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Barriers to Mass-Market Adoption of online Music Services

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Barriers to mass-market adoption of online music services

1. Internet penetration: While the internet penetration is good in developed countries, for developing countries the number is still very low (8.5% for India). To add to that, the speed of the internet makes music download or buffering very slow, and hence disappointing.

2. Ubiquitous fast-speed wireless networks: In today's world, portability of the music is of extreme importance. If you can't download a song using your device (a player or a phone), or else if you can't use the subscription service on your device- it really is a huge barrier for people to adopt the online model. Without fast wireless connectivity across devices, this cannot be achieved and therefore it remains a huge challenge.

3. Change in the habits: The change in the music listening habits remains another big challenge for subscription services to work. While the experience of these services can be really engaging, it is very difficult to get the customers to try the new model. It requires a very basic change in the way people buy, store, listen and share music.

4. No single consortium of songs: With so many players in the online music industry, there does not exist is a single database with all the songs. While the collections are huge in most of these services, still the desire for the most bizarre music leaves a lot to be desired from a music-lover perspective when he/she signs up for one of these services.

5. Rights management: A consumer wants to pay for a song once and be able to have to on all devices forever without any restriction. However, that seems to be a challenge again with most of the online services which have different restrictions on song transferability as well as longevity.

6. Piracy: Last but not the least, music piracy in most of the developing countries still remains a huge challenge. The point is really very simple- if a customer can get songs for free, there is little incentive for him to pay for download or subscription.

Strategy to increase paid customer base for services like spotify /

For subscription based services, amongst other issues of internet penetration and wireless connectivity, the one major unique issue is really about changing the way people buy, store, manage, listen and share music. Currently, social networking sites like Facebook offers the highest customer engagement. The music services really need to tap into the big network effects of these sites, Facebook specifically, to achieve the transition from downloading music to subscribing music. The strategy, therefore, is to integrate with Facebook to get the users hooked to music streaming as this seems to be the biggest barrier. The use of the social can be a real game changer, as it completely changes the way people find and share music. It is a brilliant experience to share to the same



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