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How the Music Industry Could be Loved Right Now

The Wall Street Journal writes that colleges are offering free music subscriptions by companies like Napster and Rhapsody, but college students aren't using them.

The reasons?

Music from those services don't work with iPods, and students lose their "free" music when they graduate.

If the music industry had taken the time to sit and watch customers, they would have learned something.

It's not about free, it's about convenience.

If you make it easy for your customers to do the right thing, you'll have a winner on your hands.

Instead of wasting money on lawsuits and being despised by their customers, the music industry would have been loved (or at least hated less).

Why? Because they would have given customers what they want--easy access to all kinds of music at a reasonable price. And the industry would have made money, too.

It's simple, really: observe customers and profit.

Movie industry, are you listening?

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Comments (Post | Latest)

1. Scott said on Jul 11 2006:

You're exactly right. It is about convenience in this context — portability, song choice, and the concept that once you download it, it's yours (pretty much) forever.

CTrax tried to gain traction at Wake Forest and didn't succeed at all. They made no effort to find out what would compel us to use their service (if they did, their execution sucked).

I think the music industry is having a rude awakening because of their reluctance to innovate. When you've got a cash cow for an extended period of time, though, where's the incentive to do so?

2. kareem said on Jul 12 2006:

Thanks for the comment, Scott.

I guess the incentive to innovate comes from the understanding that forces are tearing your business model apart. That's assuming, of course, that record companies are looking beyond the end of the current quarter.



Hi, I'm Kareem Mayan. I co-founded eduFire, an online video tutoring company.

I've done time at ESPN and FIM.

I advise WorldBlu, helping them build democratic companies.

I moderated a council for Creative Good.

And, I helped bring Barcamp, a technology un-conference, to LA, which is where I live. I am now living and working in cool cities around the world.

More about me.

Opinions stated here are mine alone.

Contact: blog -at- reemer


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