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MacRumors
Aug 20, 2013, 01:51 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/20/radical-fm-launches-new-pay-what-you-can-streaming-music-app/)


Streaming music service Radical.FM (http://radical.fm) launched a new iOS app today, providing users with access to more than 22 million songs at no cost and with no advertising. Rather than charging a subscription fee, Radical.FM asks its customers to "pay what you can" for the service.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/08/radicalfm.jpg
While Radical.FM is similar to Pandora in that it allows users to create personalized stations, Radical.FM's content is centralized around genres rather than specific songs and artists. Users can select a percentage of each genre to listen to in one station, creating a playlist that mixes a variety of content.Radical.FM is a complete music and audio content delivery service with unique features and controls. Unlike other services, Radical's Stations do not "guess" what you might like based on song choices and subjective computer parameters. Instead, Radical divides its library into Genres and allows you to blend as many as desired and assign each a value relative to the others. Blending can be changed instantaneously, creating an endless stream of precisely the kind of music and other material toy want to hear at any given moment.In addition to allowing users to create genre-based playlists, the app also includes tools for blocking unwanted songs and artists and functionality that lets users add and delete genres and adjust genre values.

Radical.FM (http://appshopper.com/music/radicalfm-radio-re-defined) is a universal app that can be downloaded for free. [Direct Link (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/radical.fm-radio-re-defined/id666778251?mt=8)]

Article Link: Radical.FM Launches New 'Pay What You Can' Streaming Music App (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/20/radical-fm-launches-new-pay-what-you-can-streaming-music-app/)



ZacNicholson
Aug 20, 2013, 01:55 PM
soooo many music apps

bbeagle
Aug 20, 2013, 01:56 PM
I've always wondered, how do services like this get their songs onto their servers in the first place?

If I would start up a music service, would I have to spend millions of dollars to buy all the songs so I can stream them, or do I get access to the songs by paying the music industry something per play, and using some service of theirs to transfer all the songs to my servers? Or pirate all the music, and pay the music industry some small fee per song played?

I would guess the later, which is why all these companies can start up and not expect any money from their users.

aziatiklover
Aug 20, 2013, 02:05 PM
22 million songs at no cost and with no advertising. Rather than charging a subscription fee, Radical.FM asks its customers to "pay what you can" for the service.

Lol wat? I cant pay anything do I still get all the goodies?

jclo
Aug 20, 2013, 02:23 PM
22 million songs at no cost and with no advertising. Rather than charging a subscription fee, Radical.FM asks its customers to "pay what you can" for the service.

Lol wat? I cant pay anything do I still get all the goodies?

Yes.

NewbieCanada
Aug 20, 2013, 02:28 PM
What incentive does anyone have to pay for this? iTunes radio, for example, gives you a commercial-free experience if you pay for iTunes match.

Gasu E.
Aug 20, 2013, 02:43 PM
What is the deal for the artists (and/or labels, for that matter)? If everyone chooses to pay "zero", how do artists get paid?

This all sounds too good to be true.

unplugme71
Aug 20, 2013, 02:48 PM
I rather pay by how much I listen too. This is why I no longer pay for cable tv, xm radio, or music subscriptions.

I used to have two cars with xm. I was only driving my second car 1-2x a week. Of those 1-2x a week, I mostly listened to my iPod. Yet I was paying $7/mo for xm as a second radio. That's really expensive!

Instead, I turned to pay per tv episode, pay per movie, pay per song. It's cheaper for me and I get what I want, when I want, and how I want. I control everything.

The point of cable tv was no commercials. The point of xm was no commercials. Both play commercials. Both charge a lot of money even if you only watch/listen to it for 2 hours a week.

This method is no longer appealing to our generation.

----------

What is the deal for the artists (and/or labels, for that matter)? If everyone chooses to pay "zero", how do artists get paid?

This all sounds too good to be true.

The company will get a big fat bill. Can't pay it and shutdown. The end. NEXT!

