Music Product Strategy For Digital Natives

Last week I posted this question on Twitter:

“Need some help: if 'Buy & Listen' was 20th cent. music consumption, 'Rip & Burn' the 1st digital generation, what's it for Digital Natives?”

I got a lot of good suggestions and though there was great diversity in the responses sharing featured heavily.  What’s interesting is that though Digital Natives do share music a lot, it is more in a social context than the peer-to-peer kind of file sharing more common among Millennials.

 We are working on a new report to try to help our clients understand what the next generation of music products should look like.  I of course advocate music product innovation to such an extent that I sometimes sound like a stuck record (spot the oh-so-analogue metaphor).  But the early results of the consumer data we’re mining for this report are building a case for a music product strategy reset so extensive in reach that it makes my previous protestations look too modest by far.

Researching the report (which we’re provisionally calling ‘Digital Natives, The Generation Music Product Strategy Forgot’) has been eye-opening.  Whilst record labels have been focusing energies on winning over CD buyers and converting Millennial file sharers, the Digital Natives have been left without music products that meet their needs.  The Millennials used digital to reinvent analaogue behaviors (such as replacing the CD with the paid or free download) but Digital Natives are creating their own rules of social context, experience and visuals.

The result is that YouTube emerges as digital music’s killer app.

Which is why I’ve opted for ‘Share and Watch’ as the tag line for the Digital Native’s (see below).  What do you think?  Does this slogan sufficiently capture the essence?

Over the coming weeks we’ll continue working on the report and building the vision for the Digital Native’s music product strategy, explaining how services, access providers, device manufacurers can harness the disruption.  While we do so, we’d love to hear your thoughts.  Feel free to comment here and also to visit our community where we’ve just kicked off a discussion (click here to view and participate).


It depends on the why.....

Hi mark,

although I think you are correct in your analysis of YouTube being the biggest place for kids to go to listen to music, the question is to answer is: "why?"
I think it's because of the easy to use upload mechanism, the great ability of the search engine to pick out the most relevant stuff, but primarily because everything you can think of can be found there. From really old school stuff to the hyper new to the never to be found anywhere else alternative stuff.
ALL is there.
I think YT has some kind of deal going with the record labels... but I'm not sure on that. But I think the availability & ease of use is what has going for it.
However the quality of music (and often visuals) is very poor - so I guess that all of that bandwidth that now is used for the video should be skipped and turned into extra quality of sound for it to really be great (and the ability to make channels / playlists)
What do you think?

YouTube is all those things...

I agree completely with your assessment. The depth and breadth of the catalogue combined with the supreme ease of access make YouTube the most convenient music service on the web. Google will be hard pushed to make any other music service a fraction as effective.

Additionally, all of the other aspects such as comments, playlists and likes create an important social context layer that I would argue are more important than audio quality etc.

you're right

Although I as a person am more into high quality I know that most people aren't.
Nearly every breakthrough technology has done a worse job at what the former thing which it replaces was good at.... but it always spreads a lot easier.
In that light you are completely correct.
I personally, as a user, however hope for a high def version :-)