Services like Spotify, Mog and Rdio are making a big splash. They let you stream just about any song for free on your computer or for a small monthly fee on your mobile devices. You can even download songs to your device for playing while you’re not connected to the web. Of course those songs will stop working if you stop playing the monthly fee.
Sound familiar? Yep, Zune has been doing this for year. But even they didn’t invent it. Services like Rhapsody have been around for even longer. It’s frustrating because I use Spotify and I see what Zune could have been.
I think Spotify, Mog and Rdio are so popular because they are available on almost every platform. I suspect that Microsoft keeps Zune tied to Zune devices and Windows Phone to try to make it a differentiator. It appears that was a bad decision. If Zune was available on every device it would have beat all of these new services.
Subscription services are going to be the future of music. If you constantly have access to broadband, why do you need to own music? As bad as it is that Microsoft keeps Zune tied to their platform, Apple is falling even more behind by not offering any type of subscription service. They bought a company for this about 2 years ago but still haven’t released anything.
CDs and downloadable music will be around for a long time, but I think the market will rapidly switch to streaming services like these.