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Not Another Streaming Debate
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Our Virtual Panel Looks Back on 2014 | Simon Cole of 7digital

Panel LogoUp next in our 2014 Year End Virtual Panel, Simon Cole, CEO of 7digital chimes in on the current state of the music industry. Cole says "The switch to hi-res and wearable technology has pushed the need for a great deal of quick innovation on our part. But these challenges are exciting to us because we see how they will lead to engaging new customers for digital music, as well as demand for services like 7digital." Continue reading for more from Simon Cole on what 2014 meant for the music business.

Hypebot: Do you see the current debate questioning the effect of ubiquitous free music online leading to real change? Or is the Taylor Swift debate just a short term distraction?

7digitalSimon Cole: The market shift towards streaming comes with a certain amount of unknowns. It is very unlikely that there will be a digression back to à la carte models due to a single artist's well-publicized petition. We continue to hope that more legal services will start to address the problem of untapped user bases and new user experiences in a way that is profitable for artists. We’ll look back on it as simply a transition in technology. The fact that people can consume vast libraries of music wherever they are is a very good thing for the industry.

Hypebot: How important are the entry of YouTube Music Key and the expansion of Beats Music within the Apple eco-system? And will they lead to a much larger streaming music audience by the end of 2015; or a just fragment a steadily expanding user base? 

Simon Cole: More and more services entering the market is good for attracting new users, but I think that successful entrants will have to provide some sort of a curation model that offers a better "lean back" listening experience in order to significantly expand the audience. This base will also grow with the entry of niche products that cater to late adopters, as well as a wider range of price points. Major brands are also huge influencers of consumer behavior, and more are adding streaming music to their marketing every day, venturing into new areas will may both attract new users and engage with the changing needs of the early adopters of streaming music. 

Hypebot: What was the big shift or story of 2014 that will have a major effect on your business/sector in 2015? 

Simon Cole: The switch to hi-res and wearable technology has pushed the need for a great deal of quick innovation on our part. But these challenges are exciting to us because we see how they will lead to engaging new customers for digital music, as well as demand for services like 7digital. We are ready to help businesses get into the market, whether it's a new catalog or a music service.

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