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Digital Music War Chapter 14

A Presentation by Marc Geiger
by

Alex Bramwell

on 22 July 2016

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Transcript of Digital Music War Chapter 14

In the beginning there were physical formats,
and everyone was happy...

Then the internet came and the music hungry and unsatisfied said…I WANT MY MUSIC ON MY COMPUTER DAMMIT. And so the crumbling of the industry began and the war took all the money and all their property (except live shows).
Digital music starvation then came about in the mid 90s when unsatisfied music fans wanted more music at much cheaper pricing thru the net. To get their music, these music hungry had to fight through nasty file sizes, slow ripping with CD burners, expensive hard drive upgrades, TERRIBLE bandwidth and death by stealing.
Then came more plagues of digital rights management, Napster, MP3.com, peer to peer services, bad interfaces, larger file sizes, more slow bandwidth, high priced files, label and publisher wars, lawsuits, major label consolidation, copyright infringement, incomplete libraries and confusion, confusion, confusion ... just to get to where we currently are in our story.
So now we begin Chapter 14 of The Great War of Digital Music, titled
So now we begin Chapter 14 of The Great War of Digital Music, titled
“The Giants Save the Day”
Order is restored and the world shuts up and watches.
Order is restored and the world shuts up and watches.
The Giants (today)
Pandora
Shazam
Apple Music
Spotify
Amazon
Netflix
Google / YouTube
Facebook
Soundcloud
Snapchat
SiriusXM
iHeartMedia
Sonos
The Giants (today)
Pandora
Shazam
Apple Music
Spotify
Amazon
Netflix
Google / YouTube
Facebook
Soundcloud
Snapchat
SiriusXM
iHeartMedia
Sonos
Featuring:
In Smaller Roles (the Outsiders)
Rhapsody
Bop.fm
Beatport
Deezer
Roku
Sling
Twitch
In Smaller Roles (the Outsiders)
Rhapsody
Bop.fm
Beatport
Deezer
Roku
Sling
Twitch
As we enter the 21st year of the war, storm clouds brew over the landscape as the giants trudge onto the field. They bring with them other services and armies of video, film, TV, video games, books, and more creating further blended subscription offerings and hard to understand pricing. They also bring a host of other businesses which makes this war seem quite petite and insignificant to the giants while millions of music hungry stare at the music equivalents of Godzilla, King Kong, and Mothra hoping they give a damn and make a good product… One thing is for certain, for both consumers and content suppliers -
confusion runs amok.
Here’s a snapshot of what is STILL to be figured out over the next few years, and many have not even begun:
• Content libraries evolving, filling out and blending media types

• Pricing… strategies, tiers, windows and more.

• Metadata cleanup-ever try browsing Spotify for New Releases or just go try to look at the Peter Gabriel or Calvin Harris sections….

• Interfaces and personalized, recommendations just beginning. Even history files are new in this arena

• Human curation and point of view curation just beginning-Zane Lowe Apple

• Publishers battle labels for higher royalties and restructure songwriter compensation

• Copyright reforms bringing laws into a 21st century reality
• Combinations for survival coming. Megamergers and filling out platform mergers and buyouts just forming like new solar systems. (ex. Netflix buys Rdio or Spotify)
- Spotify goes public or gets bought
- Netflix buys who?
- Shazam survives and upstreams how?
- Pandora survives copycats how? Buy Rhapsody?
- Pandora bought RDIO

• New Collections companies are forming and flattening the money flow and E-Trading the old businesses. Kobalt, Audiam, and more.

• The super player draft and teams start to emerge:
- Jimmy, Trent, and Zane at Apple
- Rob Wells and David Ring go to what squad?
- Who’s next and who is qualified?
The battle is over who has the true power to scale users. Using their weaponry of 100 million to 1 billion plus audiences, internal payment systems and blended billing, the giants hope to convert their loyal minions to pay fees for a variety of content services.
In any case, the Giants, the contenders plus the telcos and other giants who are still showing dumb and slow are going into yet another period of unstable and evolving plans, ensuring more lemming-like behavior from competitors...
A few things for sure in this battle:
• Streaming all content (maybe not books) has won
• Vinyl is the physical preferred format for hard copy types
• $10 / month is still a fight
• Windowing and tiering has not commenced, still in the great try it before you buy it era
• No one understands blended offerings yet
• The industry has no idea where the money is coming, going, nor do the creators
• Big equity and advances taken by the Copyright Giants keeps on keepin' on
• The Flattening or “E Trade ization” of collections has begun
• The music industry will jump on board and finally stop whining after 100 million users start paying
• Apple Music - a poor launch of v1.0. Hopefully will fix in future versions
• SUCCESS- 1st real Worldwide Radio Station
• Charts are all changing and consumption is all over the place and untracked
• Okay, 1 trillion tracks streamed so everyone can calm down, this is going to work
In any case, the next few years will be marked by rapid user growth, refinement of offerings, personalized interfaces, expanding content libraries, confusion and complaining over money and LOTS and LOTS of action from the players above.
Should be interesting…'til our next chapter.
Full transcript