Interesting to read that Apple is reportedly deciding when, not if, to cancel music downloads from iTunes. The idea, of course, is to move everyone over to its Apple Music streaming service. This got me thinking about the whole “access to” versus “ownership of” debate and how it applies to our industry. As a committed audiophile, the Apple story filled me with horror as I thought about how I have curated my music collection over the years and, more importantly, the sound quality of streaming services compared to playing them through my dual DAC player. And, even worse, what if it breaks or I can’t access it?
As the effects of my early morning extra-strong flat white began to wear off, however, I became more sanguine. SoundCloud provides me with the ability to curate (and share) my music – even including my own artwork – and, streaming quality is ultimately just a question of bandwidth and market demand (ditto with resilience).
So, if this is what’s happening to music, cars and pretty much everything else we consume, why do some firms still insist on building and maintaining their own in-house trading systems?
There may still be good reasons, but as the industry (and its profit margins) become increasingly commoditised, these will become harder and harder to justify. Meanwhile technology continues to march onwards, making “access to” the preferred way to consume just about everything…