Investing in Music and the Future: Emerging Media Models
Feeling depressed? Need some automated music mood evelators?
Then check out Sourcetone.com.
Plug yourself into the mood wheel and become automatically emerged into a world of stimulating music based on your own musical emotional profile.
How about a stream of musical associations? Pandora will find artists and music that matches your primary preferences and lead you into a grab bag of new artists and maybe even some older tunes you may have forgotten about.
Music isn’t what it used to be. I think that is for the better. However the atomic bomb proliferation of music has made it increasingly difficult to understand how one can make a single dime in this oh so fragmented industry. My humble suggestion is to first understand how it is consumed by the public and then try to make some decisions about how to invest in the future.
I think there are four major music consumption models to take a look at:
- Music by Correlation – Tell me what you like and I will find more. Pandora is the leading example of this. In this case, you are trusting the experts to code the musical database into discrete categories that will allow a computer model to spit out like associations.
- Music by Association – Join the musical community of your choice and share stories, tips, reviews, and updates on your favorite bands or artists. Check examples of this out on Myspace or Last.fm.
- Instant Access Music – More, more, I want more! Dig into the world’s largest pool of assembled music and pick out what you like. Slacker.com claims to have about 2.5 million tunes to choose from. Spotify, the European music service, will soon be offering free access to 5 million tunes in the US.
- Shared Music Experience – Music programming by somebody somewhere, and shared by passive listeners who form a listening community. Old school radio comes to mind, as does satellite radio, and the zillion more Internet radio stations popping up on the worldwide web. Certainly live concerts and performances would also fall into this category.
Of all the above, the Shared Music Experience has the longest legs. It has been around since the caveman banged two sticks together to create a rhythm around the campfire. There is something inherently grand about listening to music as a group…and not by yourself. It’s why radio and live performances endure amidst a gigantic array of alternative choices. It is exactly what is human about the music listening experience.
My money’s on the media that has lasted the longest. 50 years from now people will still be passively listening to music programmed by somebody else…and loving it.