John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski Founder Takes Top Honors in First Annual Mark Zuckerberg Hyperbole Competition

Looks like co-founder Richard Jones and Facebook founder Mark “Once every hundred years media changes” Zuckerberg have at least one thing in common: a penchant for new-economy hyperbole.

Announcing the debut of’s “unprecedented” on-demand music streaming platform, Jones–in a moment of Zuckerbergian grandiosity–proclaimed:

Today we’re redesigning the music economy.”

Which will no doubt come as a bit of a surprise to Apple, and Real, and Amazon and, above all, Imeem, which announced a similar ad-supported service last month.

To be fair,’s free on-demand service seems a bit more compelling. Certainly, the CBS-owned site is the only one among the few to offer access to music from all four major labels and a host of independents to anyone willing to stare at an ad for while. And providing complete album streams on a “try before you buy” basis is truly a nice touch.

Still, does have one significant limitation: You can listen to a track no more than three times unless you agree to pay for the subscription version of the service or purchase it from an affiliate. Will that be a deal-breaker for the average music fan or a good reason to buy your music through, rather than iTunes? Hard to say. “The free-music-on-demand field has been a tough one, with many announcements but few real entries (consider, for example, the often-delayed Qtrax and vaporous Mashboxx),” notes the Los Angeles Times’s Jon Healey. “With CBS’ backing, might be able to search longer for a workable formula than the typical start-up. But at some point, it has to find a way to pay the bills.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik