Written By: Alan Cairns
Access might be the future of online music distribution, but for now ownership is here to stay. Only a small percentage of the customer base is active in digital music currently, and many of these are the people who still value the ownership of music as a physical product.
As the younger generations (who currently use free music access services such as Spotify, YouTube and Pandora) begin to acquire spending power, they are likely to heavily influence the development of paid access-based and subscription services.
Until then, the older generations will continue to value ownership of music despite advancements in music access.
With subscription services and music access, users understand that the content cannot be accessed when the subscription has ended. They also understand that when they buy and own music, it is theirs for a lifetime, just like a CD, cassette or LP.
Today the average consumer has numerous devices which they might wish to play music on, some connected and some not: car stereo, Walkman or mp3 player, phone, computer.
Music subscription services have made progress in recent years, especially with the arrival of mobile sites and smartphone apps, but they still don’t offer the same degree of device ubiquity as an owned Mp3 which can be copied and transferred between devices whether they are internet-connected or not.
The downside of ownership of music is that size restraints can mean that a whole music collection can’t be mobile. Music subscription could be seen as the answer, since all that is needed is network connectivity, but ubiquitous connectivity still hasn’t been reached.
It’s only when you compare the prices of owned vs. accessed music that you begin to see why subscription and access services are so appealing. It could cost thousands to build a significant collection of mp3s going the ownership route, while $10 per month will buy you “all you can eat” on many subscription services.
Music isn’t doomed, it’s just that the way it is being consumed is changing. As the industry begins to get to grips with new technology we can expect to see musicians and record labels do a better job of marketing, distributing and monetising digital music online.
Read more of this article @: E Consultingancy Digital Marketers United
- Is this the end of ownership? (wired.co.uk)
- Young listeners opting to stream, not own music (cnn.com)
- Facebook Makes Subscription Payments (tidb.wordpress.com)
- Digital music revenue overtakes physical formats in U.K. for first time (bgr.com)