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I'll jump on the streaming bandwagon once the issues with bandwidth and freedom of choice are addressed by the service providers.
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Physical media — books, LPs and the like — are scarce objects. No matter how many are made, the number is finite, the individual objects are unique, and are subject to wear, damage and loss over time. The ones that survive retain value according to their condition. Digital media — information stored in bits-only form — are infinite objects. There is no limit on the number of people who can simultaneous possess the information, each copy is identical, and does not degrade over time. The value of infinite objects is in the information transfer; the objects themselves have no retained value. Attaching infinite objects to scarce objects can make those scarce objects more valuable. Some examples: 1. Unlimited streaming of the movie Clueless (infinite) has helped cement Jane Austen's position as a literary icon for another generation. This in turn elevates the value a certified first-edition copy of Emma (scarce). 2. Reports show digital downloads of Van Halen's A Different Kind of Truth (infinite) are not selling well, but music industry veteran Bob Lefsetz offers this view: "Based on [fan] reaction, the band will be able to tour for years." (Concert tickets: scarce.) 3. A high-resolution digital transfer of a rare LP, taken on the owner's own equipment calibrated to his exact specifications, allows the LP's content to be shared, studied and enjoyed without inflicting further damage. The scarce object becomes more significant by being both widely accessible (infinite) and perfectly preserved. Is Physical Still Relevant?
What assets could Spotify have to justify a $4B market cap? Disney just paid $4B for Lucasfilm, which (among other things) owns the Star Wars franchise. The two companies are not comparable.
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2012 on Big Tech Companies Challenge Spotify at hypebot
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Mumford and Sons sold 600K the first week, then dropped 79% in week two. Hot debut is everything. Just on hypebot yesterday.
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Whether the threat comes from Microsoft via Xbox or Apple via Itunes, Pandora faces challenges from new players in its space, competitors that have inherent advantages some might call unfair. The software industry coined a term for this kind of threat — "Russian Winter."
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Even if I were inclined to give up music possession for streaming: the financial reports for Spotify and Pandora give me real pause.
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There has always been an unlimited supply of {music, knowledge} in the world. But acquiring it was hard, so possessing it and communicating it had meaning. But access has replaced ownership, and the two really aren't equivalent. Exchanging links is much less valuable than exchanging information.
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2012 on Are Music Fanatics A Dying Breed? at hypebot
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Higher musician payouts on digital download licenses is the main reason labels are clinging to the idea that young listeners will start buying CDs someday. Not likely.
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I've added simple truth #11. There is no sustainable business model based on listeners paying for low-res acccess to music.
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Improve the user experience? Unlikely. This is another examples of gatekeepers inserting themselves into an online experience for the purpose of control and harvesting user information. We've been packaged and sold (again). Is Social Networking Causing Us to Lose Respect for Music?
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2012 on What Spotify + CocaCola Means For Music at hypebot
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Apr 19, 2012