something good has to come out.
Did you notice the sentiment analysis features and tight integration with all kinds of webservices? Looks promising doesn’t it?
Megabox: Music service or malware?
“These new solutions will allow content creators to keep 90% of all earnings and generate significant income from the untapped market of free downloads,” Dotcom told TorrentFreak. “I created an innovation that could solve the piracy problem.”
At first it looks like a promising new business model but the technical aspect gives it a sinister taste.
Technically, since users are made aware of what Megakey is doing and are willingly allowing the software to be installed on their computers, Megakey falls into the same legal realm as ad blockers. But once it is installed, users won’t necessarily know which ads are hosted on the sites they are visiting, and which are injected by Megakey. The ad injection mechanism of Megakey could also pose a major security risk to users.
If that isn’t enough to give the music industry and media companies a case of indigestion, Dotcom has also announced that he’ll be re-launching Megaupload later this year.