Friday, August 03, 2012

Online music service Wahwah.fm killed by license costs — European technology news

Learning the hard way: music service Wahwah.fm killed by license costs — European technology news: "It was an innovative idea. Wahwah.fm was going to bring pirate radio into the social age through its smartphone app, which let users turn their iPhone playlists into live web radio broadcasts. Users could message each other and list broadcasts as Facebook events. The service peaked at 50,000 users. And then Wahwah.fm collapsed.

Earlier this week, the company said it was going offline for the summer for a technical overhaul and licensing rethink. As CEO Philipp Eibach put it to me, Wahwah.fm is “making a step to the side”.

The reality is, the model didn’t work – and the reason for that failure is instructive to anyone trying to make the whole music-tech thing viable in the current climate.

After all, this is a company that tried to create a new music business model, and to do it legally.

Unsurprisingly, it all came down to licensing. At the heart of Wahwah.fm was the streaming service of UK firm 7digital. Armed with 7digital’s catalogue, Wahwah.fm still had to get the rights to play the songs in the U.S. and Germany, where it operated."

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