The Stream that Snuck up on You

Have you noticed that you’re streaming more audio and video? That your purchase of CDs and DVDs has dramatically decreased? That your DVD cabinet and CD racks have a layer of dust on them (literally, or otherwise)? That your digital CD/DVD cabinet (i.e. iTunes) is being opened less frequently? (Apple knows this, by the way, it’s why the new AppleTV has no hard-drive; it’s all streaming…really think they’re not going to do the same for music?)

We’ve started up the Kurzweil Curve with respect to streaming, and it’s only going to accelerate from here.

The interesting thing is that, because the transition has been relatively gradual, you probably haven’t noticed that this radical behavioral and technological change has occurred. You haven’t noticed because it hasn’t hurt; in fact it’s felt good.

There are opportunities here. For content creators, the sooner you reconcile the fact most people aren’t likely going to want to own a digital copy of your music/movie/tv show/book (let alone a CD, etc.), the sooner you can devise profitable streaming models.

By the way, the rise in vinyl consumption has an inverse relationship to the ownership of other types of musical content. That is, even as we own less digital copies and CDs, we will own more vinyl. This is NOT because of the better sound quality of vinyl, it’s because vinyl is a great example of a “social object” (ala what I referenced in a recent post on marketing and fruit). We want to share, hold, display, and talk about vinyl.

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