Another Day At The Office: iTunes Radio
In a lot of ways, the business model for streaming music is like a child going into puberty. Just figure: streaming has seen some excesses during the past years, going from people saying it makes no sense (for example Steve Jobs himself in 2007, saying “customers don’t seem to be interested in it”) to an exploding marketplace in which new streaming services emerge on a daily basis. Free services, add based services, subscription services, genre specific platforms, streaming companies who rely on the power of social: the market goes from one place to another with the speed of light. Much like an adolescent who changes clothes and styles quicker then you can blink your eyes.
Then Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and Rdio stepped up and proved they were outgrowing this phase. And now, September 2013, Apple moves into this market acting like the biggest boy in class (who will probably be dating the Prom Queen eventually).
What is this iTunes Radio that matures the market, at least in our opinion? It’s a streaming radio service that resembles the other big streaming companies in the business. But what can be so different? What can be, in terms of marketing, the added value that will win back a large piece of the pie that Pandora and the others already have taken?
This is a question that has several answers. To begin with, iTunes is One-Stop-Shopping for customers. Cross-selling downloads to iTunes Radio customers is done in just one click. A full digital market place for music, video’s apps, movies, and streaming or owning music.
Besides this, it’s Apple’s devices that sets them apart from the other big boys in class. Apple can easily spend a fortune on a new iPhone and at the same time promote their iTunes Radio service: winning both customers and selling the device that people need (or think they need) in order to enjoy Apple’s services. Just imagine a Spotify phone… wait, that even doesn’t sound strange does it? Well, Apple does it.
The fact that the biggest digital music selling company in the world enters the streaming market, is proof of a maturing marketplace.
It should come as no surprise that Black Hole Recordings welcomes iTunes Radio. We think iTunes Radio will do credit to the streaming market place, and is an addition that proves the sustainability of streaming music as a business model. Financially, it’s good news for artists, labels and bands which means that in the end the people who love music will win. The brand Apple stands for quality; even the most skeptical person is enticed to try iTunes Radio as an extra to his or hers normal a la carte download purchases. The customers are already onboard; instead of losing them to free or illegal services Apple offers a mature legal alternative. Money that in the past would be lost to illegal downloads now ends up at the artists and bands that make the music you love. And labels can invest in those same bands and artists giving them the means necessary to spawn creativity and quality. A win-win-win situation.
Apple helps making this business model work on a wide scale: iTunes has stores in 111 countries. For iTunes, rolling out the iTunes radio service globally is way easier then for a relatively new start-up company.
So Black Hole Recordings of course congratulates Apple on its iTunes Radio service. It’s our goal to provide the world with the best and latest Electronic Dance Music and a marketplace that shows it’s growing up (beyond puberty) is good news for everybody who loves music!