Dis­rupt­ing the


Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY -

I’ll ad­mit to be­ing a Nap­ster user back in 1999 and 2000. The world’s first pop­u­lar ‘peer-to-peer’ mu­sic shar­ing ser­vice was ir­re­sistible. It was mag­i­cal at the time, to be able to find vir­tu­ally any song ever recorded and have it avail­able for lis­ten­ing min­utes later. The party went on for some time be­fore the law slowly caught up with Nap­ster and Steve Jobs con­vinced the mu­sic in­dus­try that dig­i­tal down­loads were the way of the fu­ture. By mak­ing it easy to buy and down­load mu­sic from his iTunes store, Jobs proved that con­ve­nience beats low prices. People want to pay, if only they have the op­por­tu­nity to. And so be­gan a revo­lu­tion in the in­dus­try with con­sol­i­da­tion of ma­jor record la­bels and thou­sands of jobs made re­dun­dant. Now it’s all chang­ing again.

Leading global in­for­ma­tion and mea­sure­ment com­pany, Nielsen pub­lished a re­port on the in­dus­try last week show­ing that dig­i­tal mu­sic con­sump­tion in the USA is shift­ing away from tra­di­tional down­load plat­forms such as iTunes and to­ward un­lim­ited stream­ing ser­vices like Spo­tify and Rdio. On-de­mand stream­ing has risen 42% when com­pared with the first half of last year while dig­i­tal down­loads are down 12%.

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