I have been around the block when it comes to music streaming websites. It began before high school where all I had available with my family’s dial-up was Netscape Radio, which is how I discovered Jet, Hot Hot Heat, and Kings of Leon pre-mainstream and therefore still enjoyable. Then I moved on to Myspace, Youtube, last.fm, etc.
The “Bored At Work Network” is not a new concept, and if you look around your office you can find some one, bored, spending all their time and attention listening to music via some streaming sites. You can search through Mashable for the top music streaming sites, but it’s always from a tech/social/design perspective. Multiple sites have incorporated rewards and badges that take away from the experience of listening to music itself. Other sites have allowed ads to interrupt your experience (effing PANDORA!!! we had such a good thing going!) Some sites I agree are great in concept but can’t cut it in the long run when it comes to the original objective of providing for the music-starved individual working in their cubicle.
I also feel that if you want to follow any trends in media and business, follow music. Myspace brought the idea of creating communities and encouraging interaction around bands. Both iMeem and Lala have been bought out. People feel so strongly about their musical preferences, they are driven to be engaging and share their preferences with others and pledging their support.
Let me introduce you to the Marketing Funnel and how it is similar for the decision making process behind a music selection:
Marketers – Ensure that demographic is aware of your brand
Music – When you are first aware a band even exists, whether it occurs by recommendation from another influencer (fellow music snob) or by your own research. i.e. Search through Myspace, Hypem, etc. (has anyone else ever discovered bands just by typing random words in the search bar of music streaming sites?)
Marketers – When your audience considers your brand a choice in the decision making process of a purchase.
Music – When you click on a link, read an interview on Pitchfork, select “See All” on Grooveshark, etc. i.e. Basically when you decide, “yes, i will get over my pretentious self and give this a listen and find out more”
Marketers – When an individual in your target makes a purchase, tries your product, etc.
Music – When you decide, “I dig” i.e. “Heart” on hypem, thesixtyone, last.fm, etc.
Marketers – In basic terms, the consumer makes repeat purchases and is generally brand loyal.
Music – You buy the CD (download, to each his own), go to the concert, listen to every album religiously, etc.
Marketers – Your loyal consumers serve as an advocate and give their recommendations to their friends.
Music – You share with others your music preferences. i.e. reblip on Blip.fm, reblog a music post on Tumblr, set hypem up so everyone on Twitter sees you “Heart” a song, post user generated “music videos” from Youtube.
I want to look more into today’s top music streaming sites and make a comparison between what are “functional” and relevant sites for marketers vs. sites that provide a better overall music listening experience. I want to hear anyone and everyone’s input on what sites they use to find music and how they most often listen to music, whether through their own iTunes, online, etc.
Comment on this post and share how you discover music and anything you share about how you listen – do you buy off of iTunes, download, listen on Youtube, Blip.fm? Sky’s the limit.