Cloudy With a Chance of Discovery
For the past 7 years, I have made music in the clouds/streaming subscription music services a personal mission. Early on, I was an “early adopter” to Rhapsody, a Real Networks company. Over the years, I’ve had the distinct pleasure to try them all (Rdio, Spotify, Deezer, GrooveShark, MOG, Rhapsody, Napster). Through this affinity and trial, I quickly discerned that this is the way of the future! Exhausting the fan with numerous hurdles to just hear music is futile and I’m super excited that the major labels have woken up to this world of frictionless music discovery and consumption.
Recently, a substantial study was performed by industry veteran, Mark Mulligan, that really shows some amazing numbers and confidence in the streaming services as a new revenue stream for rights holders, labels, and management companies. The money WILL come, however, these sites have to scale first and it is only a matter of time. In 2006, I recall folks referring to iTunes as the death of the music business and artists will suffer. As we have learned over the years, that is not true. Apple accounts for a primary source of income for A LOT of artists, due to the scalable factor, as iTunes has grown substantially.
It’s important to remember that because of the nature of these music subscription services, we will see millions of people around the world taking a “chance” on an artist, with nearly zero friction and barrier to entry. The aggregation of that discovery, consumption, and sharing, is what will push subscription over the top, very soon!