Modern Social Music Revolution

A new infographic from Gerson Lehrman Group’s maps out the current online music on-demand landscape from the top 10 players. You can see at a glance what the monthly fees are, whether or not you can add your own tunes to their online libraries, how many current users, whether they have mobile, Web or desktop apps and what the major features are. If you were thinking about trying one of these services, this is a handy place to start to evaluate their basics.

INFOGRAPHIC: Dance on Demand: A Look at the Modern Social Music Revolution

Your Next Job Could be a Music Spotters to Feed the Machine

In Digital Era, Music Spotters Feed a Machine


Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Charles Slomovitz is a “music sourcer” for Shazam, a company whose popular application identifies the name of songs being played.

By JENNA WORTHAM Published: February 13, 2011 on

SAN FRANCISCO — Sure, Shazam, the popular music-spotting cellphone application, can identify that Rihanna track. But what about the new song from the Sandwitches, a Bay Area folk-rock band?

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Before the Shazam service can find a song, Mr. Slomovitz or another sourcer must locate and input the recording.

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Charles Slomovitz, monitoring music as it uploads into the database that Shazam uses to identify artists and their songs.

That is where Charles Slomovitz comes in.

Mr. Slomovitz was roaming the aisles of a record store here recently when he spotted a flame-haired clerk. It was Grace Cooper, one-third of the Sandwitches, which had just put out a single that was getting attention on music blogs.

“She’s got that sound that’s getting to be big,” he said as she handed him a copy of the song, “so I’ve got to have it.”

Mr. Slomovitz, a music industry veteran, spends his days tracking down hot new artists — but not for a big record label. Instead, he works for Shazam, maker of the application of the same name that can figure out what song is playing in a bar, a clothing boutique or a TV commercial.

“It’s like a scavenger hunt in real time,” said Mr. Slomovitz, 42. “It never stops.”

Mr. Slomovitz’s job is one of the more unusual in the new digital music era, as he and the dozen or so other “music sourcers” at Shazam try to ensure that any songs the app’s users might want to identify are ready and waiting in the company’s database.

As the major record labels shrink, Shazam and other start-ups are thriving by offering people new ways to discover and listen to music. That is creating new kinds of jobs in the music business, from foragers like Mr. Slomovitz to the developers building software that recommends the perfect song for a particular listener.