Even before the recession started in 2007, the recorded music industry was in dire straits. But an unfavorable economy hasn’t stopped entrepreneurs from starting legal, ad-supported streaming or downloading sites. A new such site, Guvera, offers streaming and downloading in exchange for a subscription service and recently raised over $20million from investors. Guvera reportedly has the support of Universal and EMI, although the major labels have been fickle partners to similar companies such as Qtrax. Guvera’s emergence comes at an opportune time as the pay-per-download system appears to be reaching its ceiling. Digital sales growth decreased from $270million in 2008 to $90million in 2009 and a new model with greater long term sustainability is sorely needed. Cloud based streaming sites or subscription/ad supported downloading seem to be the future but which site and model will come out on top is still far from clear. Meanwhile online retail mega giant iTunes is reportedly considering a massive system revamp– presumably to cloud streaming. Guvera has entered a fiercely competitive niche, but thus far things have gone well for the start-up.