writes about Ruckus
plan to offer an online
music service at no charge to students in higher ed.
(Link via Stephen Downes’ OLDaily; it’s a few days old, but I had some catching up to do
after being out sick).

Ruckus is a online
music & video service targeted
specifically at higher ed institutions. (Full
disclosure: Ruckus is a member of the Blackboard Developer Network and a
sponsor of the upcoming Bb World ’06 conference.) Up until recently, students at campuses that had a deal with Ruckus could pay
a relatively low monthly fee for an
"all-you-can-listen" access to the music offered
by Ruckus
. But, according to Canter, whose
company partners with Ruckus,
it looks like they’ll start offering that service for


[B]anking on the ”radical (but just) departure”
school of thought – one of our clients –
has chosen to just
blow off the $3 a month all together, and deficit finance that $3 with ads and
other forms of revenue generation.
Before this change, Ruckus had to go out and
either negotiate deals with the entire college or university (they closed about
35+ of these deals) or offer their service to students – on a person by person
basis.  They don’t compete with the major downloading players – as their prices
are less than 1/3rd what the ‘normal’ downloaders have to
is a music service that caters directly to universities, as does competitor Cdigix, although consumer
online music services — e.g. RealNetworks’ Rhapsody and Napster — also have
programs targeted specifically at universities. (So does Apple iTunes, but since
iTunes isn’t a music subscription service, the model is different.) The value to
universities is they avoid the potential legal pitfalls of students using
file-sharing networks not approved by the music labels. The value to students is
that they get subscriptions to these services at a cut rate.

Although it still appears students from non-Ruckus
campuses who want to subscribe will have to pay a monthly fee, it will be
interesting to see if Ruckus’ move to convert to a free, ad-driven service for
the universities that sign up will garner them more partner schools and whether
it will force competitors to adjust their subscription models or


Related Posts

Share This Article

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest Email