The evolution of media, marketing and brands!

All developments in long term context.

Google Music: another chapter in paying for content

Google expands its Google Play Music services to an online music streaming services that merges your collection with their catalog, personal recommendations using Googles advanced personalisation technology and options to explore music yourself.

It's a payed service, priced 9.99 $ in the US


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

The experience economy is actually taking place in the virtual world. We will pay lots for content. It all has just started. Soon, ‘free’ television and radio, full of ads, will only be watched/listened to by poor people. Without the disappearing opportunity to buy time in the lives of consumers, it will change the brand scape forever.

And this is only just the beginning. In five years from we’ll have bands holographically projected in our living rooms. That will be a bit more expensive, but will really add value to our lives.

And we’ll be invited to join the virtual band. Leaving one instrument to us. Or invite a friend to play instrument, to sing.

Music is a social activity, and very valuable to peoples lives. It all has just started…

Related trends


Spotify: The Coaching Music Brand

Follow me on SpotifyI haven't written a lot lately (very busy with the chatbots.org, but those who have followed me since 2005 and have read my book, will recognize many trends reinforce my predictions of five years ago.

Here's an example:
Spotify. A coaching music brand in its early days. For 9,99 a month, you have unlimited access to ad-free music. Connected to your friends through your Facebook account. My 2004 prediction was simple: it would not longer be about possession of music, but people would pay in the future for the right to play music.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

What will happen in the coming five years? Brands like Spotify will respond to our emotional reaction. They will notify how our movements will change, our tone of voice, our facial exppression. We don’t have to rate music any longer, our feedback is fully clear.

And from there, music coaching brands will feed us with music we need: which will change our emotional state. And that’s where the word ‘coaching’ comes in. The decision to select music for a particular person, on a particular moment, or a particular place, is not very simple. It’s not about selecting the persons favorite song. Being happy might not be the best mood to move to about the funeral of a family member or bad news at work. Or maybe, it is. Coaching is about understanding an individual.

So even though people think this is where it’s all heading to, it’s actually just the beginning…

Related trends


Last FM on Xbox

Legal Download asks 99 dollar for hitlist notation

Dutch download site legaldownload.nl sells music of relatively unknown artists. They can upload their music in MP3-format for free. Radio broadcasters can delve into the database for their programmes for free and generate extra airplay. There's no hassle with rights. Third parties can then open a shop to sell the music. All downloads count towards the hit lists in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. For the last an artist pays 99 euro a year.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

This is how increasingly simpler models to sell music are created. Eventually music will be dirt cheap, sometimes even free, and artists will make money from concert tickets sold by music coaching brands. First we have to get rid of the old models and this is a step in that direction.

Timboodle looks for music on feeling

Timboodle is a musical search engine with which you can find music on 'state of mind' or based on scraps of lyrics. For example you can search for 40 emotions, like melancholy, happy, subdued or excited. Beside that you can refine search queries by giving additional criteria, like genre, timbre, tempo, meter and kind of vocals.


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Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

In a next step, Timboodle will measure your emotions. For example because webcams (which are available everywhere anyway) or microphones process image and sound with which you emotions can be guessed. And then Timboodle can jump in carefully with music tailored to that. This is how Timboodle can grow into a valuable brand in audio experiences. This is a start.

Related trends


Midomi recognises humming, tapping and singing

Midomi recognizes the music being played in your environment, recognizes what you hum and the title or artist that you pronounce. The song found can be played and bought directly from Midomi or the iTunes store; you get information about the artist and can play the video clip on YouTube. Midomi is now also available on the iPhone, so everywhere you hear music, think of music or talk about music, it's available with a press of a button. (tip: Hans Ruinemans).


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Currently it’s a little restricted in the amount of numbers recognized, but later Midomi will be able to recognize everything ever created, anywhere in the world, in any language. At first we actively have to tell it we want to identify a song and actively indicate what we think of a song. In time we can just enjoy the music and let Midomi watch (and especially listen) along with us continuously, 24 hours a day. Afterwards we can ask Midomi what number we danced to so wonderfully while we were on vacation. Midomi will play it for us immediately and, if desired, also project the tape that was playing holographically. That’s the meaning Midomi will have in our lives. A real digital troubadour that’s always with us to entertain us musically.

YouTube sells Amazon music

YouTube sells music to Americans through iTunes and Amazon.com. Certain music videos are shown with an additional button: 'download this music'.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

This is how music videos and music are slowly brought back together. Soon we’ll buy music and choose all kinds of variants. Do we want the sheet music too? Do we want just the vocals? Just the instrumentation? Do we want the video as well? Or maybe with a holographic projection? Or do we want to record it ourselves and sell it again? Or compose our own music video? Soon we’ll be buying an experience, or better: we’ll have a subscription to audio entertainment, or better: audio experiences. The digital troubadour is at our side. This is only a beginning.

MediaZoo allows music fans to build their own system

MediaZoo is an online application that makes the user's music available from every location. The music library application is now slowly becoming complete Open Source, which means that music fans can build their own applications for the library. You can think of networking possibilities, such as profiles, message and commenting systems, or an intelligent recommendation system for songs. MediaZoo already offers a few functions, such as uploading music, but also the playing and sharing (with a limited amount of friends) of songs. The service hopes to become the largest library of rights-free music.