CindyRed
Aug 20, 2013, 03:08 PM
I rather pay by how much I listen too. This is why I no longer pay for cable tv, xm radio, or music subscriptions.

I used to have two cars with xm. I was only driving my second car 1-2x a week. Of those 1-2x a week, I mostly listened to my iPod. Yet I was paying $7/mo for xm as a second radio. That's really expensive!

Instead, I turned to pay per tv episode, pay per movie, pay per song. It's cheaper for me and I get what I want, when I want, and how I want. I control everything.

The point of cable tv was no commercials. The point of xm was no commercials. Both play commercials. Both charge a lot of money even if you only watch/listen to it for 2 hours a week.

This method is no longer appealing to our generation.

I think there's room enough for different business models here, unlike Sattelite radio, which became a hot mess after the first fiscal report showed nobody wanted pay radio as it existed at the price offered. Where some enjoy a vast library for a subscription they can cancel or deactivate at any time like Spotify, some prefer music a la carte such as you (and myself in all honesty) for the sense of ownership. There will be many who will enjoy receiving a limited, but still vast library at a discounted or no cost. I can see this business model being as useful, yet limited as XBox music on Windows. Like the old saying goes, different strokes...

TheKrs1
Aug 20, 2013, 03:29 PM
What incentive does anyone have to pay for this? iTunes radio, for example, gives you a commercial-free experience if you pay for iTunes match.

If you want the service to be around for a while, you will want to pay. They have overhead in regards to employees, servers and they still have to pay royalities. If they don't get enough funds to cover those costs they disappear.

testcard
Aug 20, 2013, 03:39 PM
US only, apparently.

jonnysods
Aug 20, 2013, 03:48 PM
An honor system? Good luck guys.

SolRayz
Aug 20, 2013, 04:09 PM
A little slow and buggy. Will definitely need some updates if they want to compete with Spotify or the million other services available.

Makosuke
Aug 20, 2013, 04:17 PM
Instead, I turned to pay per tv episode, pay per movie, pay per song. It's cheaper for me and I get what I want, when I want, and how I want. I control everything.

The point of cable tv was no commercials. The point of xm was no commercials. Both play commercials. Both charge a lot of money even if you only watch/listen to it for 2 hours a week.That model doesn't work for everyone's prefences--my wife, for example, prefers a stream of random content with a DJ and actually likes a few ads--but that describes my own decision process and personal taste exactly.

I don't listen to enough music or watch enough TV to justify an ongoing subscription, and I would MUCH rather pay an a-la-carte fee for exactly the things I want and consume them with no advertising. With music, particularly, my tastes are eclectic enough that that allows me to buy the specific, obscure stuff I like and listen to it as much as I want without any ongoing fee. And the more I pay in, the bigger my "personal radio" playlist of stuff I REALLY like gets.

I also strongly prefer being the consumer, rather than the product. And let's face it, when you buy a track or movie outright, you are the consumer. When you watch something ad-sponsored, you are the product being sold to the advertisers, like it or not.

ArtOfWarfare
Aug 20, 2013, 04:44 PM
This sounds like Wikipedia's model to me - most people never pay a cent but get tons of benefits. A handful of people donate and get nothing more for it. I made a one time donation of $20 to Wikipedia a few years ago. When I'm out of debt (hopefully soon, probably not for another two years) I'll probably make another donation of $20.

A big difference, I would expect, is that whereas Wikipedia only has to pay for a few staff and a lot of servers serving mostly text with a few images, this has to serve up audio (probably more intensive than text and images) and whereas Wikipedia authors/editors make contributions on their own time and dime, musicians and publishers generally expect to be paid.

jamojamo
Aug 20, 2013, 04:59 PM
What incentive does anyone have to pay for this? iTunes radio, for example, gives you a commercial-free experience if you pay for iTunes match.

