Announces Subscription Based Service

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 25, 2009
Updated • May 25, 2017
Music and Video

Web services like are hard pressed to find ways to monetize their inventory to even come close to the bills for the server structure, administrative and development teams, bandwidth and everything else that is connected to their service.This is especially true for services that stream media on their websites as this usually results in heavy traffic. have now announced that they will start a subscription based service for a large part of their user base which will go live on March 30, 2009. Users not living in the countries United States, United Kingdom or Germany will have to pay a subscription fee of $3 per month if they want to continue listening to radio. All other parts of the website remain freely accessible for anyone.

Users not accessing from the three countries listed get a 30 track free trial before they cannot listen to the radio streams anymore unless they subscribe to the service. It is unclear if that 30 free track trial resets each month or if it is only available once. It should be made clear that this does not affect song previews or full tracks that are listed on the website.

Nothing will change as well for existing subscribers. The blog post where the announcement got posted is full of criticism about the move. One of the main questions asked is why those three countries are exempt from the fee.

The reason is ad revenue next to a strategic decision which are considered key markets. Advertisement simply pays less if a user is from India, China or South Africa compared to users from the mentioned key markets. It is an economic decision, and while certainly bad for many users, the only feasible move according to to keep the service going.

It still remains unclear why made the decision. Most users who expressed their opinion think that either the Recording Industry or CBS has something to do with it. If the Recording Industry was the culprit it is most likely because of licensing fees while CBS might want to run profitable or at least even.

Update: posted a followup on the announcement, and the company confirms what I thought was the reason for the change. Ads are simply not feasible in many parts of the world to cover the operations of's radio offerings.

Article Name Announces Subscription Based Service
Description have now announced that they will start a subscription based service for a large part of their user base which will go live on March 30, 2009.
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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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