Monday, January 07, 2008

2008 Digital Media/Music Predictions

I have been remiss in making my 2008 Digital Media/Music Predictions this year. Instead of putting it off until I could formulate some well-thought predictions, I figured I'd take the more lax approach this year and go stream-of-consciousness (and slightly tongue-in-cheek).

As a reference, here are my 2007 Predictions. Now, on to 2008!

  • Apple launches a subscription music service (of one form or another). Dark Horse/Long Shot but I'm putting it out there.
  • Rhapsody & Napster... "there can be only one!". Napster continues to run out of cash and sells subscriber base off to Rhapsody.
  • Amazon siphons off all of eMusic's userbase - eMusic goes up for sale. Potentially to a major label - or a consortium of them?
  • The Beatles *finally* make their digital debut - on iTunes. Apple sells millions virtually overnight. That's my "lock of the week".
  • AmazonMP3's affiliate program takes off as their catalog of DRMless MP3's from all 4 major labels grow - virtually every site with music content moves to Amazon as primary affiliate partner (and away from iTunes) due to better terms from Amazon.
  • Open Standards for music and taste portability finally start to make inroads (see
  • SoundExchange becomes successful in drastically increasing royalty rates for online radio (retroactively) - they put massive number of broadcasters our of business (and forcing companies like Pandora to change their product and/or business model or shut there doors), see a proliferation of "gray" services that don't pay royalties directly, and collect a fraction of royalty payments then they did before they raise the rates.
  • Slacker is acquired - by Microsoft or Motorola. Their hardware/satellite delivery platform is integrated into a more holistic product line.
  • The major labels (while tentatively supporting DRMless MP3s) will still screw around and not giving users what they want - by forcing users to jump through additional hoops to get the MP3 versions. I cheated on this one since Sony BMG just tipped their hand on this "plan".
  • While 2007 saw explosion of new "media & music 2.0" companies hit the market, 2008 will be the year of the great shakeout. Smaller existing "music 2.0" companies are acquired - funding gets tougher to come by for new ones.
  • AOL completes their "transformation" to become an ad network - they try to sell off their audience/portal business at bargain basement prices. There are no takers. On a related note, they sell off the AIM business to Facebook. What the hell, every once in a while you have to close your eyes and throw a dart.

I'm not going to make predictions on the work that I'm doing (it wouldn't be so much a prediction as a breach of confidentiality) but look for some very cool things out of MyStrands in 2008 too. :-)

What do you guys think? Anything to add? Anything that jumps out as you as "are you smoking crack?!".


Anonymous said...

Sony's requirement that you visit Target and buy a plastic "secret number" card is yet further proof (as if it was needed) that the recording industry is the dinosaur corporation of this century.

What could be a more expensive distribution chain or a more abusive obstacle course to a customer than the "MagicPass" card?

More on my blog:

Anonymous said...

Great list. I fully agree about Amazon / eMusic. I used to love eMusic, but buying music on Amazon is just too easy, and the selection is waaay better.

jherskowitz said...

I agree. Check out my other post on topic here:

I agree. I also think that the labels are going to start balking at the prices their are getting from eMusic versus what they see from the likes of Amazon. That's not going to help them much either.

Anonymous said...

to add to your subject wyplanet is launching in a week or so and it is the site talked about that will grow bigger than itunes within 12 months as the site is paying artists and all downloads are free and legal.
There are rumored to be some big players behind the site aka jay z and beyonce and clint black to name a few of the rumours that are swirling around


free music downloads

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