Incentive: You don't have to pay for iTunes Match. $25

Also, for everyone saying this will be a dismal failure, I am guessing when you sign up for this you will provide them info so they can "leverage" your listening habits and the info you give them (maybe by not targeting you with Ads in app but they may sell your info to third parties who may be interested in sending you offers, etc.)

Or they could just be giving it away free for a while then down the road offer premium options to people willing to pay. Build the users, get them hooked, then charge....

:p

NewbieCanada
Aug 20, 2013, 05:59 PM
If you want the service to be around for a while, you will want to pay. They have overhead in regards to employees, servers and they still have to pay royalities. If they don't get enough funds to cover those costs they disappear.

Yes I understand they have costs. Thatís not what I was getting at. They have the same costs as any other music service but are using a model that will bring in dramatically less revenue than one that is advertiser or subscription based.

cmwade77
Aug 20, 2013, 06:47 PM
Yes I understand they have costs. Thatís not what I was getting at. They have the same costs as any other music service but are using a model that will bring in dramatically less revenue than one that is advertiser or subscription based.
I don't know if that is indeed true.....I think overall people are honest and will do the right thing, allowing this service to have a good run. But I may very well be wrong, we shall see.

HowEver
Aug 20, 2013, 07:42 PM
Don't worry. RadicalFM may not 'charge' you to listen, but you'll still be 'paying'--with your information and choices.

Jessica Lares
Aug 20, 2013, 07:59 PM
The app is ugly. I know that doesn't matter to the kids who will be hogging it, but wow, is it just ugly. They aren't using the Facebook branding properly at all.

I too think they will come and go too. It's a legit project that the guy behind it is putting his heart into, but the demand will just be too much to afford.

NewbieCanada
Aug 20, 2013, 09:29 PM
I don't know if that is indeed true.....I think overall people are honest and will do the right thing, allowing this service to have a good run. But I may very well be wrong, we shall see.

It's not a matter of honesty. They aren't stealing when there is no set price and no requirement to pay. Ask any shareware developer what percentage pay.

DrMotownMac
Aug 20, 2013, 09:44 PM
"Pay what you can???"

So, in other words, when I ask them, "How much is this service?"
They answer, "How much you got?"
"No, I'm asking YOU, 'How much is it?'"
"And we're asking you, 'How much you got?!'"

Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah....

National Lampoon's Vacation "& I'm askin' you how much you got?!" (http://youtu.be/yMf5dvUlYko)

Interesting business model.... :rolleyes:

ArtOfWarfare
Aug 20, 2013, 10:29 PM
Alright, I've now downloaded the app and played with it for an hour. Here's details of interest:

- They may not have commercial ads, but the music isn't interruption free. Every 15 minutes or so it stops and someone talks for ~15 seconds to say something along the lines of "Hey, isn't this great? Did you know about button X that does feature Y. We are free and have no commercial plans, but we can only run as long as people donate. So don't forget to donate. Enjoy!" - I kid not. It's basically just 3 bullet points in 15 seconds.
- The interface is slow as hell, with virtually no animation or indicators that it has registered your touch. Thus you can touch repeatedly and hit things you didn't mean to when it finally moves or you can touch, wait 5 seconds, realize it didn't register, and try touching again.
- The music library is quite extensive. I couldn't think of any artist I listen to from any corner of the globe or niche market who didn't have at least a few tracks in their library. Most artists full collections were there from what I could tell.
- You can pick the exact songs you want to play, but you have to give it a list of 30 or more songs and then it'll shuffle through them. So if you're in the mood to listen to a specific song, you'll have to hit the buy button or swap over to YouTube or something.

I'll probably use it on my iPhone and use Spotify on my Macs from now on... And now I don't think I'll ever be paying for my music again. I might donate to these people someday. I might not. They'll have to improve the UI dramatically before I do.

Gasu E.
Aug 21, 2013, 12:30 AM
I don't know if that is indeed true.....I think overall people are honest and will do the right thing, allowing this service to have a good run. But I may very well be wrong, we shall see.

