But as CD sales continue to plummet, and the music industry searches for a profitable future, entrepreneurs with various approaches say they believe they can finally make music subscriptions work. Rdio is hoping to introduce a music subscription service by early next year that offers seamless access to music from both PCs and cellphones. The big challenge will be to get licenses from the major music labels, which have not viewed past digital music efforts by [KaZaA creator’s] Mr. Zennstrom and Mr. Friis favorably.
“The ironies are very interesting,” said Drew Larner, Rdio’s chief executive, who says talks with music labels are continuing and confidential.
The project in North Carolina has already helped apprehend at least one suspect. Agents are eager to look for more criminals and possibly to expand the effort nationwide. But privacy advocates worry that the method allows authorities to track people who have done nothing wrong.
“Everybody’s participating, essentially, in a virtual lineup by getting a driver’s license,’’ said Christopher Calabrese, an attorney who focuses on privacy issues at the American Civil Liberties Union.
It’s really a plug for net neutrality, while claiming that the Internet can be made safe for music business models. Oh, and more broadband deployment is needed:
Moreover, earlier this year, a survey of 7,500 people by the country music industry’s trade organization revealed a disconcerting fact: Only 50 percent of core country fans have Internet access at home. For country artists, this means 50 percent of their market is currently unreachable online.