Thursday, June 5, 2014

Music Is The New Black

With all the buzz of video streaming and platforms like Netflix competing rigorously in the media space, audio has been pushed aside a bit.  Well, it seems it may now be their turn given the recent acquisition of Beats by Apple.  Now music streaming is the hot commodity and competing in this space the place to be.  While downloading music is nice, the cost to own can add up; a music subscription service on the other hand provides a steady diet of new and old music at a low price. 

For Apple, the Beats subscription service may not be the largest, but it had a cache and pool of talent that Apple wanted to own.  According to reports, Google is also interested in owning a larger piece of the music streaming business.  "Some folks speculate that Google’s best option would be to snap up Spotify, which has a $4 billion valuation, 10 million paying subscribers — and a rapidly growing business. It is said to be on track for a fall IPO."  Of course there are other competitors to consider including Pandora and Rhapsody.  Perhaps Sirius would like to extend itself further away from the automobile through acquisition as well.  And Apple may not be done acquiring; music has been a key attribute of their iPod and iPhone brands. 

Where the audio industry, most known as the world dominated by radio, has appeared mature and flat, the rise of digital streaming has fanned the flames of interest.  The iHeart radio app, while free, offers an ad supported way to enjoy your favorite music on these same streaming devices.  Choosing which service to use becomes the consumers challenge.  Download, subscribe, stream, are all options.  For now, music is the hot commodity. 

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