A new team has emerged in the race to become the most utilized streaming music service, as eMusic partners with The Echo Nest to curate its new eMusic Radio.
Essentially a combination of the ideas of Pandora and turntable.fm, eMusic Radio consists of genre-specific radio stations hosted by the eMusic editorial staff, who start with a core group of songs selected from eMusic’s library. Then technology provided by The Echo Nest recommends songs (also from eMusic’s library) based on specific attributes of the original songs, similar to Pandora’s selection process for its users.
The Echo Nest is a music intelligence platform. The company’s website claims the technology is a “musical brain” that takes information not only from a songs attributes like tempo, key and time, but also from blog posts, reviews, and analysis of online music behavior. Other clients powered by The Echo Nest included MTV Music, Warner Music Group and the BBC.
Jim Lucchese, CEO of The Echo Nest, told Billboard magazine that eMusic radio distinguishes itself from other streaming audio sites in that it is designed for a more specific and knowledge music fan. As opposed to, say, turntable.fm where anyone can curate their own “stations,” eMusic Radio songs are chosen by editorial writers to stay specifically within a station’s guidelines while still offering diversity within a genre.
With all stations being DMCA-compliant, guests to the service can only listen to 10 hours of music over a 14-day trial period. Songs are played in a player that runs across the bottom of the screen that continues to appear and play the current song even if the user clicks to a different section of the eMusic store.
Subscribers to the store have the access to the same 10 hours of listening time, which renews every 30 days. Other restrictions limit users to skipping no more than six songs in an hour and the service currently is only available in the United States.
In other recent streaming music service, Sony has rebranded its Qriocity (a different spelling of curiosity) Music Service as Music Unlimited. The Qriocity network was hacked along with Sony’s PlayStation network in April, shutting down the network for a month, as user information was compromised.
Music Unlimited equates to a cloud service that will allow users to access their music cloud from Sony Bravia televisions, PlayStation 3s, PCs and Android phones. Subscriptions range from $3.99 per month to a $9.99 per month premium plan.