A number of companies that offer streaming music apps for the iPhone have expressed concern that Apple’s new susbcription rules could make it difficult to continue doing business in the App Store. So when Kazaa decided to launch a new music streaming service, instead of submitting an app to App Store for approval and sharing 30% of all subscription revenue with Apple, the company decided to just create a mobile web site that can stream music to the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Android devices.
If Kazaa sounds familiar, that’s because you probably remember the peer to peer file sharing service that wore the name up until recently. Kazaa was acquired recently by Atrinsic, which is now pushing Kazaa as a subscription music service.
Like other music on demand services , Kazaa appears to offer a decent range of tracks from contemporary pop artists as well as some more obscure musicians — although the content library isn’t exactly all-inclusive. And like other on-demand services, Kazaa charges $9.99 per month for access.
The key difference is that you’ll have to fire up a web browser, or create a home screen shortcut to remind yourself that Kazaa doesn’t have a native iPhone or Android app.
It seems like a tough way to gain users, but it does ensure that the Kazaa service is available on multiple platforms without the need to write separate apps for iPhone and Android. And I wouldn’t be shocked to see Rhapsody, Rdio, Spotify, or other competitors take similar approaches if they can’t work out a deal with Apple to reduce the 30% revenue share the company wants to skim off the top. Profit margins for internet music services are notoriously thin, and I suspect it’s simply not worth it for some companies to continue offering music at the current rates if they have to hand over that much cash to Apple.