I think only about 10% of USA public radio listeners actually pay for it. And those are mainly adults; a music service would include lots of kids/teens.

----------

Alright, I've now downloaded the app and played with it for an hour. Here's details of interest:

- They may not have commercial ads, but the music isn't interruption free. Every 15 minutes or so it stops and someone talks for ~15 seconds to say something along the lines of "Hey, isn't this great? Did you know about button X that does feature Y. We are free and have no commercial plans, but we can only run as long as people donate. So don't forget to donate. Enjoy!" - I kid not. It's basically just 3 bullet points in 15 seconds.
- The interface is slow as hell, with virtually no animation or indicators that it has registered your touch. Thus you can touch repeatedly and hit things you didn't mean to when it finally moves or you can touch, wait 5 seconds, realize it didn't register, and try touching again.
- The music library is quite extensive. I couldn't think of any artist I listen to from any corner of the globe or niche market who didn't have at least a few tracks in their library. Most artists full collections were there from what I could tell.
- You can pick the exact songs you want to play, but you have to give it a list of 30 or more songs and then it'll shuffle through them. So if you're in the mood to listen to a specific song, you'll have to hit the buy button or swap over to YouTube or something.

I'll probably use it on my iPhone and use Spotify on my Macs from now on... And now I don't think I'll ever be paying for my music again. I might donate to these people someday. I might not. They'll have to improve the UI dramatically before I do.

So suppose I'm in an Indy band. What's to stop me from creating a free account with just one playlist heavy with my own songs, and playing that 7x24? Now I'm owed some amount of royalties, right?

DonutHands
Aug 21, 2013, 03:11 AM
Unless they reveal the real method of making profit from this service i see it shutting down in 6 months.

GoldenJoe
Aug 21, 2013, 08:36 AM
22 million songs at no cost and with no advertising. Rather than charging a subscription fee, Radical.FM asks its customers to "pay what you can" for the service.

Lol wat? I cant pay anything do I still get all the goodies?

Sure. Until you leech all the life out of the system, anyway.

GoCubsGo
Aug 21, 2013, 08:46 AM
Don't worry. RadicalFM may not 'charge' you to listen, but you'll still be 'paying'--with your information and choices.
There's always a spare tinfoil hat laying around here, isn't there?
If you're on a forum posting then you've already given more information than you think. If you've ever liked a status on Facebook, or joined Facebook at all, subscribed to something online, etc etc. Very little is private any more. Hell, you could be the dude at Disneyland walking in front of a couple during a proposal and suddenly become internet-famous. For that, you don't even have to be on the internet. So this app, it really should be the least of anyone's worries. And who cares if someone knows that I occasionally listen to Katy Perry on purpose. ;)
I don't know if that is indeed true.....I think overall people are honest and will do the right thing, allowing this service to have a good run. But I may very well be wrong, we shall see.
I don't think it would be dishonest to use this app and never donate. I think it would be ******, but not dishonest. I have donated to a few apps such as CyberDuck, Raw Photo Processor, and a few others. In fact, I think I'll be donating to AdBlocker because I do use the extension and love it. However, I have other software that is donate ware that I never donated to and likely never will. There is no reason but that does not make me dishonest.

It would be nice if people would donate to keep a service like this running but it is unlikely that the mass public will. This service won't last long without cash flow.
This sounds like Wikipedia's model to me - most people never pay a cent but get tons of benefits. A handful of people donate and get nothing more for it. I made a one time donation of $20 to Wikipedia a few years ago. When I'm out of debt (hopefully soon, probably not for another two years) I'll probably make another donation of $20.

A big difference, I would expect, is that whereas Wikipedia only has to pay for a few staff and a lot of servers serving mostly text with a few images, this has to serve up audio (probably more intensive than text and images) and whereas Wikipedia authors/editors make contributions on their own time and dime, musicians and publishers generally expect to be paid.
This is what throws me on this. Musicians expect and demand payment. How can a model working only on donations (for the most part) expect to tell a musician what they can reasonably expect to be paid? I'd like to know what the contract looks like and whether the owner has set up a guaranteed payment for each musician. If not, did the musicians opt to just let their music be played without payment?

