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How do you like your music served? Subscription, Ad-Supported, Pirated or Downloaded Legally...

I believe this year marks the advent of real change for the better within the music industry. It’s not just because the year 2010 is the start of a new decade, or that in 5 years Back to the future II thought we would all have flying cars and hover boards- which I certainly wish we had because it would be awesome. It’s that the time has come to let innovation drive the industry towards change. An industry, which typically was governed with few genuine options, will soon have a full-service customizable menu. You can stream all you want, or you can go a-la-carte.

I recently wrote a piece where I posed a question, is the RIAA to blame for reinforcing music piracy?

Piracy is a problem. There hasn’t been a clear solution.  Technology is forming a harmonious marriage with music and companies are popping up everywhere to make music discovery more social and flat out addictively fun.  Case and point: The Sixty One, Spotify (hopefully coming to the US this year), Mog, and numerous others depending on your preference….

But, that’s not my question. Mine is simple- How do you like your music served?

Are you a stream to various devices kind of person, or do you like to download and build playlists you can take anywhere?

Here’s the options I’m presenting-  (feel free to add your own)

  • Subscription models – Cheap low monthly cost, stream all you want, but you still pay to download.
  • Ad-supported- Music is free to listen to, but you still pay to download.
  • Pirating- Steal as much as you want and pay nothing.
  • Purchasing songs / albums- Hopefully we all know how this works…


My opinion-

I’m a blend of a couple.  Devils advocate, I suppose. I like streaming a lot, but sometimes I want to take my music on a plane or anywhere for that matter and i’m well aware that my iPhone’s battery dies in about 5 minutes when i stream music.  Being that I am a co-founder of – I really like the fact that buying music here not only supports the artist but also financially rewards those who legally download music.


What’s your preference?

Reader Comments (3)

Spotify wins it hands down for me. I pay £10 a month and have access to almost all the music I want. I can stream it to my phone and synch some playlists offline.

If I can't get it there I try, if that doesn't work I look for torrents. If that doesn't work I go and listen to something else. If a band doesn't make it easy for me to get hold of their music for free then it has to be REALLY good for me to pay for. Given the fact there is so much good music available for free at the mo I rarely buy music unless it's real underground stuff.

March 11 | Unregistered CommenterChris West

I know of a solution that encompasses the best of all of those. It's only for independent artists and it can make piracy irrelevant, while fans continue to get music for free, but artists still get paid based on unobtrusive ad revenue. It's a level playing field for indie artists. It's actually not out yet. You were right when you said 2010 would be the year innovation drives the industry towards change. We will hopefully be launching in May. More info here: or

March 16 | Registered CommenterDante Cullari

Streaming with an offline capability like Spotify and soon Rhapsody to download some tracks to my phone.

While I'm at it, let me take a stab at the bigger problem of piracy and the broken business model being held onto by most of the industry.

How about artists (indie and signed) take a page from the tv business and stop "releasing" content altogether? What if the next album from was ONLY available via the subscription services? No cd at all until 6 months after the release date.

Works for every tv show and movie out there (sort of).

When you add in the fact that most consumers don't consider cd quality sound a benefit, streaming meets the consumer demand.

For those who can't or won't subscribe, there's always pandora, etc which is equal to broadcast tv.

No it's not perfect and can be argued in many ways but that's why we're here right?

What to you think?

March 18 | Unregistered CommenterA-Zar

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