Really? Is the issue vinyl, plastic, or digits? No, the issue is access. “Ownership” is doomed regardless of the format.
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The catch? Spotify’s paying customers are still just renting songs, for about $13-$16 per month, depending on the country in which the listener resides. Most discussion of Spotify has centered around a trend toward streaming music rather than owning it, when in fact the more critical question is whether it can persuade a significant percentage of consumers to rent songs rather than just listen for free. (Otherwise, it’d be just another free music site, doomed to face the same struggles as MySpace Music.) I doubt that many free users will convert to paying customers, for a few reasons:
- By and large, consumers aren’t all that interested in renting music. When each last revealed its numbers, neither of the two leading music rental services, RealNetworks’ Rhapsody and Napster, had more than a million paying subscribers.
I fundamentally disagree.
That’s what paradigm shifts are about: changes in behavior. Yeah, in the existing paradigm, people actually think they “own” music. In fact, all they own is a license to listen to the music, delivered on some kind of disk or wafer (or digital file). Behavior will change when the audience begins to understand that, for the cost of “owning” 10 tracks, they will have access to the entire universe of recorded music. And when the technology becomes both reliable and ubiquitous.
And, as I keep saying, the amazing thing about Spotify is not the model or the depth of the catalog, but all the buzz it generates about being the “iTunes killer” when it is not even generally available in the country that has the most iTunes users.
Nevertheless, the buzz around Spotify serves the useful purpose, of educating the public to the possibilities.
The paradigm has shifted and everything you knew about the music business has completely changed. Who are the new players in the music business? Why are traditional record labels, television, and radio no longer factors in an artist’s success? How do you market and
distribute your music in the new music world – and how do you make money? This book answers these questions and more in its comprehensive look at the new music business – Music 3.0. While Music 2.0 encompassed the era of file sharing and digital distribution, Music 3.0 employs new ways to start and sustain a career, to develop an audience and engage them with interactive marketing. Sales, distribution, and marketing have reconfigured so much that even artists located far away from a big media center can thrive without the help of a record label – if they know how. Music 3.0 explains what has changed, why it will change even more, and how musicians and artists (photographers, writers, animators) can take advantage of the changes.
OK, I didn’t think that “Music 3.0” was entirely original with me, but my interpretation of the points of demarcation is a bit different from what’s being described here.
In my litany, “the era of file sharing and digital distribution” is all part of Music 3.0, not 2.0. 2.0 is the era of physical products; once the content is separated product – cylinder, vinyl, CD — you’re into the new era.
Regardless, the essential premise is the same: “new ways to start and sustain a career….with interactive marketing.” It is all possible because of the technologies that accompany the separation of content from product.
And yes, the same principals apply to any form of art that can be distributed digitally. Why, I might just have to by myself a copy of this to see what I can apply to my photography.
“we don’t have a record, the only way to hear our music is live.”
No joke, as streaming takes over the time will come.
Oddly poorly attended panel. You’d think more people would want to hear what these people have to say.
Brenden Mulligan, Artist Data: “we don’t make you more famous, we make you more efficient.
Larry Karnowski, ReviewShine: Syndicate your music to bloggers.
Lou Plaia, ReverbNation: “The complete solution for artists (we don’t care if fans come to our site – !?)
Randy Perry, MyEmma: more than a list, metrics on user response. SMS coming in 2010.
More when I get WiFi at lunch.
Overheard at the AMA Conference- “Artists: Create a conversation – not content.”
“The music industry sold plastic — and got drunk on plastic.” — John Simson, Sound Exchange