My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: @Digicel_Jamaica and @LIMEJamaica sign Streaming Deals - How HD Audio Streaming, 4G LTE and Caribbean Artiste means Streaming Revenue Bad Blood

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

@Digicel_Jamaica and @LIMEJamaica sign Streaming Deals - How HD Audio Streaming, 4G LTE and Caribbean Artiste means Streaming Revenue Bad Blood

Telecom Providers and Streaming seem to have a match made in heaven. Smartphones are the perfect platform for the US$1 billion Music Streaming business.

Our Caribbean Telecom Providers realize this, which is what Digicel and LIME had partnered with Streaming Music companies Rdio and Deezer respectively as reported in the article “Digicel, LIME Add Music To Product Line Up”, Published Friday January 23, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.  

Streaming is now making over US$1 billion worldwide with Spotify leading the charge for CD extinction as pointed out in my blog article entitled “@RIAA says Streaming beating CD Sales - Why HD Audio Physical Digital Music comeback progresses as Piracy is the Problem”.

Based on analysis of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), this is only set to increase as Telecom Provider get ready to transition to 5G Networks in the Developed World and 4G LTE Networks in the Developing World

So now that both Telecom Providers have a Streaming Service, how does this differ from downloading?

Digicel and LIME sign Streaming Deals - How Streaming and 4G LTE in the Caribbean are intertwined

Telecom Provider Digicel had signed their deal with San Francisco, California-based Rdio in January 2015 as reported in the article “Digicel to offer music Streaming service on smartphones”, published Thursday, January 22, 2015, The Jamaica Observer

Telecom Provider LIME had announced their deal with Deezer back in December 2014 but it became official News in February 2015 as reported in the article “Deezer, LIME offer Caribbean customers over 35 million songs”, published Tuesday February 17, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Available as a free app on the Google Play Store, Apple iTunes Store, Windows Phone Store and at Rdio's website, the service 30 minutes free ad-supported Streaming daily as reported in the article “Digicel deal tunes Rdio in to emerging markets”, published January 21, 2015 by Shannon Bond, Financial Times.

If you get tired of hearing advertisements in your stream, you can always upgrade to a US$7 per month ad-free Streaming service. This bold move by Rdio gives them access to the twenty four (24) territories that Digicel as reported in the article “Rdio Teams Up With Caribbean Operator Digicel To Expand Into 24 New Countries”, published January 22, 2015 by Jon Russell, Techcrunch

Deezer, available on Telecom Provider LIME smartphones, serves up some 35 million music tracks and albums and thirty (30) Radio Stations as part of their paid Deezer Premium + service for you listening pleasure. Again, like Rdio, Deezer's partnership with Telecom Provider LIME gives them access to the fifteen (15) Caribbean markets that LIME operates in.

Head of Telecom Business development at Deezer, Cedric Diedrich, seems quite pleased with the deal, as it'll give them access to LIME's huge customer base, quote:  “We are excited to be able to extend Deezer's reach through LIME and look forward to bringing our service to their customers. Our 35 million tracks, personalised and human recommendations and smart algorithms will ensure that LIME customers get to listen to the music they love over the region's leading mobile­data and fibre networks”.

The customer base is expected to widen once the deal to acquire FLOW takes hold in the various Caribbean Territories and the parent takes on the name of the company it purchased as reported in my Geezam blog article entitled “LIME Jamaica Goes with the FLOW thanks to Caribbean-wide Survey”.

Deezer’s music both computer-selected and human-curated, making their music mix possibly sound very eclectic.

But at least it's got Caribbean Music in the mix according to LIME CEO Martin Roos, quote: “Music content is the second most popular feature for mobile users in the Caribbean and Latin America. The Caribbean culture is deeply rooted in music. In fact, from the Caribbean has emerged some of the world's most loved musical genres, such as reggae, calypso and soca, as well as world­famous recording artistes ­ the likes of Bob Marley and others. This underscores the fact that music is incredibly important to our Caribbean customers”.

So with such great offers for customers, how do artiste welcome the news that Telecom Providers basically support Streaming which pays them little or nothing?

HD Audio Streaming – 4G LTE and 5G Networks means Streaming Revenue Bad Blood

No doubt they see the encroachment of these services as a problem that'll translate to lowered revenues, one of the reason why artiste Taylor Swift had left Spotify back in November 2014 as reported in my blog article entitled “@TaylorSwift13 leaves Spotify – How Spotify’s continues to give 37.5 million users Globally Free Music who need to pay for Music Streaming”.

Albeit not a Caribbean National, her plight reflects that of many musicians whose music has lost currency and their only source of revenue is from touring and doing gigs. Still, there is hope at the end of the Streaming Rainbow in the form of the Trend towards HD Audio.

HD Audio music is premium high quality 24-bit twenty four (24) channels recorded music sampled at a sampling rate of 192 kHz may be on the horizon. Jay Z's artiste co-owned Tidal HiFi marks a push towards the trend of people paying for higher quality music as explained in my blog article entitled “Jay Z's US$19.99 Tidal HiFi launched with Artiste Backing - How HD Audio Quality Music selected by Artiste will turn the Tide”.

Faster Internet speeds in Developing and Developed World countries means that once people are hooked to Streaming services, they'll be willing to pay for music that is personally curated by some of these famous artiste.

Apple realizes this, which is why they too have re-launched Beats Audio as Apple Music at WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) 2015, their human-curated Streaming Music service that's going live on Tuesday June 30th 2015 as reported in my Geezam blog article entitled “Apple WWDC 2015 debuts OS X 10.11, Watch OS 2.0 and Apple Music”.

Taylor Swift herself took issue with Apple's plan to give customer three (3) months of free Streaming by posting an Open Letter to Apple on her Tumblr blog entitled “To Apple, Love Taylor” as reported in the article “Taylor Swift calls Apple Music free trial 'shocking, disappointing' in open letter”, published June 21, 2015 By Dieter Bohn, The Verge.

Apple's Eddy Cue backtracked less than seventeen (17) hours as losing both Taylor Swift's 1989 album for Streaming and Adele and her independent label was not a loss that they could handle easily as reported in the article “Taylor Swift vs Apple: nobody wins”, published June 22, 2015 by Nilay Patel, The Verge

Still, despite these problems, with fewer people paying for legal copies of music, HD Audio Streaming that's hand-curated personally by artiste might be the way forward.

Now that Jamaica has a IXP (Internet Exchange Point), setting up Cloud Servers to sell or stream music is now possible, or at least will be once the Telecom Providers start Peering as explained in my blog article entitled “Jamaican Telecom Providers ISP on IXP Not Peering –What is Peering, Why is Peering Important and Why Jamaican Telecom Providers are not Peering”.

For artiste based in the Caribbean, it might be the way forward as well.

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