UK start up proposing penny per stream model

By | Published on Tuesday 1 February 2011

The Orchard

A UK-based digital start up called Psonar has secured a licensing deal with indie label aggregator The Orchard for its proposed penny-per-play streaming service.

Psonar is really a digital locker service, enabling users to upload their MP3 collections to a central server and then stream that content from any net connect device. There is a social element to the service though, with users able to see other people’s playlists, sample previews of music in those lists, and choose to buy tracks they like.

The new service that The Orchard has signed up to would also allow Psonar users to stream songs they don’t actually own, at a penny for each listen, with various billing options available. According to MusicAlly, that new bit of the service will go live in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and Scandinavia this Spring (so really we’re talking a cent per listen), though any UK or US launch is tbc.

Of course, at launch only music from the indie labels The Orchard represents will be available via the pay-per-play streaming element of the service. Whether the majors or bigger indies can be persuaded to sign up remains to seen. Many of them remain cautious regards the concept of digital lockers, some arguing operators of such services need a separate licence even though their customers may have previously paid to download the tracks they are uploading. Therefore that element of their business could cause Psonar hassle even if there is support for the penny-per-stream model.