Monday, October 31, 2011

Loose Ends

Give me that old time rock n' roll

As an addendum to my last post (To Free or Not to Free), I see that Fast Company in their piece 20 Riskiest Business Moves of 2011 has listed as the 19th riskiest business move Music Labels Surrender to Spotify.  The main risk: jeopardizing paid sales with the freemium model.

Also, the recent update of Google TV and the announcement Friday that Google will be acquiring a lot more original content for YouTube should pretty much clarify where they are headed.  If you thought that 900 cable channels was amazing, get ready for hundreds of thousands or maybe millions delivered online.  As I've said before, there will be more content than ever. There's a tremendous amount of opportunity out there to those who can visualize and take advantage of this new order.  As the curse goes, may you live in interesting times...."

Monday, October 17, 2011

To Free or Not to Free, That is the Question


The subject of whether every entertainment product should be available for free just doesn't seem to die, particularly in the music industry.  There is always some new company out there that seeks to disrupt an already disrupted marketplace with a new offer of free.  All these years after Napster, well, there are new companies out there offering free, with business models seemingly TBD, or at least fully explained.  Where will this never ending dream of achieving marketplace dominance of free finally end up?  Who will be the proverbial last man standing?

This article from the Business Insider is a brief, intelligent look at the state of the streaming music business and one company's (Rhapsody) attempt to hold tight to making people pay.  Interestingly, there's no mention of Pandora in the article.

Several months back I attended a respected film industry event and nearly swallowed my tongue when one of the speakers said that they thought "we were through the worst" of competing against free.  I hope that they're right, unfortunately, I have my doubts.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Even a Broken Clock is Correct Twice Per Day

Fast Company seems to be going full-on into the media/tech battle I briefly discussed a couple of posts ago (and earlier).  They refer to it as The Great Tech War of 2012.  I am very interested in learning about Amazon and where it is headed.   Hopefully this article will fill in some of the blanks, particularly with regard to how each company is using its data.  Amazon seems to be building its empire the most quietly, with the exception of the cloud data loss debacle.  It also seems to have a maniacal attention to detail.

I can attest to receiving in-depth customer service with regard to a complaint I made over the intricacies of the Amazon MP3 download system: how annoying it was to constantly update the downloader, how the whole system feels jury rigged, how it creates a media folder separate from the iTunes media library folder and just generally messes with the whole "it just works" juju of my Mac.  My point: do not underestimate any company that is willing to listen and respond (more than once, and nicely) via a living human being to the cranky complaints of a customer over a $.99 download.