As internet connections become increasingly faster, music downloads are slowly giving way to viewing of streaming media. The digital market is fast changing from something that provides on-demand music downloads to one that provides fast access to streaming media.
Digital music retailer Apple’s recent acquisition of Lala, a streaming music provider, shows that the digital download industry is acknowledging the cooling down of digital music downloads. A primary reason for this is that, until recently, the only way to play your favorite song on your PC or a portable player was to download it. However, with new tech coming in such as web-enabled TVs, services like Spotify, Lala, etc. this is no longer the case.
Moreover, nothing can beat the flexibility and user-friendliness of streaming media. Hence, the digital download industry is trying to tap into this new way of experiencing music as soon as they can. For instance, Apple can sell newer devices that access streaming media to those who still use older generation MP3 players.
An interesting point will be to note the response of Amazon to this shift. Its online music retail store is the second largest in the U.S., right after Apple’s iTunes. So far, Amazon has shown great agility in changing with the times, with issue of unbeatable offers and sales. A simple example is the 25 Days of Freein which 25 holiday themed tracks were made available free of charge. Whether it retains its flexibility in these changing times will be one of the big questions in 2010, when streaming media is going to get a bigger role than ever before.