iLike came out swinging this morning with a number of site enhancements, including the integration of full-length streaming and an innovative concert listing service.
The song playback option activates an earlier-announced deal with Rhapsody, though a number of limitations apply. Those not subscribed to Rhapsody can only access 25 full-length tracks per month, though Rhapsody subscribers are given unlimited access. Still, iLike users cannot purchase downloads directly from the site, a limitation that will undoubtedly curb paid purchases.
But according to iLike chief executive Ali Partovi, that is not an important issue. “In some ways, streaming is the new downloading,” Partovi told Digital Music News, though even streaming is limited without a separate, Rhapsody subscription. Still, the partnership allows iLike to compensate artists for every stream, using the Rhapsody royalty infrastructure.
Rhapsody signed the partnership to stimulate subscriptions and paid downloads, though most music fans steer clear of direct purchases. Overall, subscription services remain niche, and less interesting to the iLike demographic. On the download side, music fans are more likely to obtain permanent files from freebie applications like LimeWire, still a dominant competitor.
iLike, a leading profile and discovery platform, surged following an integration into Facebook. The streaming addition will be layered into Facebook over the next few weeks, according to Partovi. Other networks will probably follow soon thereafter.
Elsewhere, iLike is also delivering a new type of concert listing. The company wants to allow bands, promoters, and venues to target users on the internet, previously a difficult task. “When you listen to a rock radio station in New York, you are a person who listens to rock who lives in New York,” Partovi described, outlining the relative simplicity of offline advertising campaigns. “But how do you hit rock music fans on Google, and how do you get them to hear the music?”
The answer to that question, according to Partovi, lies in the freshly-unveiled concert listing service. The self-service platform allows anyone to target users based on location and musical interest, and integrate music into the creatives.
The platform is open to developing artists and major promoters alike, though Partovi did not disclose any upcoming deals. “We’re trying to move an entire industry to advertise on the internet,” Partovi explained, while pointing to a business that heavily relies on print and radio to attract audiences.
iLike now boasts a registered user base of 30 million. The concert listing process starts at ilike.com/advertise.