I don’t want to own my music!
Steve Jobs said last year that he did not see that the successful iTunes business model of selling individual music tracks would be threathened by subscription models where you pay a fixed fee to access all the music you want.
I am convinced that Steve Jobs now realizes that he was wrong (and probably work hard to catch up). The reason people like iTunes is that it is very easy to use and the pricing seems very moderate compared to what people were accustomed to: buying CDs with lots of unwanted tracks.
But that is just because people have not yet tested the upcoming alternatives such as Spotify and other new services. They offer unlimited listening to music without downloading files, and they are faster and just as easy to use as iTunes.
Spotify, an upcoming topnotch Swedish streaming music service. It will be free to use with ads, a premium version without ads will also be available.
Downloading media files will soon be a thing of the past!
I am quite certain that in a few years time we will laugh at this period of time when we downloaded all these media files and struggled with copy-protection and backups and not being able to play them on certain devices etc.
Why? Well, I love my iTunes but…:
- I don’t want to own files or CDs, I want to listen to my favorite music and find new music easily.
- I don’t want to fill up my hard drive with Gigabytes of media files that can vanish in a hard drive crash.
- I want to listen to my music library on multiple computers and on my iPhone mobile.
- I want to be able to share my music easily with friends and family.
There are two key factors that will drive this revolution:
- Ubiquitous wireless internet. We are almost there now in many places.
- The music industry realizing that this is also a way of solving the piracy problem. If you don’t need to download any files to listen to music, why bother with pirated files?
So the only reason for downloading music will be when you want to play it in locations without internet, such as when jogging in the forest etc. But that is also a temporary problem as new wireless fixed-rate broadband services will soon cover entire countries.