Digital Natives won’t care to "own" their music.

tech news — Ramsey Mohsen @ Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 - 2:44 pm

Recently I took a roadtrip with my sister to my hometown of Springfield, MO. Being a huge music hoarder (and former DJ in college) i plugged in my iPod loaded with over 14k+ songs. About 30-minutes into the trip, my sister asked “Have you heard the new Drake album?” I replied, telling her I had- but didn’t have it transfered it to my iPod. With a few taps and a quick search- my sister launched the Spotify Mobile App on her iPhone and we were streaming the whole album in seconds. We went on to listen to many other albums and songs together on the roadtrip, all without downloading a single song. Spotify is just one example of the beginning of the end to the idea of “music ownership”.

2011 was the Digital Music Cloud Revolution

2011 marked the year that digital music made it’s giant leap to the cloud. Services like Spotify, iTunes Match, Google Music, Amazon Cloud, and MOG provide 2 types of digital options for users:

1- digital “locker” music storage
2- unlimited music streaming

And the reality is this is more than just “the next big thing”. The revolution is happening now. Over 2.5 million+ people are paying for premium streaming music on Spotify today (and that’s just 1 of the services…)

YouTube is the new MTV

More people are turning off MTV and turn to YouTube for their music. Nielsen conducted a study that found that more people watch music on YouTube than download it. Turns out, audio streaming is actually more popular than legal digital downloads.

…but our kids won’t get it

We need to understand that Digital Natives will not understand the same concept of what it’s like to own a physical copy of music. They won’t understand what we mean when tell them how hard it is (was) to try to pick and tear open the clear wrapping on a new CD. Moreso, they won’t care either because they won’t see the value in a physical disc or even a .MP3 file.

It begs the question: why do we need to own copies of our music? Only us old-timers carry the nostalgic baggage of needing wanting to own a physical copy of our music. But the question is why? Is there any real need to have a physical copy? Both the cloud and streaming services offer temporary “offline download storage and sync” so you can still listen to your favorite music or playlists even when you don’t have 3G or WiFi. Digital Darwinism has changed music for both consumers and the industry- it’s a disruption and evolution.

Chances are you’re already carrying your phone or are at a computer with you when you want to listen to music. So why do we need to carry CDs or even an iPod with you?

The definition of “owning” our music- has changed.


  1. Ramsey, my six & eight year old children know how to spin vinyl.  I have an old record player and a bunch of 33’s & 45’s Once we got past watching matchbox cars & toy soldiers go round on the turntable, we got into spinning a bunch of old SKA…….

    Comment by HooliganUK — 01/03/2012 @ 5:36 pm
  2. Randy the purpose of CD’s is to deliver the highest fidelity and reproduction of the original in studio or live performance as possible. As far as owning music the thing to keep in mind is your investing in your favorite band by buying their music which empowers them to make better sounding albums and a even more transforming experience for the fan. The real interesting thing is vinyl is making a comeback so I don’t think traditional music listening is going to die off anytime soon.  Some people like ear buds, some people like a nice sound system. 

    Comment by Steve — 01/04/2012 @ 8:26 pm

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