Thursday, July 23, 2009

10 sites to help you navigate the new world of music;, 7/23/09

John D. Sutter via; 10 sites to help you navigate the new world of music:

"Online music is confusing these days.

Web sites are giving people new ways to find and enjoy music.

It's hard to tell what's legal when once-defunct sites like KaZaA and Napster --former bastions of illegal downloads -- crawl out of the grave with legit subscription plans.

And digital music offerings are expanding.

Instead of buying CDs or downloading songs, younger consumers appear to be shifting toward streaming music online and on mobile devices.

That's partly because music streaming services like Pandora are largely free, and also because younger people aren't as tied to the idea that music must be owned to be enjoyed, said Russ Crupnick, a senior industry analyst at NPD Entertainment, which conducts market research.

In a survey released earlier this year, NPD Group found the number of teens streaming music online jumped from 34 percent in 2007 to 52 percent in 2008. CD sales and music downloads dropped over the same period.

It's unclear which online music models will survive, said John Simson, executive director of SoundExchange, the nonprofit that collects royalties for recording companies and artists.
But some music industry experts say the shifting landscape of digital music could help save struggling musicians and record companies.

Rich Bengloff, president of the American Association of Independent Music, said power is in the hands of consumers.

"To survive, music labels must get revenue from multiple sources, with the consumers deciding which of these sources they want to use to access music," he said in an e-mail. "These sources need to include streaming services like Pandora, SomaFM, Yahoo, etc. and subscription services like Napster and Rhapsody.

"These services are good for the industry as long as artists who create the music and the music labels that invest in that music creation receive fair compensation."

To help you sort through the many options, compiled a list of 10 sites that are rethinking how people access music on the Internet."

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