Streaming music still booming

Companies offering monthly unlimited streaming music have been relatively unsuccessful, but there is still heavy interest in streaming music services.

The duo behind the Kazaa peer-to-peer file sharing program, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, have started a new music-based venture.

They created Rdio, a new service aimed at letting subscribers listen to their music via PCs and mobile phones.  The program is designed with ease of use in mind, but it’s currently unknown whether it will have any peer to peer functionality like Kazaa.

Rdio will have to try to sign licensing agreements to sell music, which may be difficult considering there still is a stigma around Kazaa.

skype_founders

“They’re businessmen with a real track record of innovation,” EMI music label digital business head Mark Pibe told the New York Times.  “They are bringing a lot of new ideas to music distribution and there is no reason why we wouldn’t talk to them seriously.”

Until Rdio launches, it will have to deal with Spotify and Mog, which are music services that have two different methods to reach their goal.

Spotify, which will be available in the U.S. in 2010, offers free, ad-supported music or $16 monthly ad-free music.  Mog has at least $5 million in funding, and already has licensing agreements with all four major record labels in the U.S.  The service will offer $5 monthly unlimited music listening through a PC — $15 per month for listening through mobile phones.

The companies that are able to gain the biggest presence in the mobile space may have the upper hand in the future.  The number of phone owners listening to music is increasing, so it’s up to music providers to offer easy-to-use, robust apps for mobile customers.