FCC Net Neutrality Rules Could Deliver Major Blow To Music Tech & New Music Industry

image from 4.bp.blogspot.com The digital music industry may be dealt a major blow on December 21st when the FCC is scheduled to unveil proposed net neutrality regulations. Designed ostensibly to keep ISP's from unfairly limiting certain kinds of Internet usage, early indications are that the new rules could laso hurt at several sectors critical to the growth of many music tech startups and the new music industry.

Wireless internet use will not be covered in the new FCC according to ars and statements by the FCC commissioners. Carriers will be free to limit or charge more for music, video and other heavy bandwidth activities. That's bad news for streaming music services like Pandora, Slacker, MOG and Spotify. All have seen explosive growth thanks to smartphone adoption and many also rely on mobile offerings to lure premium fees from users. Online music lockers and other music in the cloud efforts would also take a hit if portable streaming gets more expensive.

Online video could also suffer a critical setback thanks to a provision that will apparently allow usage based pricing by wired ISP providers. UPB means that ISP's can charge based on the number of bits a user brings down thier pipe; and video streaming from YouTube to Hulu is among most consumers most bit-intensive activites.

The official announcement comes Dec 21. Hypebot will be watching this story closely.

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1 Comment

  1. An internet without net neutrality would be a big opportunity for paid content in the same way that 1st class tickets are to train companies. However, it is common knowledge that the 1st class seats are subventioned by the high number of customers who buy the 2nd class tickets, as the trains need to carry around lots of empty 1st class seats even during rush hours. Here in Germany, this is much more evident on regional train lines than on nationwide lines because the 1st class seats on the latter are competing with business class seats on airplanes.
    Something like this will never work with the internet because it would slow things down considerably for the 2nd class connections whose users would be in the majority. They simply would just get annoyed and seek for alternatives to “the cable”, maybe to be found in mobile phone communication networks. The mobile phone providers surely would welcome them with open arms. Hence, abolishing net neutrality might not only mean risking freedom of speech but risking the importance and existence of websites as a communication platform as a whole.
    If access to the internet is divided in 1st and 2nd class like on board of public transport, the number of voluntaries who create content in their spare time without getting paid is likely to go down because they will find better ways of distributing their content. And as the next thing, you’ll have a migration movement comparable to that of myspace users to facebook, but toward today’s internet’s successor.

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