On-demand streaming may be free to the fan, but it still costs the provider lots of cash.
Of course, streaming costs are nothing like they once were, but massive volumes still translate into massive overhead. On top of that, royalties must be paid every time a song is played, a structure that (still) threatens to dig a ditch for higher-trafficked sites.
In that light, MySpace Music is now calming the noise a bit. TechCrunch first tipped that the site is suddenly disabling auto-play upon page load, a move that eliminates tens of millions of dollars in costs. The ‘death of auto-play’ means a quieter site, and suddenly disables the ability to grab the user upon impact.
But outside of the bottom-line benefits, some pluses emerge. Perhaps the cluttered destination gets neatened a bit, at least sonically. Play counts also become more realistic, simply because fans are suddenly required to initiate the experience. And, surfing at the workplace suddenly became less hazardous.