The Slacker Dilemma

10 thoughts on “The Slacker Dilemma”

  1. definitely an uphill battle, but don’t discount the impact of offering something people want. sure there are all the competitors you mentioned, but maybe none of those satisfy me and slacker does. curious to see where it goes.

    minor note, the company is Broadband Instruments, not Slacker Inc. and it’s out of San Diego, not Austin.

  2. I LOVE IT! that’s true entrepreneurship when you “screw” the VC thinking of focusing on 1 single very focused product, and just go with your thoughts and what you think is best.

    All the best to the boys, and if they fail they are still high up on my list.

  3. Re: “The Web music royalty fiasco is only just getting started.”

    That’s not an issue for these guys. They have licensing deals with the labels. The royalty rates only apply to companies that are using the statutory license available under the DMCA.

    For anyone who might not be aware, the DMCA says that webcasters who follow certain rules (e.g., you can’t play more than 4 songs from a given artist in a 3 hour period) qualify as a “non-interactive” service and are entitled to a statutory license at fixed rates. But you’re always free to negotiate separately with the labels. In Slacker’s case I don’t think they even had the option to use the statutory license because they’re a satellite service. They probably also wanted to do some things that would qualify them as “interactive” under the DMCA.

  4. Granted there are a lot of players in the digital music market. Yes many of those players are giants – folks that have been around the block and swing a wide berth with their established profile. The thing is, it seems, none of them has found the “magic formula” for digital music broadcasting. I mean, the whole subscription based, niche market satellite services just don’t appeal to me – they don’t have the simple low maintenance appeal as just turning on my FM radio and having access to a free and wide range of public air waves. Podcasts are cool, but again, they require some real work to get to. I mean, if there really was something that truly worked – the magic formula, would there be so many players in the market? So, yea, lots of guys scrambling to get it right. Hopefully, the new kid on the block will pick up the slack.

  5. As a Sirius employee, I can say that they are definately in line with the modern market, and will stand more and more of a chance as time passes. The only issue, as with any entertainment service, will be gaining the necissary capital to provide the service completely and at a low price point. I wish them the best of luck, and who knows, maybe they’ll earn a place on our service 😛

  6. Who knows? Maybe the halo of Austin will guide them past all these obstacles.

    Always interesting to see a new approach – but there isn’t a whole lot I’m missing from my iPod/iTunes experience — at least not that last.fm didn’t fulfill.

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