Those familiar with Paris-based RadioBlogClub were greeted with a service outage this morning. You may remember it from the comments in our coverage of the web iPod emulator, Blogmusik, which is also down. The music streaming service’s traffic has busted the seams of their old web server and they’re moving on to a beefier one. It’s easy to see why. A quick glance at the Alexa stats shows them in Pandora’s ballpark.
While the original intent of the site is to provide easy song streaming embeds for music bloggers, I have a feeling RadioBlogClub is so popular because it’s also an easy way to get free music. The service works by acting as a hub, linking the music stored on various members websites (kind of like the inverse of HypeMachine). Bloggers feed the site links to their music by running their songs through a converter before uploading them to their site. The converter changes MP3s to the site’s RBS format and registers the songs with their database. All the songs registered on the site can be played individually or in user generated playlists on the main site or in embedded widgets like the one below.
While the site streams and doesn’t explicitly promote downloading, sites have already popped up to enable them. This is the same lesson YouTube learned when we released our own YouTube movie downloader and got slapped with a take down notice.
It hits home on the same content control problems we’ve ranted about before. Any content streamed to your system can be captured and DRM systems have a bad habit of getting cracked. Bill Gates is understandably dissatisfied with the state of DRM and Steve Jobs publicly called for the its death. The music (TV/Movie) industry needs a new revenue model fast (not a music tax). We like Amie Street’s model so far, especially their free Barenaked Ladies album.
TechCrunch France broke the story.
UPDATE: Ouriel Ohayon of TCF reported RadioBlogClub has been forced to move their hosting provider (currently OVH) under pressure of the French version of the RIAA, called SACEM.