Many of us here at Copeland are music lovers. Some of us have toured Canada in a band, others have been to every big name concert, while others have iTunes playlists the size of a small nation or have danced to crazy DJ’s from dusk til dawn more evenings than they can count.
Lately Social Media News has been buzzing with the leaders of the internet hopping on the online music streaming wagon and often partnering their presence with a Smartphone app or a social component. So what does this mean for our music experience moving forward?
Google, Facebook and Apple have all seen a benefit in the quality of the consumer traffic coming through music streaming sites such as Grooveshark, Hype Machine and Spotify. And they want a piece of it. This market entry is ambitious and realistic – none of the current music streaming sites have been able to create the total package of quality, share-ability, new music discovery and easy-to-use interfaces tied to a convenient app. There is room for a company with the resources and talent to improve our online music experience, and here they come!
It has been interesting seeing the strategy that each of these companies has taken to enter the market. Last year, Apple – who is the leader in legal music acquisition (hem hem) – created its own Music-based Social Network, Ping, hoping people would flock to join yet another social network where they can share their music purchases with friends and stay up-to-date with favorite musician news. To date it doesn’t seem like there has been a universal acceptance for Ping, and I doubt there will, unless Apple can take it away from a purchase linked service and really spice it up. They may want to take note from the following two competitors preparing to enter the market.
Google launched the beta version of Google Music on Android devices only. However, though I am an iPhone user and know few people with Androids, I actually got excited about the features Google Music will offer. Users can create and edit custom playlists online and via mobile. Music will be uploaded and stored to a cloud-based directory (like Grooveshark and Sound Cloud) and will be available when users are offline, too. Playlists will be able to be synched wirelessly and automatically from the web to connected devices and vice versa.
Although, a cloud based service may take time to build, with these great offering along with Google’s search tracking metrics extraordinaire, Google will definitely be a leader if it can utilize Youtube’s extensive music library and broaden it’s product to other smartphones like iPhone and Blackberry.
Where Google goes, Facebook does not linger not too far – it has also been testing its entry into the world of music streaming. While Google can provide insights based on search behaviour and desires, Facebook holds insight on consumer’s personality and also creates a platform to allow people to continue sharing their day to day activities and interactions. Facebook turned to a partnership with Spotify instead of creating a cloud based music streaming service like Google. Soon users will be able to use the app to play from Spotify’s library through Facebook and they will be able to share music and apparently even listen to music simultaneously with their friends over the social network.
Though I think it will be a while before Facebook/Spotify can roll this out onto its Smartphone app and have the similar offerings of Google Music, the strong social component is what makes it a force to be reckoned with – something Google is still struggling to gain.
Comparing Google to Facebook, which are you most excited about? Smartphone app or social component? Why?
(Photos are my own – yes I do enjoy concert hopping on my own time!)