Music 2.0 - Exploring Chaos in Digital Music

September 4, 2007


Filed under: Music Industry — maths @ 9:29 pm

Music2.0 examines the chaotic and Wild West-like nature of the digital music industry. The shades of grey that overwhelm the music industry present opportunities to some but are in direct conflict with others who seek to preserve their old economy profits. Music2.0 exists to highlight the innovative business models and also the duplicities that respectively drive and also tear asunder the industry.

maths is is an active observer of intellectual property matters and new business models and is perfectly placed to observe Music 2.0 in action from a vantaged position in the music industry. Music2.0 is an independent organization and all comments by maths are expressly his own, and are independent of his parallel lives, one of which is to manage change from a corporate angle in the music industry.
maths can be contacted at: maths at

Black is black and white is white, and never the twain shall meet - except in shades of gray


  1. Hello,

    I’ve been perusing your site for several hours…interesting.

    I’m a subscriber to the new Napster. Tell me, please; why is Napster so ignored, even reviled?

    I like it. Sure I pay a few bucks per month for access, but access with a capital A.
    What’s wrong with paying for something of value?
    5 million tracks…it’s a good think one cannot OD on music.

    Comment by wyly — December 26, 2007 @ 7:44 am

  2. Wyly, you make a valid point based on experience, and that’s sometimes what matters - how a service or product touches a consumer.
    One of the reasons that the music subscription business model (new Napster, Rhapsody) has a bad reputation is due to one of its most vociferous opponents - Steve Jobs. All the way back in 2003, he had already stated:

    “These [music subscription] services that are out there now are going to fail. [Music Net’s gonna fail,Press Play’s gonna fail]. Here’s why: People don’t want to buy their music as a subscription. They bought 45’s; then they bought LP’s; then they bought cassettes; then they bought 8-tracks; then they bought CD’s. They’re going to want to buy downloads.
    People want to own their music. You don’t want to rent your music - and then, one day, if you stop paying, all your music goes away. And, you know, at 10 bucks a month, that’s $120 a year. That’s $1,200 a decade. That’s a lot of money for me to listen to the songs I love. It’s cheaper to buy, and that’s what they’re gonna want to do…..The subscription model of buying music is bankrupt. I think you could make available the Second Coming in a subscription model and it might not be successful.”

    Pretty strong views and he still abides by it currently.

    Looked at from the older customers’ perspective, everything Jobs says is true, but there is a new generation that is drowning in all manner of music from all kinds of sources till they have it coming out of their ears!! These users are like you, who stream music from many sources, some paid, some free (MySpace, Pandora, etc) and who also find it easy to download (legal or otherwise) music to keep.

    My view is that the music consumption model does not need to be a dichotomy as Steve Jobs has led us to believe - in fact, they complement each other. Steve Jobs is too smart to ignore the fact that music as a service, or even as a loss-leader service is much more lucrative in the greater scheme of things, especially when the Second Coming of music will herald that much feted Celestial Jukebox becoming a reality one day. Where Universal Music managed to get a tax out of Microsoft for every Zune sold (with the next victim being Nokia), Steve Jobs has not only resisted the arm-twist, but he has crossed the Rubicon by instead demanding a cut of mobile subscription services (including data!) from carriers selling the iPhone. Brilliant!

    Comment by maths — December 26, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

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