Spotify is making its US launch today. We already have music stream services like Rhapsody, but Spotify offers a free ad supported version of its services and offers integration with Facebook, making it easy to share music you love with others. Well, that’s the company line, at least. It’s surely the way music will be moving forward. Instead of ownership of a limited number of copies, we as consumers will gain access to an unlimited virtual library of songs. We’ll all have our own personal jukebox in the sky, so to speak.
Plus, for those of us old-schoolers who do have a library of owned material, we can use the Amaon or Apple cloud and store everything there to stream back to us when we need it.
Side thought, brought on by the law of supply and demand: As technology has moved forward, computer manufacturers have dropped the things from their hardware that are out of step with the times. There are no more floppy disk drives, no more PCI slots, AGP graphic slots, IDE hard drives, etc. With the advent of the iPad, there are quite a few things missing that were on our desktop computer. If you need it, it’s available ‘in the cloud.’
What is ‘the cloud?” It’s simply storage space. It’s paid 4G data access. You don’t want to be limited by that puny 500 gigabyte hard drive? Here’s your solution. Do away with it and store everything on the massive redundant storage systems offered by your internet service provider.
So, in the words of The Who: meet the new boss, same as the old boss. It’s still a game of supply and demand. We’ve demanded instant access to everything, and for a price, it can be supplied.
That puts the music industry as part of the supply chain, providing the content that the public can use. How do the creators and owners of this music get paid? That’s still an ongoing point, but one possible solution is a public performnace license. Give a listen to Gerd Leonhard’s video. I think it makes sense.