And so it begins. After Spotify’s acquisition of The Echo Nest last week, uncertainty reigned over how rival streaming services would continue their use of the latter’s API. Spotify has played a line that it wants to keep The Echo Nest’s API open to third parties but Rdio CEO Anthony Bay says he is not happy to share his data with a competitor and so has pulled the plug. “As far as we are concerned, they were a good partner, but we have other good partners and we’ll move on,” he told CNBC. Meanwhile, The Echo Nest’s director of developer platform Paul Lamere presented at SXSW and talked about how consumers will interact with music in the future, suggesting that up to 70% of music listeners are casual or indifferent, with the other 30% doing most of the heavy lifting. The challenge, he said, is for streaming service to move beyond the obsessive 30% and draw in the 70%. “This is really a UX [user experience] problem now,” he said. “Just like people are not going to want to spend the same amount of money, they want to have different levels of interaction with music.” How to crack this? Think like radio, he said. “The model for these music services is radio. The radio is the key place where these indifferents go, so the challenge is to give them a music experience that’s as simple as radio, but better than radio. If it’s not better, they’ll stick with radio.”

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