Rdio: More streaming services to follow Deezer's exit

By Rosie Baker | 17 February 2014

The launch of Apple's iTunes Radio last week coincided with the exit of Deezer's sales operation from Australia, but Deezer won't be the only casualty of the music streaming wars. It's too crowded and the market can only support half the players, reckons Colin Blake, head of Rdio.

He reckons the local services are the ones that will struggle to survive in the long term.

There are more competing music streaming services in Australia than in most other global markets. Blake puts it around 14 major players but some put the number as high as 30. The count includes local platforms like Telstra's MOG and JB Hi-Fi's Now, iHeartRadio, Songl and international brands Spotify, Pandora, Rdio and Apple's iTunes Radio which launched last week. Other streaming services inlcude Nokia Music, Rara, Guvera, Samsung Music Hub, Sony Music Unlimited and Xbox Music.

Blake reckons the market will start to shake out and rationalise leaving between four and eight streaming services “at the most” that “have the ability to remain and stay competitive”.

Local services developed in and for the Australian market are most likely to fall by the wayside, he claims as opposed to global brands with higher listener volumes and greater scale and stability because while Australia might be a “super cool sexy market, it's not a money market,” he said.

He says players that invest in their brand, mark out their point of difference and what they stand for will succeed but at the moment, most consumers don't understand the different technologies and features offered by each service.

“[Australia] is the most cluttered market in the world but a lot of those services have sat on their hands and not done much to connect and engage with people. There's a lot of room for growth and change and having a brand that stands for something and isn't juts a logo on a platform,” he said.

“I'd love to see some of the major players ramp up how they expose their brands to consumers.”

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