Users can, if desired, add their rights-free music to 'The Zoo'. A payment or donation system with which users can support musicians is another example of a possible feature that could be developed by the community. In the meantime MediaZoo Language Localisation, a subproject of the MediaZoo Open Source-project, has already started. This should make the service available in several languages.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

All brands are going through similar situations. All brands are involving their community, are experiencing a brand coming out, after which the direction won’t be with the head office, but with the people. They’ll all enter the dialogue. But brands with a symbolic function, like music brands, can also become very strong in a friends network (more so than, say, an insurance brand). This is a nice example of a brand that’s allowed to start with a clean slate and does it completely differently from the start.

Related trends


iTunes automatically compiles playlists

The new iTunes automatically creates playlists based on your own music collection. After selecting a number, you need to press the 'genius' button and then iTunes will automatically select similar songs. You can also give Genius the command to recommend music you don't own yet. Then you can buy those.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

This is how music coaching brands are brought to life. They’re specialists in all kinds of music ever created and can make recommendations. Soon iTunes will look at you literally (!), gauge your mood, and start the music. No whining about buying, but of course you do have to pay for this added value. And if you’re truly touched, iTunes will be able to recommend a concert. This is how iTunes will become a music buddy that travels everywhere with you.

Marillion exchanges music for email address

Marillion offers its music for free in exchange for email address, country and city. By entering this, you can download their newest album Happiness Is the Road from p2p-network Musicglue. You can also choose not to enter an information and pay for the album.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Owning music will disappear as a concept. It’ll be all about listening to music and it’ll be the trick to select the right music at the right time. That’ll be the added value for the digital troubadour. That’ll be the added value we’ll start to pay for. Popbands, transaction brands compared to the music coaching brands, offer their music for free. It helps them make contact with the public so that they can build up a fanbase and earn money from concerts and merchandising. Popbands are building a brandculture around themselves, a brand with a symbolic function, because your music choice is a part of your identity which is formed and anchored early on in your life. Popbands first have to know who they’re dealing with and Marillion is taking a step in that direction.

Related trends


Controlling your Sonos music system with your iPhone

With Kupuk it's possible to control your music system using your iPhone. This is because it creates a link between phones and music systems that could turn out to become very popular.
A Sonos music system (Dutch) is a special audio system that fills the missing link between files on the hard drive, internet radio and the speakers in the various rooms of the house. The core of the system is comprised of one or more 'zone players' which are wirelessly connected to one another. Then you can control each zone with a so-called 'controller. (I've such a system myself and it works great!) Now it's also possible to control the whole system with a 'normal' iPhone.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

All screens will be connected to one another and give you access to all information wherever you want it. In this case, for example, you turn your music on using the computer, turn up the volume with your controller and will turn it off with your iPhone when you walk out the door. And that’s only the beginning. Soon we’ll also be able to use the TV, mirrors or e-readers to control our music: each screen is connected to the virtual world and reacts to our finger movements. After that we only have to say which music we want to hear and after that the digital troubadour will feel exactly what we want. This is a step in that direction.

Related trends


Deezer has 2.5 million songs

Through Deezer you can listen to 2.5 million streamed songs. Downloading is no longer necessary. You can mark what you like and Deezer just starts.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Music coaching brands exist to stimulate you musically. They do this with all renditions ever made. If you want images along with it or to sing along, they’re also at your side. In the long term, they’ll project the whole band beside a dining table. It starts, however, with completeness. It’s just 2008.

Interactive touch-screen turntable


Scott Hobbs is a student at Dundee University, UK, who designed an interactive turning table, operated by touch-screens, for his graduation project. Instead of turntables, records or cds the DJ gets to use two large touchscreens. Hobbs calls it the ATTIGO TT.


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Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

As it stands, this is only a small step towards a bigger virtual whole that cooperates with the physical world. More interactive, more intense and far more physically present than ever. These kinds of applications will be developed as a supplementary and, where possible, replacing product. Where a DJ used to rely solely on his hearing and sense of rhythm, he can now dissect the music files completely and visually see what the audience will be hearing. It should make the life of a consumer simpler and more efficient while increasing the interaction immensely. For now such applications are subjugated to the laws of the physical world and it’ll have to be carried wherever the DJ is going. It’s only a matter of time before the first virtual DJ performs as a hologram.

Buy music in a Game

In the new video game Grand Theft Auto IV players can buy MP3s of music that can be heard on the radio stations in the game.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

The overflow between different media is gradually creating the virtual world. All electronic media, media with batteries or mains power, are becoming a part of the big virtual world. Now via the Playstation or Xbox, but soon we will see the world from every screen and be able to listen wherever we want. If we hear something we like in the real world we will be able to request it in the virtual world. In this way various media are merging. This is another step in that direction.

Musicovery without advertisements

Music lovers have unlimited possibilities to discover new music with Musicovery. Although the interface counts five languages, almost all interaction is visual. We click something, and fast as lightning get new, similar music. The service is free. Registered members can listen, save their favorite music, and exclude certain songs. Songs can be ordered or downloaded at Amazon, eBay or iTunes. Besides, paying members can listen to HiFi music, and don’t get any advertisements (dc, Dutch).

Thus new business models in music slowly evolve. It is all about being entertained musically, to discover music, and to re-experience music (and the emotions that go with it). The better a brand is capable to offer this experience, the more money they can charge. And advertisements then are only disturbing. It is very simple: the more value you add, the more money you can charge. This is a nice example.

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Contact: Erwin van Lun, +31 621 567 657 (GMT +1), print‍@‍mensmerk‍.‍nl