HowEver
Aug 21, 2013, 10:26 AM
This was about how a service survives.

How do you think they make money?

There's always a spare tinfoil hat laying around here, isn't there?
If you're on a forum posting then you've already given more information than you think. If you've ever liked a status on Facebook, or joined Facebook at all, subscribed to something online, etc etc. Very little is private any more. Hell, you could be the dude at Disneyland walking in front of a couple during a proposal and suddenly become internet-famous. For that, you don't even have to be on the internet. So this app, it really should be the least of anyone's worries. And who cares if someone knows that I occasionally listen to Katy Perry on purpose. ;)

GoCubsGo
Aug 21, 2013, 10:43 AM
This was about how a service survives.

How do you think they make money?

Donations and frankly, I don't see this surviving.
Spotify has ads and if you want to use their iOS app, it is better to be a subscriber if you want something other than radio. I know that's what got me to subscribe.

nburwell
Aug 21, 2013, 01:04 PM
I'll pass. Spotify can continue taking $10/month from me.

testcard
Aug 21, 2013, 01:05 PM
I'll stick with Radio Paradise.

unplugme71
Aug 21, 2013, 01:53 PM
That model doesn't work for everyone's prefences--my wife, for example, prefers a stream of random content with a DJ and actually likes a few ads--but that describes my own decision process and personal taste exactly.

I don't listen to enough music or watch enough TV to justify an ongoing subscription, and I would MUCH rather pay an a-la-carte fee for exactly the things I want and consume them with no advertising. With music, particularly, my tastes are eclectic enough that that allows me to buy the specific, obscure stuff I like and listen to it as much as I want without any ongoing fee. And the more I pay in, the bigger my "personal radio" playlist of stuff I REALLY like gets.

I also strongly prefer being the consumer, rather than the product. And let's face it, when you buy a track or movie outright, you are the consumer. When you watch something ad-sponsored, you are the product being sold to the advertisers, like it or not.

While I do agree the ability to listen to radio (paid or unpaid) is great for discovering new songs, I rather do that on an unpaid basis. Once I hear that song I like, I add it to my playlist. Like you, I listen to a large variety. So I get a good mix of music (now over 23,000 songs).

12vElectronics
Aug 21, 2013, 05:04 PM
lol "pay what you can"

Lets all revisit this thread in 6 months

tumtumtum
Aug 21, 2013, 06:07 PM
Shameless plug but you try Bloom.fm. Beautiful and built from the ground up for iPhone :)

MagnusVonMagnum
Aug 21, 2013, 07:41 PM
What is the deal for the artists (and/or labels, for that matter)? If everyone chooses to pay "zero", how do artists get paid?


They don't. I know this first hand. Unless you stream a bazillion songs, you get NOTHING (they typically pay like 1/1000th a cent or something at best unless you are Puff Daddy or Lil Wayne).


This all sounds too good to be true.

Sadly, it isn't. Artists get ripped off every day. But the industry makes money. :rolleyes:

skiltrip
Aug 22, 2013, 07:15 AM
The Appstore reviews on this are terrible. With ratings like that, I'm not even giving it a look. I just switched from Spotify to Rdio, and I've very happy. Rdio is great.

HowEver
Aug 22, 2013, 07:37 AM
btw iTunes Radio with iOS 7 beta gets my vote, and works in Canada. And so far it's free (will have ads soon of course).

PNutts
Aug 22, 2013, 02:22 PM
An honor system? Good luck guys.

Unless they reveal the real method of making profit from this service i see it shutting down in 6 months.

It would be interesting to see their TOS and Privacy Policy. I don't care enough to go look but it has to be monetized somehow. I don't think the record labels are generous enough to let something be listened to for free in the hopes that the person will buy it or more.