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Youtube-logoBy Frank Woodworth (@GlacialConcepts), Director of Business Development at Thrillcalla concert discovery and ticketing platform for web and mobile apps.

The most interesting shift in listener habits to me is that YouTube has become the go to source for music discovery, and consequently an important source of revenue. In most of my conversations with labels and distributors YouTube is the number three source of revenue behind physical sales and iTunes.

"YouTube’s ease of use and full tracks that has made
it the go-to service for applications and blogs who want
to feature a song. The lesson is that the fewer impediments
to integration that exist, the broader reach a service will have."

YouTube’s market share is only going to increase as startups that develop apps that want to have music incorporated into their service use the platform to circumvent the licensing barrier put up by labels and publishers. Spotify understood that this is where music platforms can make the biggest impact; by becoming the back end of other applications that want to feature music. iTunes has the best API and metadata to do so, although it is limited by only having 90 second samples. It is YouTube’s ease of use and full tracks that has made it the go-to service for applications and blogs who want to feature a song. The lesson is that the fewer impediments to integration that exist, the broader reach a service will have.

"Using the same premise, if Wikipedia streamed
music, I think it would quickly become a top five
revenue generating service, and could surpass YouTube."

The other interesting thing about YouTube as a destination for music discovery is that playlists and curation are not driving it. Just like Wikipedia, IMDB or Google itself, YouTube is a conversion of offline conversations into online discovery. It works with our natural rhythms. This makes me wonder if the race to have the perfectly curated service is necessary. There are a numerous places for music discovery, but the best service is one that has everything with no roadblocks so that if a song or artist enters a conversation a fan can search and play the music seamlessly. Currently, this is YouTube. It has the largest selection and no walls. Using the same premise, if Wikipedia streamed music, I think it would quickly become a top five revenue generating service, and could surpass YouTube.

This is Frank Woodworth's response to sidewinder.fm's question:

Technology has changed how each of us listens to music in a number of ways. What is the most interesting shift in listener habits that is emerging right now? Why is this shift interesting to you?

Sidewinder.fm is founded and edited by Kyle Bylin of Live Nation Labs. If you would like to contribute a post to be featured on the site, please reach out.

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