The tech world is buzzing today about the TechCrunch Tablet concept announced on TechCrunch this morning. Regarding the music business, I have to ask two questions:
1) Could the TechCrunch Tablet be the final nail in the music sales coffin?
TechCrunch speculates that a device like the one shown in the picture above, could be built for under $200. Now, I realize that everyone has a mobile phone, so why is this different? Why would this product be more disruptive to the music industry?
Imagine every kid carrying one of these around in his or her backpack. Full screen browsing! Go to any music 2.0 site and interact with the full kit; not the watered down version you experience on a smart phone; you get it all: commenting, friends, music players, blogs, schedules, videos, sharing, streaming, etc. What do you need to buy or own music for? Moreover, this thing becomes another form of entertainment that subtracts from the pool of entertainment time you compete for.
2) What can artists do to prepare for the day when everyone has something like this?
Music will not be your primary product; it will be a component of your brand. Imagine your blog filling the screen above. It’s imperative that you build your own brand, or become part of a boutique brand on the Internet. To build the most value, you should do this under your own URL.
One of the easiest and cleanest ways to build a branded blog under your own URL is with SquareSpace (powers this blog and my own). Buy me a beer by clicking my SquareSpace referral link here. Read this related post titled Communities Dominate Brands for more info on building your own brand on the Internet.
I read this great quote on Kevin Kelly’s blog: “You would starve to death in a field of wheat, if you had never heard of flour.” Study the picture. Learn how to make flour.