So here comes YouTube Music Key, which will offer a bunch of new stuff for YouTube music listeners, specifically music without those you-can-skip-idiotic-ad-in-5-seconds ads, playback without the video, and some kind of offline play mechanism (I’m getting this from Android Police). Plus it seems likely that Google’s All Music Access will somehow be folded into this new service. The Village Voice thinks it will cost $9.99 a month. “Is the YouTube Free for All Over?” asks VV’s Melissa Johnson.
Nah. It just means that we are another mile into the Two-Tier Internet in which Group A gets to listen to the cool stuff ad-free for a fee and Group B pays with ad-consumed brain cells. A rough equivalent of this YouTube thing is happening at SoundCloud on the content creator end. The stream has added a new tier called “Premier,” offered on an invite basis, which gives artists and labels a chance to share revenue via an advertising program. “The introduction of advertising is an important step for creators,” the SoundCloud blog proclaims. “Every time you see or hear an ad, an artist gets paid.” But first these artists (or their labels, or somebody) will have to pay to be part of the program.
I think I’m going to stick around Group B as a long as I can, basically because (a) I’m cheap and (b) cannot stand the idea of paying Google money for anything. But we will see how long that obstinacy lasts. You can run, but you can’t hide, although that doesn’t stop people from trying. For example, Huh magazine has a response piece titled “Five alternatives to SoundCloud,” and one of them is YouTube. So if you are pissed that SoundCloud is going to run ads, you go to another service that already has ads and now will charge you to avoid them?
Anyway, Comscore has a new report out on mobile applications. It says that most digital media time is now spent on mobile apps. The percentage relationship between mobile and desktop devices is 60/40 in mobile’s favor. Here’s a Comscore chart of the top 25 mobile apps.
As you can see, among the top dozen are YouTube, Pandora, and iTunes radio. Shazam is down there a bit, but observe that Pandora has a higher usage rate than Gmail! And on various “time spent” analysis charts, Pandora almost tops every demographic, one or two notches under Facebook, with YouTube just below. And nota bene: “A staggering 42 percent of all app time spent on smart phones occurs on the individual’s single most used app,” Comscore says. “Nearly three out of every four minutes of app usage occurs on one of the individual’s top 4 apps.”
That means that for a huge number of mobile smart phone users, it’s all Facebook and Pandora, with YouTube snapping at the rear. That’s mobile radio circa 2014.
Last but not least, here’s a YouTube about how to make your Raspberry pi an Internet radio device. It’s in German, but don’t let that discourage you.
We cover social music sharing communities every Monday in our Internet DJ feature.
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