Today in Social

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It’s great to see life in digital music. Spotify, Pandora, and now MOG and Rdio, and, perhaps next week, Facebook hosting them all. Bobbie Johnson wonders if free will ever replace retail music – the old “rent versus own” debate with advertising on top. Historically, business models were hard-wired to music experiences: users paid to own music, and ad-supported radio was promotion. Artists, labels and publishers got very little money from terrestrial radio. But satellite radio and digital services broke those models. MOG tells me that ads are merely a way to subsidize free services it hopes to convert to premium subscriptions. It has been selling ads for a network of music blogs for some time (the blogs contribute to the music-related content that comes with the service). To-date, on-demand music subscription services have never surpassed a couple million users in the U.S. Free trials are a great thing – I’ve done research that shows trial users convert to paid six times higher than average. And now users will have more choices, and more chances to try them out.

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