Music 1.0 is Dead

28 Feb

Music exec: “Music 1.0 is dead.”

Five hundred top members of the music business gathered today in New York to hear that “music 1.0 is dead.” Ted Cohen, a former EMI exec who used the phrase, opened the Digital Music Forum East by pleading with the industry to be wildly creative with new business models but not to “be desperate” during this transitional period.

Consider the statements that were made today without controversy:

  • DRM on purchased music is dead
  • A utility pricing model or flat-rate fee for music might be the way to go
  • Ad-supported streaming music sites like iMeem are legitimate players
  • Indie music accounts for upwards of 30 percent of music sales
  • Napster isn’t losing $70 million per quarter (and is breaking even)
  • The music business is a bastion of creativity and experimentation

Just within the last year, we’ve seen an array of experiments that include ad-supported streaming, “album cards” from labels like Sony BMG, and allowing Amazon to offer MP3s from all four majors. Some labels even allow user-generated content to make use of their music in return for a revenue share from sites like YouTube—unthinkable a few years ago to a business wedded to control over its music and marketing.

All of this bodes very, very well for Grooveshark, aside from the fact that we weren’t used as an example. We’ll soon be getting much more attention in that vein, but hopefully not until we’ve had a chance to improve the site in these areas:

  1. Differentiating between files and songs properly
  2. Faster loading times
  3. Better searching
  4. More user friendly interface
  5. Eliminate silent failure

So clearly, we have a lot of work cut out for us in a market that is on the verge of exploding, but if we can focus our resources I think we can be mostly there within a few weeks. Now to get management on board.


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