Apple and Google Tech Titans Battle in Music Business

Trends Taking Shape In Music Will Yield Opportunities For Some And Threaten Others

It seems to me that there is a growing contention between Google and Apple. One can’t stay out of the other’s business more and more. Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO drops from the board of directors at Apple. Apple blocks Google’s Admob service from being the sole advertising system on their iPhones. Now Google moves into the digital marketplace for music. Have you thought about what this means for you?

Both firms have increased revenue phenomenally over the last few years. Apple passed Microsoft in market capitalization. They’ve expanded their core service offerings, added new products, created new marketplaces, and increasingly have been getting into each other’s clouds and smart phone customers. When Google recently revealed their online music marketplace, everyone roared about the storm clouds forming. No wonder, Apple with their iTunes store leads the way for all contenders, and vigorously defends iTunes. Those in the music industry widely recognize their capitulation when they let Apple launch the iTunes store.

When I heard recently that 40% of the music business is digital downloads, I was quite surprised because I thought a much higher percentage of the music business was digital downloads.Apparently, CD’s at 60% are still a major distribution medium for music in 2010. The tech titans are making an end run, based on a number of factors, but what’s interesting to me are couple key trends: cloud computing and smart mobile devices.

There’s a feeding frenzy on music content and the trends affect all stakeholders in profound and mundane ways. If you’d like to read further trends and the impact on consumers, artists, music business wags, technologists, and advertisers, check out my survey on your music preferences.

Side Notes

I invite you to tell us about your stories of enjoyment using your music player device, whether you play an iPod, an mp3 device, or an ordinary CD player, a time where you set the tone at an event with music, or were the self appointed DJ, you were the Karaoke favorite, you had so much fun you drained the battery, or you inflamed your passion.

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