One way of solving the problem of piracy and tackle the growing demand for streaming music could be for record labels and independent companies to band together and launch the equivalent of a Hulu.com for video.
When the television broadcast industry identified Youtube as a force that could seriously harm them, they banded together to launch an online video venture which they control.
Within one year, Hulu went from being off the radar to the 40th most visited website in the US and the second most popular online video website in that country after Google's Youtube.
It still lags behind Dailymotion and Youtube worldwide, but the fact Hulu.com has yet to be launched outside the US provides with a benchmark as to the success potential it could have.
If the television industry managed to do it, then why not the music sector? In fact, the music industry could come together with Hulu to launch a radio version called Huluradio.com and they could even leverage Hulu's popularity to surf past established players like Last.fm or Spotify. A massive one stop shop.
More importantly, a common streaming platform would not only bring in revenue that would otherwise have been lost to piracy or other competitors, it will also give the record labels a powerful alternative to iTunes, especially if they ever plan to introduce a download function.
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A Hulu version for the music industry is something that would be a serious contender for the title of best new online service of the year. Higher CPM advertising for them would not be a problem as companies would rather pay a higher price for being present on a legitimate website.
Microsoft is launching a music streaming service this month
http://bit.ly/pDxGI (opens in new tab)
Microsoft to Launch Music Streaming Service
http://bit.ly/le6UX (opens in new tab)
Microsoft to launch new music streaming service “this month”
http://bit.ly/17kNuV (opens in new tab)
Why Spotify might die
http://bit.ly/AelI2 (opens in new tab)
Microsoft music service coming July
http://bit.ly/Y0wPi (opens in new tab)