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The Hidden Dangers of the Mainstream Cloud

image from thedeaconsmusic.com In the past month, I've dedicated my time to thinking about the hidden challenges of subscription music and contemplating the dangers of the mainstream cloud. At present, there are many roadblocks that are not as discussed as much as they should be. For a second time, I've delved into behavioral economics in an attempt to discern how effort and ownership impact music value.

I used this as a lens to determine if free music trials are too short and what subscription models have the highest likelihood of success. Then, I proceeded to question the dangers of the mainstream cloud and how it could further devalue music. It's a long and winding essay, but in my opinion, the insights are critical to understanding how to bring cloud music to the mainstream market and the questions we should ask ourselves once this happens. Somewhat surprisingly, while Spotify will play a major role in introducing people to subscription music, I've chosen to dissect Slacker's business model instead. In the bigger picture, its multifaceted positioning strategy serves as a great example of the features that are necessary to captivate and convert a wide audience into paid subscribers.

Time will tell how the market reacts to Slacker's offering, but if I'm correct about the need for elements of effort and ownership to be present in an on-demand service, it may turn out to be an outlier in 2011. I am still quite adamant about Spotify, but as far as behavioral economics is concerned, Slacker has more going for it in terms of subtle ways that it will convert users into paid subscribers.

You can find my new essay on Music Think Tank. Thank you for reading it.


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