Radical.FM Launches New 'Pay What You Can' Streaming Music App

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Streaming music service 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.

    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.
    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 is a universal app that can be downloaded for free. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: Radical.FM Launches New 'Pay What You Can' Streaming Music App
  2. ZacNicholson macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2011
  3. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    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.
  4. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    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?
  5. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
  6. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    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.
  7. Gasu E. macrumors 68040

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
    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.
  8. unplugme71 macrumors 68030

    May 20, 2011
    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.


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


    May 26, 2011
    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...
  10. TheKrs1 macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    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.
  11. testcard macrumors 68020


    Apr 13, 2009
    Middle England
  12. jonnysods macrumors 601


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
  13. SolRayz macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2007
    Ft. Lauderdale
    A little slow and buggy. Will definitely need some updates if they want to compete with Spotify or the million other services available.
  14. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    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.
  15. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    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.
  16. jamojamo macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2010
    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....

  17. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Yes I understand they have costs. That’s 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.
  18. cmwade77 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2008
    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.
  19. HowEver macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    Don't worry. RadicalFM may not 'charge' you to listen, but you'll still be 'paying'--with your information and choices.
  20. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    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.
  21. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    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.
  22. DrMotownMac macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2008
    "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?!"

    Interesting business model.... :rolleyes:
  23. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    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.
  24. Gasu E. macrumors 68040

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
    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.


    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?
  25. DonutHands macrumors regular


    Dec 20, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Unless they reveal the real method of making profit from this service i see it shutting down in 6 months.

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