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Posted by Stefan

31 Jan 2010 9:53 PM

The Future of Music Retail - Introduction


2 Significant music-related things happened for me in 2009. Firstly, I signed up for the Premium version of streaming service - Spotify ; secondly, I finally succumbed to Apple and bought into the iPhone smartphone. I have several discarded MP3 players and iPods which have somewhat fallen into disuse as I found it a burden to carry around so many devices. The fact that the iPhone comes with iTunes / iPod functionality means that I now always have a subset of my music collection with me (circa 300 albums). However! Neither Spotify or iTunes combined come anywhere close to meeting my broad musical tastes - they just don’t quite cover the range. Moreover, I am still quite captivated by solid formats; I like the ownership of something tangible, the smell of freshly printed vinyl sleeves, the artwork and cover notes. So I end up syncing playlists on Spotify for offline use, buying some music from iTunes , but still largely buying CDs for albums and Vinyl 12"s for singles. In the meantime, the Internet has evolved a vast array of Music-related services, as we will see:



Solid Format Online Music Retail


If you are buying traditional music formats online, you are most likely buying from either Amazon or  or HMV  or even Tower Records . All have excellent retail catalogue functionality, with Amazon setting the standard for enhanced features, related recommendations and notifications. The holy grail for Online Retail really is automated cross-selling - that is to say - encouraging discovery of like artists and music by way of recommendations and notifications. Most sites now feature ’Customers who bought / liked this also bought / liked this ...’. You are encouraged to set and refine your preferences, with which the site builds a profile to send you notifications for related offers. I use a number of dance specialists sites, including Juno , Phonica , BoomkatHTFR , and ; niche music sites Rough Trade , Discovery Records , Piccadilly Records , Music Non Stop and Norman Records ; moreover, I also use specialist music marketplaces (think of them as dedicated eBay-like retail platforms) - Discogs and GEMM . These are my key resources for buying music, and because of my broad tastes, I often end up using upwards of 20 different retail... The Future of Music Online 2010

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