Cloud Music Changes How We Buy and Listen
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As a kid, I remember listening to 8-tracks move from one track to the next by fading a song in and out. While working as a DJ in my teens, I found 45’s easy to use while cassettes were a bit more difficult to cue up when working a dance or dimly lit bar. Suffice it to say, I was happy to see the compact disc arrive and now think it would be much easier to play a wedding or dance using digital music.
It’s easy to see how we consume music changes over time.
Today, Cloud Music services provide a completely new way to look at (or should I say listen to) music. No more time spent making sure your music is available in your car, at the office or throughout your home. No more synching multiple devices.
You can choose to have an online “digital locker’ with Amazon Cloud, Google Music or iTunes Match, which lets you store your music online and play it back on any computer or device.
Or you can go with a subscription service like Spotify, Rhapsody or MOG and have unlimited streaming of just about any song ever made for a monthly or annual fee.
Record companies see the combination of digital locker and streaming services (which pay a royalty per listen) as a potentially lucrative and maybe even industry saving revenue stream.
Amazon and Apple are battling for future download sales. Once a customer chooses their digital locker, the odds are they’ll stay and buy their music from that company.
Google’s free cloud storage might be appealing to Android users who want their music everywhere.
Spotify, Rhapsody, MOG, and others are betting that the trend of buying subscription services in other industries will expand to music.
The broad target audience can be defined as “just about everybody” because so many people enjoy music. It will be interesting to see how each company segments or drills down into the market and tailors its message to reach and influence prospective customers.
It doesn’t necessarily mean music ownership is dead. But Cloud Music services clearly will grow and change how we listen and buy music.
David M. Mastovich, MBA, is the president of Massolutions, a Pittsburgh based Integrated Marketing firm that focuses on improving the bottom line for client companies through creative marketing, selling, messaging and customer experience enhancement.