Hard Interruption vs Soft Interruption

Earlier this week I was reading my brother’s blog and he listed his top 10 Clash songs on it. I thought, "gee it would be nice to have them as a playlist." So just for kicks I went to MySpace Music and made the playlist and put it on my MySpace profile page. I’d embed the playlist here but for the life of me, I cannot figure out how to do that.

Anyway, when you listen to Jackson’s top 10 Clash songs on MySpace (and you should absolutely do that!), you will notice that the stream stops every four songs until you go back to the myspace music player and click on an ad. That’s what I call "hard interruption" and it’s very annoying.

While nobody is fan of "interrupt marketing" as Seth Godin calls it, it’s particularly annoying if it completely interrupts your experience. I would so much rather see MySpace Music insert a 15 or 30 second spot every four songs that I can listen to without being totally interrupted. I call that "soft interruption" and it’s something that I think the internet radio industry needs to start doing more of.

We have a portfolio company called Targetspot whose business is the insertion of audio advertising into internet streams. They do this for dozens of internet radio broadcasters and they can do it for MySpace Music.

I’d urge MySpace music to think about going with the soft interruption mode. I think it’s a much better user experience.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Steven Kane

    as a personal lifestyle matter i couldnt agree moreit’d be fascinating, though, to see if the financial benefits of hard interrupting (benefits to myspace and advertisers) makes frustrating people like you and I worthwhileto wit, a “hard interrupt” in that context at least tells the advertier that an ad has been viewed/listened to/consumed — which, while a lukewarm metric at best, is still vastly better value than ad whoich is simply streamed and probably not consumed (maybe even displyed/inserted to an app minimized and not even on screengiven myspaces relative sophistication, plus the hunger/pressure they must have to prove themselves — no mystery why FIM is the only division of news corp that doens’t break out revenus and metrics — i would guess that hard interrupt is perceived to be a benefit by FIM?

  2. Prakster

    Fred, a soft interruption is an interruption.

    1. fredwilson


  3. Scott Harrington

    i would love to have a chance to test the alpha

  4. lawrence coburn

    Imeem does the soft interruption in its playlists and I agree that it’s less annoying then having to go click something (though it almost always catches me by surprise, and seems completely untargeted)

    1. fredwilson

      There’s a reason that targetspot has target in its name

  5. Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud

    Totally agree. I’m still surprised Targetspot isn’t seeing more competition yet. There’s obviously more than a few streaming music providers out there that would be quite happy about getting some soft-interruption ad revenues. The model has been working pretty well for commercial radio for quite some time!

  6. tobias peggs

    Fred, Sigue Sigue Sputnik led the way on this in 1986 with “Flaunt It”It featured commercials between tracks; real ads for L’OrĂ©al, i-D magazine, and Network 21 were complemented by fictitious ads for the Sputnik CorporationWay ahead of its time (commercially, if not musically ;)http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…

    1. fredwilson

      That’s a great history lessonThanks for sharing it

  7. MikePLewis

    Speaking of making playlist, we (Qloud) just launched a cool feature that let’s you create collaborative playlists. So, if you start a playlist and then want 1 or more people to add songs to it, you can invite them – similar to how you invite people to collaborate on a Google Doc.You should check it out in our facebook app here: http://apps.facebook.com/ql

    1. fredwilson

      NeatHow do I try that?

      1. MikePLewis

        Right now it’s only in our facebook app (coming to other social nets, buzznet, and qloud.com soon) so if you go to that app ( http://apps.facebook.com/ql… ) and go to the playlist section (under the Library tab) you’ll be able to do it. Let me know if you have any trouble

        1. fredwilson