updated 12:15 am EDT, Fri August 8, 2008
TotalMusic act two
After several repeated, and failed, attempts to debunk iTunes as the coveted top music retailer, rumblings in the industry allegedly indicate that four members behind the former MusicNow project are collaborating on reviving the quashed TotalMusic. Tech Crunch reveals that Ted Ferguson, Troy Denkinger, Robert Broome, and Derek Reeve are investigating a way to complete Universal's vision, but more immediately, how to get the project past the US Justice Department. TotalMusic was originally contrived to allow all four major music labels to maintain total control over its own music retail system.
While far from official, some higher-ups in the web music industry have claimed that the project will explore a free, ad-supported music streaming model, with built-in links that would take the user to a paid digital download of the song. Job listings for the new effort are said to point interested parties to Herndon, Virginia as the headquarters for the new TotalMusic service.
One obstacle that must be considered is the high cost of streaming. Typically, the music industry has maintained an approximate price of a penny per track, translating into $10 per thousand songs (or CPM). Tech Crunch observes that a $1 CPM would be optimal, but notes that some might be hesitant to negotiate, with several in the past who have done so have been sued for their trouble.