June 30, 2010
Online music providers are beginning to bump into each other - even in the cloud -- as they seek to sign up music lovers for their services. The latest to launch is mSpot, which enables users to store their music free of charge in the cloud for playback on Android phones.
mSpot's wrinkle, announced this week, is that users can store about 2 GB of music they have already purchased in mSpot's service and then download the music later free of charge. mSpot is hoping to attract diehard music lovers who will download more than 2GB of music and then pay between $3 and $14 a month for music that exceeds the minimum amount. Other phones including Apple's iPhone are also planned to be able eventually to use the mSpot service, the firm said. Generally, 2 GB will hold about 1,600 songs. The service - as well as other cloud-based music services - has been hailed by the Recording Industry Association of America, which has fought music sharing sites for years. Online music services have been hitting the market in growing numbers, hoping to capitalize on the successful online phenomenon started by Apple's iTunes. "Our companies look forward to working with these services on licenses that ensure labels and artists are compensated for the music cloud-based services are monetizing," Steven Marks, executive vice president and general counsel of the RIAA, has said, explaining the organization's stance on the issue. Online music services have been popping up in recent months, hoping not to incur the wrath of the RIAA while still offering a service that consumers will buy. For instance, file-sharing pioneers Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis have launched an online music subscription service called Rdio that plans to draw heavily on the cloud and social networking to deliver music to browsers and smartphones. The two founders of Skype and Kazaa before that, are charging $9.99 a month for the Rdio service, which streams music to consumers. Another service called MOG also streams music to consumers. It is available on an iPhone app.
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