Online Music Wars

Which online music service is offering a compelling product that users want to engage with? The answer it appears, is Spotify. A simple Google trends comparison demonstrates that whilst other major music streaming services such as We7, Last.fm and Grooveshark have had a consistent level of interest over the last 12 months, Spotify is running away with the public’s imagination.

It is interesting to see that searches for Last.fm have very slowly declined, but that searches for We7 and Grooveshark had improved significantly since this time last year.

There are probably several reasons for this:

Public awareness of the availability of free, legal online music to listen to may be starting to hit the mainstream and ordinary Internet users.

Spotify is getting people interested in the different options available, so they/we are trying out different services to see which one suits us.

Last.fm has had run ins with the RIAA, so users are slowly turning to alternative solutions.

What is clear though, is that interest in Spotify shows no sign of abating and the freemium business model has captured the public’s imagination. This has of course been stoked to boiling point with news of an iPhone app, reported on many blogs over the last few weeks.

The chance to listen to music on the move through Spotify is exciting the legions of iPhone users, who although only make up 10% of the overall mobile handset market, are set to grow over the next 18 months.

With expectations of a possible java app also brewing, Spotify will be available to users of mid to low end handsets too, something iTunes does not address, making it a potential mobile super app.

Spotify is innovating and has the potential to be the next element of Internet lexicon to become widely used as a verb – think Google or Tweet – a sign that it may just be one of the most important evolutions in the consumption of online media yet.

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