Friday, April 04, 2008

Okay, It's Been a While Since My Last Post, But ...

No excuses -- been too long since my last post. Why the hiatus, you ask? For one thing, just returned from two weeks overseas. Second, the problem facing all of us -- simply very very busy (which, I know, is a weak excuse).

BUT, today is the perfect day to return. Why? Simply too many fascinating developments in digital music, which many of you know is and has been a passion of mine.

First, Apple's iTunes has just overtaken Wal-Mart as being the #1 retailer of music in the U.S. That's right -- digital delivery has now overtaken bricks and mortar. Of course, all of this was predictable a long long time ago, and the digital march will continue -- and not only in music.

And, separately, MySpace has finally launched its own digital music "store" to challenge iTunes' dominance. Now THAT will be an interesting one to watch -- can the world's biggest social network take a bite out of Apple (at the risk of throwing out a much over-used cliche)?

Challenging times will continue for all media companies as a result, to say the least. Business models must change; lots of individuals will be squeezed out (and already have been). It is painful.

But, ultimately, I remain confident that digital distribution of media ultimately will benefit not only consumers, but also the content owners. More and more media will be "consumed", and ultimately businesses will strike the right balance between pricing models that support content creation and management, and consumer choice and demand. Ultimately, the consumer must "win" if business itself wants to win.