It’s always a bit funny to see people refer to my 2005 book ‘The Future of Music’ (co-written with Dave Kusek) and then list examples like these, below. While it’s nice to get some credit, of course these services are not free, really; they are kind of a ‘freemium’ but imho still stop one crucial step short of being a real solution to ‘end piracy’ (whatever that actually means). It always comes down to a simple issue: the labels (and now, by extension, Spotify) don’t want to endanger the free-falling but still-essential CD sales (in developed countries, that is) or the measly growth in iTunes single-track sales, and they don’t want to make licensing transparent and open because they still like control better than money. The free market has failed, as far as the music business is concerned (read more about the key Spotify issues here, from 2009:)
In my view, only a FREE / FEELS LIKE FREE bundle with telcos, ISPs or Mobile Operators can solve this ‘dysfunctional market’ or (as Reid Hastings, CEO of Netflix puts it) ‘managed dissatisfaction – problem, as TDCPlay in Denmark has proven for the past few years already. Every single telco/ISP/Mobile user should automatically have a slighty reduced Spotify version included in their plans and subscriptions, on a somewhat more basic but yet very addictive level such as low-res streaming and limited downloads to mobile (50 or so per month?), with 2 or 3 juicy upselling options. And yes, every large telco could easily add Spotify on such a freemium level IF a) the labels (and Spotify) would agree to a low, minimum, public, open license fee for the basic ‘free’ service (such as $1 per week in developed countries and say $1 / month in emerging economies) b) they used it as a means of churn-reduction and stickyness that creates brand loyalty and therefore retains their customers for a longer time.
We’ll see what happens with this:)
In their 2005 book “The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution”, authors David Kusek and Gerd Leonhard predicted that music in the future would be like water from a tap: “ubiquitous and free-flowing”. That future arrived when music streaming services such as Spotify went mainstream a couple of years back, and I’ve been using a workaround to use it here in Singapore. That’s not an issue any longer, as the Swedish company has finally brought its popular streaming client officially to Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
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