Lean-Back Listeners: The Next Trend In Online Music Streaming
With so many music streaming options sprouting up online, unsigned and indie music artists might find themselves bewildered about where and how to gain an online streaming presence.
According to a new article from the LA Times, “lean-back listening,” as Slacker CEO Jim Cady describes it, might be the next hip business model for music streaming. Many listeners, as Cady explained, are weary of the streaming sites that require constant customization. In this fast-moving age, many fans don’t have the time to create their own playlists. They simply want to click Play and go about their business.
Cady’s solution is not computer algorithms that spit out pre-programmed playlists. His company Slacker employs skilled curators to personally sculpt each lineup of music. With grunge music, for example, Slacker hired a legendary Seattle DJ who had helped discover, promote and shape grunge when it was in its infancy.
This is the same model that eoRadio.com has been employing since its launch in 2003. “We’ve got a whole team of people who listen to every song submitted, it gets rated and brought to a committee that has a final vote on whether it gets added to the rotation”, says founder Ryan Smith.
Microsoft and Nokia are targeting lean-back listeners in a different way. A July 2nd report from engadget, details how the two companies are collaborating to create an Xbox 360 playlist sharing program, where one’s friends are the curators and users listen to each other’s playlists. Social media music sharing is not a new idea, but this is the first product that does not require users to sign up or download additional programs or apps. It uses a product that is already in place in millions of homes: the Xbox 360.
The new MySpace has been re-designed, thanks to Justin Timberlake, around the same idea of sharing playlists and, according to a recent article in Rolling Stone, it has a good chance of succeeding. The site also features a large amount of pre-programmed playlists. Whether or not Rolling Stone is right, the design of the new MySpace confirms that lean-back listeners are the trend.
This is good news. It means indie artists doing their own promotion do not have to code an entire social media platform just to join the online streaming universe. Fans will be more than happy to check out your pre-programmed lists of finely tuned indie rock mixes.