MP3 Player On Steroids vs. Radio On Crack Cocaine

image from Rhapsody has enabled offline playback for Android users. Most interesting though, is the quote contained within the press release, wherein chief product officer Brendan Benzing says that he believes "all the music you could ever want should be at your fingertips at all times." In contrast, Steve Purdham at We7 suggests otherwise. He's received feedback from his user base that they don't want to bother with all that choice; they simply want to be able to press a button and be "entertained."

Benzing on the other hand is betting that fans want to be able to stream anything they want, wherever they are, regardless of net connection. Do fans want an "MP3 player on steroids" like Benzing suggests? Or do they desire to be entertained through personalized radio like the one Purdham has created? The answered to that question lies somewhere in the middle, but it will define that shape of music consumption moving forward. The money is in the mass-market and it's hard to meet the needs of power users and casual fans all at once.

Spotify is betting big that we all desire to build collections and take them with us, while others are revamping radio for a new generation. Look forward to an exclusive interview with Steve Purdham at We7. In it, we'll try to get to the heart of this matter and discuss the implications that it has for the future of music.

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  1. Both is right.
    Even power users don’t want to hand-pick a new song to listen to every three and a half minutes. Playlists, whether generated by simple (eg single artist) or complex (eg mood-based, recommendation-based)criteria, are mandatory. But you should also be able to go to a specific song when the urge strikes.
    Of course, having both is very much the utopian vision of our musical future…

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