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the (very near) future of music? [Safwan]
Thursday, September 24, 2009 - Kat
from february to april of 2008, i attended a class called “digital music and the law”, taught by jeremy debeer. it was a brilliantly engaging course encompassing several seminar-style discussions on the past, current, and future landscapes of the music industry.

one discussion focused on which music delivery model was best positioned for the new realities of the music business. there was a suggestion that a mobile streaming music provider with a subscription and/or advertising based revenue stream was a good bet.

the rationale for this suggestion included elements such as:
- functional mobility is a pre-requisite;
- streaming allows for larger libraries, less memory usage and is potentially quicker than downloading; and
- nominal subscriptions and/or advertising have the potential to generate substantial income for the big stake-holders without alienating consumers who are largely unwilling to succumb to the inflated price points they’ve traditionally been gouged by.

if you haven’t already heard of it, check out spotify…

“Spotify is a proprietary peer-to-peer music streaming service that allows instant listening to specific tracks or albums with almost no buffering delay. Music can be browsed by artists, albums or created playlists as well as by direct searches. Although, due to the system's DRM, it is not possible to save the streamed music for use outside the application; a link is provided to allow the listener to directly purchase the material via partner retailers. The service is currently only available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the United Kingdom, France and Spain.”

an iphone spotify application has just recently been launched and is gaining traction exponentially. if spotify succeeds in europe, one would think north america can’t be too far behind.

is this the (very near) future of music? maybe.

regardless, the approach is encouraging. in contrast to the tactic of trying to scare and sue consumers, here is an example of trying to embrace technology and consumer choices (e.g., peer-to-peer) for music delivery.
 
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