Bringing Digital Music Deeper into the Home
I’ve written plenty about how we’re seeing big changes when it comes to the consumption of digital content in the car. The other big area of change is the living room and the rest of the house.
Music Industry Blog thinks that 2014 is going to be some kind of tipping point for digital content in the home.
2014 is shaping up to be the year that the chasm that separates consumers digital content experiences and their home entertainment is bridged. Amazon, Apple and Google have all embarked on a quest for the lower end of the market with Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Chromecast respectively. Meanwhile a host of interesting new specialized music entrants are making waves, including Pure’s Jongo and forthcoming devices such as Fon’s Gramafon and Voxtok. And then of course there’s the granddaddy of them all Sonos, that continues to go from strength to strength with an ever more diverse product range and list of integrated music services.Regular readers will know that I have long held that the living room (along with the car) is one of the two final frontiers for digital music. The great irony of digital music’s brief history to date is that it has transformed music from a highly social one-to-many experience across speakers into a highly insular and personal one delivered through ear buds on phones, MP3 players, tablets and PCs. It is no coincidence that streaming music services desperately attempt to artificially recreate the missing social element with the blunt tool of pushing play data into people’s social streams. To be clear this is not to take away from the personal consumption renaissance, but instead to illustrate that music is disappearing out of the living room and other home listening environments. When the CD player disappears out of the home – and it is doing so at an accelerating rate – for many households music amplified music playback disappears too. This is why digital music needs bringing into the living room, the den, the kitchen, right across the home. It is a concept I first introduced in 2009 at Forrester, and revisited for Billboard early last yearand again here later in 2013.