The Race for Streaming Music Is On

by Bradley Baker
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The Race for Streaming Music Is On

marketing, brand CMO, music

In a seemingly benign product category, streaming music is becoming more and more competitive with a winner yet to be declared. Recently, Spotify took a leap ahead by securing the rights to stream the entire Led Zeppelin catalog, something no other service can boast at this point, not even the vaunted Apple iTunes store (yes, you can buy tracks/albums but no streaming). Additionally, Spotify (out of Sweden) is releasing itís 20 million song library free to mobile users, which was formerly available only to paying customers. No doubt this is a response to iTunes newly minted streaming service, iTunes Radio.

iTunes radio and Pandora are clearly meant to link listening to purchasing, which is easily done if you use their service (which is free but limited to a pre-selected songs as opposed to choosing your playlist on Spotify and Rhapsody). While the streaming itself it excellent, itís capabilities compared to the competition are limited.

And most services are closed, meaning you canít take your Spoyify playlist and move it to another service. Once you leave and close your account, you loose everything. They need to take a clue from the phone industry. Remember when they tried to keep your phone number if you left them? Not anymore. BTW, in my opinion whatís next for the phone industry is opening the locked devices and allowing users to move between plans and end the subsidized pricing scheme. Consumers are figuring out how to do it today but itís still a bit complicated.  T-Mobile is leading the way as it attempts to change the game.


But the future is yet to be realized. Users basically want music free but with more control over what they listen to. Hence radio is a great way to get exposed to new tunes but is only part of the user experience. Consumers want the ability to listen to what they want, when they want, wherever they want. That means in their car, over their mobile device, on their television sets (this is where Apple TV comes in handy with their iTunes Match integration), computer, tablet, etc. The challenge for the music industry is how to take what is basically a Ďfree accessí desire by the consumer (in other words, they donít want to pay for the Ďrightsí to listen) and turn it into a revenue stream.


Thereís a lot more to come in the music streaming category which will be worth watching in 2014.

Tag: marketing, streaming, cmo, branding, radio, apple, spotify, Pandora, consumers, digital marketing, pricing, strategy, music

Last modified on Saturday, 11 January 2014 09:41
Bradley Baker

Bradley Baker

Bradley Baker is a senior level global marketing expert whose specialties include rapid new product development, transition from traditional to digital media, profit optimization and other marketing needs.  Please use the contact information to reach Mr. Baker and inquire about his services.

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