When I met Zia, a sales rep from Spotify, in 2008 I remember being completely in awe that a ‘new’ service based out of Sweden had managed to muscle in on the closed and rigid music market and had somehow convinced the labels that there was a new way to distribute their music. Most of us in the media department struggled to see how long it could last. It seemed ‘too good to be true’ for the user, and for the advertiser alike, targeting audio messages to a degree a radio spot never could, and offering a visual CTA at the same time.
I was working buying radio spots for Sony BMG at the time and had witnessed first hand the changes in the industry that iTunes and torrents had brought, and another of our clients, Zavvi, had gone into administration just before Christmas. The one constant, as the health of the radio listening figures was testament to, was that people wanted access to a lot of music and preferably for free.
Spotify has come a long way since then, a US launch, and Facebook integration among the landmark shifts and consumption of the service has exploded as it gains traction in The States. Functionality has increased to the point where you can now indulge pretty much any musical need, my own most recent fascination is creating a neverending recommendation engine out of the service by scrobbling tracks I play to last.fm and then creating an ever evolving Recommendations playlist with Soundmatch. I would strongly recommend it if you haven’t tried it and subscribe to Spotify premium.
Music consumption in the digital age is clearly an ever-evolving beat and it looks like the US might be nearly ready to share some of their other goodies with the rest of the world as services like Rdio and MOG come over, not to mention recently improved Deezer gaining some traction.
This deck from (tr)ad agency JWT spells out a few of the developments in the market form a global perspective highlighting new services (like shuffler.fm) exploring functional developments on existing mainstream services (like Shazam) and grouping them into trends…enjoy!