On music streaming and Apple...

My mother asked what I thought of this article. So I wrote:

My opinion is it’s worthless uninformed conjecture based on existing business models with no imagination added.

Apple has never been a me-too company and I sure don’t see them starting with Music Streaming.

The electronic music/book/movie/television/app market lacks something for which we have an existing and remarkable model already extant. We simply need to find a way to make it work with modern delivery methods.

In the days of AM/FM radio many listeners listened to specific DJs, hoping to hear about the latest in music and culture with the DJs acting as curators. I remember waiting for a specific DJ’s show just because I knew it would have all the latest information and music that was important to me. There were some DJs that were basically creating a shopping list for me!

The issue of curation, of having someone staying up-to-date and helping to guide interested consumers through the vast array of new things available hasn’t been properly solved thus far. I remember going to a record store and browsing through that week’s new releases, and that was a weekly thing for me. Today I can’t even find a decent online listing of what’s been released and I miss album releases from artists I love.

It’s the same for books, movies, television, etc. As the supply keeps increasing it becomes ever more difficult to remain aware of what you might want to enjoy and where it’s available.

I consider this a massive hole in the market and I don’t see anyone but Apple with the broad reach needed to fill it, but I have no idea if anyone there is working on it.

I consider streaming to be something of a stop-gap. If one thinks it through -- for the price of a single album per month these services are providing uninterrupted access to all available music -- one should realize that this is in no way an improvement to the current failing music industry. That $9.99 is disproportionately divided amongst the artists at the very top, while essentially crushing the middle and lower tiers. Instead, consumers should be encouraged to return to spending at levels more similar to what used to be done where devoted music lovers might buy two to five albums per month.

Another point is to look at what Apple and Amazon and Google already have in place. Each offers free streaming of music the consumer has already purchased. Music purchased from other sources can even be uploaded to the company servers and made available for streaming to the consumer.

I fail to see the benefit to the music industry from streaming, beyond the temporary flow of some cash. The entire kingdom is given away for a minuscule fee. I don’t see this as a long-term win.

The only thing that would make streaming an attractive option is if it becomes an avenue for additional purchases, but at present it does exactly the opposite. Why would any consumer spend additional dollars beyond the $9.99 needed to stream?

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