Everyone is a Song Collector Now
Music streaming services don’t excite me. I don’t care about the size of the library. Finding songs on iTunes is rarely a problem. For me, discovery and curation are not problems that need solving. All my friends play music, and music is played (more so than ever) almost everywhere I go. I use Shazam to tag songs, and then once a month, I buy them on iTunes. I have a handful of iPods Shuffles that I stuff with songs to listen to while working out, and I use my Mac to play music around the house. I doubt my habits are much different than the majority of music listeners?
Music is a collect and control issue for me. Like a lot of people, I have been collecting songs for years. The time invested in filling my library is far more valuable than the files (the MP3s). You could take away my music files, but you would have to kill me to delete the last copies of my playlists.
This brings me back to streaming services. These businesses are far too embryonic and unstable to trust with my song collection. If I can’t seamlessly move all my playlists from one service to another, then I have no interest in COLLECTING music via a service that could be gone tomorrow. Moreover, I don’t want to be locked into any one service for the rest of my life.
Collecting songs is a pain in the ass (see my process above). If you want to attract song collectors (everyone), you have to make it easy to collect songs, compare collections (with friends), play collections, move collections (between hardware and services), manage collections, and mix collections (think sex between playlists).
As for all of the other stuff like discovery, tickets, merch, tweets, and photos…yeah that’s all great as long as nobody controls my collection…but me.