How mobile music industry survived against piracy challenge

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All the media says “Big crisis for music industry”. Some people say “In the future, Only poors sing a song.”. Are they true?

Historically music industry has been challenged by piracy issues. Now focusing on mobile music, I would very much like to talk about how it evolves and wins against piracy challenge.

When Sony invented “Walkman”, people took out music out of their heavy audios. Analog-based media was very easy to be carried out and record. Of course it was challenged by piracy. Original records provided value of quality. In the nature of analogue media, sound quality gets worse as it copies more.

The digital media, Compact Disc(CD), provides much better sound quality. In addition, listeners can choose track numbers. These two value propositions make CD dominate the mobile music market. However it was also challenged by the same-quality faked CDs on the street. At the result, the original one won as it provided bigger-sized booklet and fine cases to make consumers have the ownership and fandom.

The next stage was to download music online and carry out with fancy MP3 players. The player was even much smaller than CDs and listeners can see what they are listening to. Most of all, they contains more numbers of music than one disc. These value prospositions kicked ass of CDs out of the market. However challenges of piracy are quite big at this time. Piracy online music provides much beter sound quality than legal music. (iTunes MP3 128Mhz and faked one usually 192, 320Mhz) Digital Right Management of legal music let consumers feel inconvinient as they want to normally play on three platforms such as mobile phone, MP3 players and PC.

Now we are on the progress of moving into the next stage. As the wireless network evolves to LTE, HSUPA and Mobile WiMax, people do not need PCs to download music and transfer it to the music platforms. In short, mobile music can stand alone. People will prefer streaming music if the music with quality sound plays without buffering. Number of streaming musics on the servers can not compare to that of personal juke box. You may well recall the concept of Oracle’s network PC. These value propositions will surely conquer faked music. One concern I have is about the ownership. People used to own the music and the fandon as well. The issue will be how to convert people’s common sense of ownership.

So the crisis reason at this stage of download is quite simple. Music providers did not give more value than that of piracyone. Please do not mention “Moral hazard” or “Government regulations”. You had beter invest more time to think about the way of creating better value proposition.