Published on July 5th, 2012 | by Alan Cross1
Why Apple Will Enter the Music Sharing Business
Apple’s iTunes is the largest retailer of music in the universe. But if they’re not careful, that’s not going to matter for much in the not-too-distant future.
There’s a slow but inexorable movement towards widespread adoption of music streaming services. After years of grappling with the idea of “renting” music–i.e. subscribing to an all-you-can-eat service like Rdio or Slacker for $10 a month–people are starting to figure out that this is a very cost-effective way of consuming music.
Yes, there are purists (like me) who will insist in the comfort of owning music, whether it be a digital file, a CD or vinyl. But for the many times I have a transient interest in a song, an artist, an album, a scene or a genre, I’d rather just “rent” this music through a streaming service rather than spend substantially more money (and time) acquiring it physically. Besides, my wife is telling me that if I keep collecting music at this, we’ll have to move again in 18 months.
Apple may sell a gazillion music files now. But if they’re going to maintain their market-leading position, they’re going to have to transition at least a portion of iTunes to the streaming world. And that means figuring out a way for subscribers to share music.
(Ping? Please. Let’s not bring up that disaster. It. Did. Not. Work.)
The Harvard Busines Review has a rather interesting opinion on the matter. It’s worth reading.