Would you spend money on something if you could get the same product or service at the same quality for free?
I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t either.
Internet radio as well as online TV and movie streaming have already reinvented the way we consume our favorite media- and this trend will only continue.
Digital music stores such as iTunes and GooglePlay are likely planning for a downward spiral in the number of digital music, movie, and TV show downloads, even as the Apple iTunes store is now approaching 10 billion downloads worldwide.
Pandora, a popular internet radio site, not only offers its users free access but filters your playlist based upon what you’ve already listened to. It’s possible that within just days, you can have a fully personalized playlist of all your favorite songs- for free.
All that’s not to mention popular music sharing service, Spotify, which enables it’s users to share what they’re listening to, when they’re listening to it, via popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Now with the debut of Twitter Music, a service that recommends artists and songs based on the music artists you already “follow” on Twitter, iTunes and GooglePlay are probably getting a little worried- and rightly so.
Think about the changes to the music industry in just the past decade. Before iTunes or GooglePlay, you probably purchased an entire music album for about $15 just because it had one or two of your favorite songs on it. Since the inception of iTunes and GooglePlay, consumers have been able to purchase only their favorite tracks for a much cheaper price. Moreover, iTunes and GooglePlay users can listen to their downloaded tracks anywhere and at anytime with a tap of their smartphones.
While having your favorite music with you wherever you go is very much more of a convenience, digital music download services don’t have much more of an advantage when it comes to convenience than that of music streaming.
As the slogan goes, “there’s an app for that.”
Yes, there are smartphone apps for online music streaming sites like Pandora, Spotify, and Twitter Music.
The downside to streaming? If you don’t have an active internet connection, your music is eating up your mobile data plan.
But whether the concern over using too much data is really an issue or not, there remains a growing number of malls, airports, parks, fast food restaurants, coffee shops, and even commercial airliners that now offer complimentary WiFi.
So, should you be expecting free music anytime soon?
Maybe not, but if the past decade is any indication, it’s not so far-fetched to suggest that online music retail giants such as iTunes, GooglePlay and Amazon might be catching up to the beat sooner than what some might have expected.