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Good Tips

People pay for curation today, not the content. The content is cheap and mostly free.

Apple just have away a U2’s new album. You can already stream any track you want on Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud. Unless you’re reading the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal, there’s no paywall preventing you from getting free news. Meanwhile, Amazon is pushing for an all you can eat books model as part of their Prime service.

Free content means that what people are really paying for are the quality of recommendations thy get in return. Peer recommendations don’t suffice.. You only want to consume the good stuff that master curators spend the time to find.

What made Songza different than the rest of the music streaming networks was its handpicked, contextual playlists based on time of day. Echo Nest plans to turn Spotify into a recommendation engine. What makes Amazon so good at recommending books is its smart algorithm.

The wisdom of crowds theory that said that the best result is the summary of what everyone is looking for is dead. People don’t want to be manipulated by mainstream culture. The best services will find out what niche genres a person likes and make long-tail recommendations around those. Make the users feel like they found it first.

Content and curation are BFFs. The two go hand in hand. The act of curation gives content it’s true value. People just want to hear about the good stuff and ignore the rest.

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Free Music, at Least While It Lasts

The convenience of pushing a button on a handheld device that streams wirelessly to a speaker is always going to trump hunting down a CD with marginally better sound and plopping it into a player.

Always hated CDs, opening them with barricaded shrink wrap, avoiding scratches, and the fact that they took up so much space. The only thing cool about CDs was the album art, which was a miniature version of what came in a Vinyl record.

Steve Jobs killed CDs by disaggregating the format into downloadable singles. He gave the music industry a life-line. I still wonder if Apple would’ve bought Beats of Kobs was alive though. I think he would’ve used his power to renegotiate with the big heads and put Spotify out of business.

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Sunday Social Roundup

  1. Google is building the world’s first driverless cars with Uber-like functionality built in. You can use a smartphone application to call the car to pick you up. The good news about driverless cars is that now we can spend that time catching up on Twitter and sharing some Instagram photos. The bad news is that people will keep using the terminology the “Internet of Things” to describe this car revolution.

  2. It used to be so convenient to sign up to any new app or site with your Facebook Login. You didn’t have to remember your password or set up a new account. But that’s changing, as new apps are excluding Facebook from their sign ups. The only reason I use FB login today is to test new apps that I know I’ll probably won’t like. Other than that, I sign up to every new app and platform with my a email address and password, which of course I can never remember.

  3. Apple officially acquired Beats this week. The deal still feels weird to me, mostly because Steve would never do it. He’d have negotiated and built an improved music streaming service. Or he would’ve disregarded the music industry completely. YouTube is the most popular music streaming site. Spotify has 10M paying subscribers. Beats only had 250k after a series of Super Bowl commercials. One thing is clear: No one downloads anymore but the Vinyl industry is huge!

  4. Mary Meeker released her lastest Internet Trends report. I honestly don’t see much value in this version, probably because it’s so data rich and the graphs make me dizzy. But here’s the summary: Mobile is eating the world; it also presents huge opportunities to advertisers and educators.

  5. No one reads anymore but they want to get the credit for sharing, at least that’s what this New York Times piece reports. If you’re going to share anything online, you may want to read it first. Otherwise, you may be better off staying away from the flood of information. Hint: the Internet is alway on.

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Rdio Bridges the Gap Between the Record Collection and the Cloud

Agreed, Rdio is better designed than Spotify but I’m still looking for the deep cloud catalog. For example, Rdio matched only 1/3 of my iTunes songs.

Most of the music I listen to is still on SoundCloud and not available in streaming format anywhere else.

Unlike teens today, I also like to keep my music which means for every tune I like I want to save a digital file or an MP3. Call me a digital music hoarder or music collector but I just don’t think some of these music platforms will hang around forever and everything must be backed up!

I wish the cloud was fast enough to store my 143 days of listenable music for listening anywhere in the world. Services like Google and Amazon lockers promise mass storage just for music but they’re too damn slow upon upload and playback. Yes, this is also an widescale Internet problem. LTE can still be a tortoise.

My listening behavior is not replicable in the cloud just yet. Unfortunately, I don’t think Apple’s iRadio which sounds more like Pandora, Songza, Last.Fm, etc. is the solve either.

Consumption and listening across devices and multiple platforms is therefore the status quo. One day the entire collection, owned and rented, will be synced.

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iTunes is growing at the rate of about 500,000 new accounts per day. - Horace Deidu iTunes may be the fulcrum of the Apple ecosystem. It’s that important. It’s still the way many people get introduced to Apple’s products. Once you’re in, you’re in.
iTunes is growing at the rate of about 500,000 new accounts per day. – Horace Deidu iTunes may be the fulcrum of the Apple ecosystem. It’s that important. It’s still the way many people get introduced to Apple’s products. Once you’re in, you’re in.
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Pre-iRadio. iTunes will mainstream streaming in the United States to the point it equalizes download revenues.
Pre-iRadio. iTunes will mainstream streaming in the United States to the point it equalizes download revenues.