AN AGILE MUSIC PLATFORM..??
The definition of agile is to be ‘nimble or dexterous,’ and this term is being used a lot in the music industry, and in particular when describing what a music service will have to become to survive…. and I must say that I agree.
A recent blog by The Music Void tackled the question: Are there too many streaming Services? The announcement of Pandora moving into the Australian music market with Deezer not far behind, means in The Australian market alone we have Rdio, MOG, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, in a market with a population of only 22 million people. Along with Apple, Amazon, Google and Sony launching their streaming services making the grand total rise to eight!
The question is, whether the audience is there to sustain so many services?
I’m no economics major, but with such a low population, providing a viable ecosystem for the previously mentioned services is going to be really tough!
Whilst this is great for consumer choice by providing a number of platforms to use, the result will be a frenzy to see who has the largest number largest library of tracks, and how cheaply they will under cut their competitors in price.
Simple business really isn’t? The more competitors there are in the market, the cheaper the service will be to use.
Well maybe not, don’t forget that consumer confusion is like a disease…. and can spread across an industry quite quickly, especially one as small as Australia. We may see the price of subscription to these services drop across the board, which will only squeeze the infinitesimal amount paid per stream to artists even more.
The question of data consumption when streaming music to your mobile device is going to be the big issue here, and I’m pretty sure we’ll find some fans calling their telco provider with a shaking hand an astronomical phone bill to answer for.
Remember nothing is free!
These services have done well at convincing the youth market that music is free and all you have to do is a pay a nominal subscription fee; but then they get the bill. Surprise. And don’t blame the record companies; I don’t believe they share in that revenue stream.
If you don’t like the teleco expense, how about buying the CD or download?…Hmmmm
A great change is coming to the Internet. With the onset of socially integrated web devices the music industry is in dire need of a genuine successor to the CD, and the download is not it. The current debates over access versus ownership and of streaming services hurting download sales ring true because a stream is a decent like-for-like replacement for a download. The premium product needs to be much more than a mere download. It needs to be dramatically reinvented for the digital age, built around fundamental and inalienable principles of being Dynamic, Interactive and Social. And what we call here at ‘the pattern’ the socialisation of music.
This is nothing less than an entire new music over haul that will enable the next generation of music products to be radically different from their predecessors and that will crucially be artist-specific, not store or service specific. Rights owners will have to overcome some major licensing and commercial issues, but the stakes are high enough to warrant the effort. Promoting the relationship between artist-fan is crucial, and I believe that reinforcing the level of communication and interaction between these two parties is how the future of how music will be consumed.
Fan fueled creativity and interaction is what we at THP have heavily been working on, and soon to release a seismic shift in what we provide as a music service for the independent artist, commercial user, and fan. Right across the digital music chain, from the creative process and interaction, through to distribution of music, crowd sourced involvement, to enhancing our innovative marketplace for both artist and user.
This is where the word ‘subscription based music platform’ and ‘agile’ has merit.
The Holding Pattern has an entirely new generation of media trends, consumers and products to consider and we’ll be radically different from others….because we have to, and we want to. That I can promise you!
- Nick Arnold