The US may have their Billboard Countdown, but over here in the UK, we have Now That’s What I Call Music. The biggest and longest running compilation brand in the region, NOW recently launched their very own music streaming app. Although still working out some kinks and limited in comparison to existing mobile music services, the app has already gained positive feedback for its low-priced monthly subscriptions. In an age where most people would favour free or cheap music over a paying a few pounds per album, this app could set a new standard for online music streaming, as well as further complicate the relationship between mobile technology and music.
The connection between mobile tech and the music industry has been observed through many endeavours, as well as via online gaming partnerships with artists licensing their songs or brand to their products. We’ve seen artists like the acclaimed American rockers Aerosmith lend their music to Guitar Hero, as well as Guns N’ Roses who have put their name to a video slot. But it’s the growth in online music streaming companies that have created the hype when it comes to the accessibility of music on consumer’s smartphones.
For years, controversy has surrounded the availability of music on mobile Internet, with Taylor Swift’s unrelenting support for Apple Music and Jay-Z offering high fidelity music for, what some would consider, a hefty price. With Spotify and other services supplying advert-supported music streaming, it’s clear that only the extremes exist in these digital music players/stores. Mark Mulligan of MIDia Research shares with Fortune Magazine, “They’re making people choose between a Lexus and getting the bus with nothing in between. There’s no other market that behaves like that.”
Because of the overwhelming popularity of Spotify, current music streaming companies have started rolling out budget options to gain a foothold on the market. NOW debuted with lower rates than its fellow competitors, which could possibly have others rethink how much music people should listen to online or download for the amount they are paying.
Another plus side of the app is that it’s advert- and contract-free, letting you decided how long you’d like to pay for the service without the annoying interruptions. Currently, the NOW app is only available to listeners in the UK. NOW is available as a free download and comes with a 14-day trial. Once the trial’s up, you can choose to upgrade to the monthly subscription for just per £5.99 per month.