Share this site with your friends

Facebook

Twitter

Email

Close


OCTOBER 2003:
EIGHT PREDICTIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC
THIS IS FROM AN ESSAY ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED FOR THE CLUB OF AMSTERDAM (AND IT STILL HOLDS TRUE...AMAZINGLY ENOUGH!)


1. MUSIK LIKE WATER: Music is no longer a product but a service. Music became a product with the advent of recording (records, tapes, CDs) and the formation of an industry that quickly figured out that selling the bottle can make a lot more money than only selling the wine. For the future, think of a “record label” as a “music utility company.”

2. A BIGGER PIE, BUT CHEAPER SLICES: Today’s music pricing schemes will be completely eroded by digital music services (legal and, mostly, otherwise) and by stiff competition from other entertainment products. A “liquid” pricing system will emerge, involving subscriptions, bundles of various content types, multi-channel/multi-access charges, and countless added-value services. CD prices will end up at around €5–7 per unit. But most important, the overall music consumption and use will steadily increase, and – if the industry can manage the transition to a service-based model – can eventually bring in €50–90 per person per year, with 75% of the population in the leading markets as active consumers – the pie will be three times as large.

3. DIVERSE AND UBIQUITOUS: A wide range of music will be eve- rywhere, and music will be part of everything that used to be “images only”: from rich media advertising to interactive slideshows to car software to MMS and digital cameras, to advertising in magazines (!), the audiovisual use of music will soar, and the licensing revenues will explode along with it.

4. ACSESS TO MUSIK WILL REPLACE OWNERSHIP: Soon, consumers will have access to “their” music anytime, anywhere, and the physical possession of it will in fact be more of a handicap, or a knack of collectors. Music will feel (and act) like water.

5. MULTI-POINT ACCESS TO MUSIC WILL BE THE DEFAULT ENVIRONMENT, allowing consumers to fill up their music devices at airports, train stations, and in coffee shops and bars, using all kinds of wireless connections as well as other on-demand and ad-hoc networking technologies.

6. GO DIREKT: Major artists will increasingly rely on their own “brandability” and – via their managers – go direct to the consumers, using their own in-house marketing, branding, and promotion teams.

7. THE SOFTWARE PRO: The (performing) rights organizations (PROs) as we know them will likely fade away. Complete tech- nology solutions comprised of watermarking and fingerprint- ing, so-called DRM and (better) CRM components, monitoring, admin/accounting, and instant payment solutions will do the job quicker, cheaper, and, of course, with complete trans- parency.

8. MOBILE MANIA: Cell phones and other wireless devices will eventually utilize and suck up more “content” than any Inter- net service or P2P client ever has. Real-music ringtone offer- ings, Multi-Media SMS (MMS), Java-based games, wireless streaming audio and video, i-Mode type applications, and other cell-phone based offerings will proliferate very quickly, at first in Europe and Asia, followed by the U.S.