iTunes faces streaming music battle

Hot on the heels of news of Spotify’s submission of an iPhone application which enables music playback using its service comes news of yet another streaming music service with an iPhone plan.

Grooveshark also plans to introduce a streaming music application to the iPhone. That service is comparatively small, receiving 1.3 million visitors a month. It’s interesting because it lets users upload whatever they want, and removes content only when it receives a takedown notice.

With the onus on labels to tell Grooveshark when to remove tracks, it’s not a great surprise the company so far lacks any licensing deals with the majors, and has at least one copyright infringement lawsuit on its books.

In related news, Spotify has linked up with Sony Pictures to bring a new video player to its streaming service, giving advertisers a choice of visual format alongside the current audio option. While it’s an ad tool now some think Spotify will soon expand its offering to furnish video too.

According to other reports, Spotify is considering selling data it holds on subscribers’ listening habits to record labels, so they can target consumers with relevant promotions. The company may also announce a deal with music streaming website, designed to harness that service’s music recommendation tools within Spotify.

Spotify submitted its iPhone application to Apple earlier this week, but you can read a review of the pre-release software here. “Is Spotify for iPhone any good? Yes. it is. It’s great,” that reviewer writes.

These streaming services seem set to become a popular way to discover new music and for casual listening of half-liked tracks.

This has generated some speculation (including here) that Apple may introduce streamed music services through iTunes, particularly as it has a plan to implement ads-funded services through its music store. Subscription-based music plans may be a great way to help propel sales of future Apple devices, also.

The one problem we have with these services is that while labels and operators do alright from them, artists get paid peanuts. We’d love to see that change…

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