In the 80s we had MTV, a great distribution media for videos and creating a whole new set of artists. Of course we all know that MTV stop showing videos at some point and became a reality TV station… We’ve had Internet services from Napster to last.fm but I still think they’ve missed the mark.
There are a few forms of “listening to music”:
- Totally passive – sitting at work with background music.
This can pretty much be satisfied with either a play list (if it’s personal) or my a radio station if it’s more broadcast.
- Partial attention – this is where you care what’s in the play list.
Everything from a workout list, to wanting to have new artists introduced.
- Community experience – what are my friends listening to.
This of course is the last.fm and the ilk place in the world.
The “great” part about a radio experience is that it’s simultaneous with everybody. Thus if you hear a great song you can call a friend and say “turn on the radio!”. With the Internet you should be able to listen to a “group radio” where 80% of the songs are shared between you and your friends. When you hear a song (or watch a video) you can comment right their (ala Mystery Science 3000).
If you say that you and you’re friends listen to different music, you’re clearly the wrong age! Think about how music is enjoyed by people < 20 … it’s a group experience a shared experience.