People don’t know they want it because they don’t know what it is.
Same deal with MTV… Who wants to watch music on television? Turns out EVERYBODY DOES! And if you’re a student of history, you know the channel single-handedly pulled the record industry out of a prolonged slump. Of course MTV became more valuable than any record label and some of the honchos around back then are still playing today so they will not let this happen again. Which is why we’ve got no progress in music distribution. The fat cats are afraid of giving away the store.
What’s the hottest story in online music today? PANDORA!
What a fucked up system that is. We live in a country where no one wants to listen to the radio because of interminable commercials and jive announcers and lame music and they want an online substitute? WHY! Not only because it’s conceptually simple, but because Tim Westergren has done an incredible sales job. Westergren knows about social networking. What broke Pandora wasn’t the service, but the endless e-mails circulating saying the service was gonna die because of regulations. Ah, what a brilliant strategy, let’s use the public to fight the man! Hell, isn’t this what MTV did to the cable companies, with its "I Want My MTV!" campaign?
In other words, if people have no idea what you’re selling, you’re not going to be successful. Slacker is better than Pandora, but no one knows what it is. So Slacker is toast.
But that brings us back to Spotify. I don’t care if Pandora is successful, more power to Mr. Westergren. I just can’t understand why people like it. You don’t get to hear what you want to when you want to in an era where we want exactly what we want, on demand?
In other words, no one knows there’s something better.
Rhapsody wasn’t better because of a shitty interface and the label "rental". But now we’re all renting everything. That’s what streaming is, renting. You watch it/listen to it and it evaporates. Who’s recording YouTube clips? Sure, there’s software and some diehards are ripping, the same people who probably still collect VHS tapes, but most people believe if they want to see it/hear it, it’s still living in the cloud, they can play it whenever they want (assuming the big bad rights holders don’t kill it in the name of profit…how can you profit by making something unavailable…interesting question.)
So now, if people want to hear music on demand on their computers, they go to YouTube. They don’t go to the Pandora channel, and sit through what they don’t want to hear and commercials, they click right on the track and listen. Unless, of course, it’s Vevo, which believes advertising is the key to the future. I’ll admit, some people will sit through ads instead of paying, but when it comes to their mobiles, everyone is impatient.
It’s the holy grail. The mobile handset. Ever wonder why Google is fighting net neutrality on the handset? Come on, all together, let’s march into the FUTURE!
Forget the wires. Do you have a wire on your TV remote?
And even if you’ve got wi-fi in your house, do you want to schlepp your laptop everywhere? No, it all comes down to the smartphone. Apple built the paradigm with the iPhone and Google/Android has followed in its footsteps and the old players, Nokia, RIM and Microsoft, are fighting for survival.
So we’re gonna listen to music on our handsets.
But we’re buying less music. Digital track sales are stagnant. Why? Because they’re overpriced and we can listen for free via streaming on YouTube. So what’s the future?
The future is never about blocking an activity, it’s about providing a better solution.
So, people want to stream. They want to rent. They just don’t know it yet! But they’re renting every time they surf the Web. Do you download the "New York Times"? Do you save what you watch on Hulu? But the content industries are afraid of the cloud. They’re just not selling this paradigm. Because they still believe in ownership.
But ownership is decreasing. CDs, DVDs, people don’t want physical media, statistics tell us this. So, the solution is to sell everybody content at a cheap price, make it up in numbers. That’s the cell phone paradigm.
Are you with me so far?
I BET YOU’RE NOT!
You’re gonna rent your music. Argue with me all you want, you’re wrong, shut the fuck up. You just don’t know so because you haven’t been sold properly, there’s been no Tim Westergren convincing you. And the content companies are afraid of the future.
You’re already renting online. But what about on the mobile?
Hell, on the Android there’s not even a good music organization/player, there’s no iTunes.
You’re gonna listen on your mobile handset. How?
You can listen to owned tracks. This is economic death for the labels, just like the MP3 killed the album, they don’t know that owned tracks on the mobile is gonna kill them. The key is to get everybody to rent for a low price, this is the opportunity.
Okay, you’re playing along, right?
We’re talking about music on your mobile.
What if I told you you could have every song every recorded on your mobile for ten bucks a month?
You say you don’t want it and you can barely talk on your mobile, coverage is spotty.
Okay, stay with me.
You don’t know you want everything because you’ve never had it. On the other hand, you have, streaming on YouTube.
So, we’ve got a shitty sales job. You don’t know what the product is.
That was where Pandora did so well. It’s FREE!
Now if I told you you could check out the coolest product ever, and it was free, would you do so?
You’d give it one chance, it better be damn good.
That’s Spotify. Looks like iTunes, works like you own it, but you don’t have to.
The free element is the sales job. Rhapsody/Napster/MOG, et al can’t win because they’re not free. The labels won’t allow a free service, that’s how fucked up they are.
But if I let you play for free, which is how Spotify works in the countries it’s launched in, would you check it out?
And you’d be hooked.
But it would only work on the desktop. You’ve got to pay for it on your mobile. And soon, your mobile will be everything. See where we’re heading? This is about the music industry being in front instead of behind, leading instead of catching up.
But it gets better. You’re not streaming on your handheld. The music is synched. It’s like ownership, you don’t need a signal, playlists on your desktop are on your handheld, up to 2,000 plus tracks. But you can still stream something on a whim!
Okay, I’ve lost you.
You just can’t understand it.
Welcome to today.
Technologists have invented the future but the rights holders won’t let you experience it and you’re playing in a backwater, you’re left out, ignorant.
Don’t tell me you love CDs. Don’t even tell me you listen to the radio. I don’t care, you’re a Luddite. The future is about on demand, exactly what you want whenever you want it. Does Facebook tell you when you can log on? Does it make you view profiles you don’t want to? OF COURSE NOT!
I can tell you about the future because I’ve been there.
And the best way to experience the future is to play with it. Hell, did you know 3-D movies could be cool until you saw those Pixar flicks and "Avatar"?
Now let’s not get caught up in 3-D. My only point is cool.
Who’s testifying about music streaming services and their incredible mobile capabilities in America? NO ONE! BECAUSE ALMOST NO ONE HAS USED THEM!
But they will, it’s just a matter of when.
It will be a conflagration, the country will be crazy with Spotify, just like it was with MTV. But just like with MTV, you didn’t know what it was until you saw it. Then you signed up for cable just to watch it.
Everybody’s talking about Pandora.
But that’s like watching TV in black and white without a DVR.
I’m frustrated. Afraid of giving away the store, the rights holders are preventing a future that will not only be lucrative, but satisfying to customers.
And we’re gonna end up there anyway.
Why are we waiting now?
Do you want a RAZR when you can have an iPhone? Which costs more to buy and requires a monthly data plan?
Don’t you get it? People will pay to be wowed!
But right now the rights holders are telling you to keep your money in your wallet and you don’t even know what I’m talking about because they just won’t let you experience it.
I’M SO FRUSTRATED!