It seems like everywhere you go you see people walking around with headphones in their ear listening to music, podcasts, ebooks, etc. How many of those people do you think stream music? According to Forbes, there are more than 100 million paying subscribers around the world. The idea of streaming movies, music, shows, etc has completely changed the way we consume entertainment. I can’t tell you how long it has been since I have purchased an actual CD!
So how did streaming music steal my heart? Let me tell you. If you have never used Spotify before here is a brief overview: Every month I am charged a $4.99 fee (Student Price) to have access to any song, any time, anywhere, with no commercials (unless I have no service). Instead of paying $1.29 per song on iTunes, I can now listen to as many songs as I want for only $5!!! Tell me this isn’t game changing. If you are someone like me, I am very eclectic in what I listen to. I can go from Texas Country to Mac Miller within two songs, so being able to listen to any kind of music for a flat fee is convenient and a more efficient way to spend my money.
The concept of streaming has already been established with companies like Netflix and Hulu, so it wasn’t a new concept for people to get used it which made its adoption relatively fast and easy. It just made listening to music a lot more convenient and cheaper. Spotify even lets new customers use a free two week trial as a way for them to try the service before subscribing.
Unlike Nelida from Diffusion of Innovations, Spotify was strategic and precise with how they communicated what they were trying to sell. Spotify launched in geographic segmentations, so by the time it reached the US the amount of anticipation for this service was already huge! Additionally, they employed a private beta technique, that only allowed you to use the service if someone invited you, and that person only had a limited number of invites, further creating more buzz around Spotify. Spotify was smart in using word of mouth and creating a sense of need for their service, which made their launch in the US very successful. By the time it had gotten to us, there were already rave reviews of the service and videos of people using it.
In the video The Social Media Revolution 2017, it highlights the way in which the internet and social media has evolved and grown over the last couple of years. The internet keeps changing at a rapid pace, which has made it hard for researchers to conduct studies because what is true today can dramatically change over the next month. In Social Science Research Methods in Internet Time, Karpf describes Barry Wellman suggesting that “an Internet year is like a dog year, changing approximately seven time faster than normal human time.” This statement hits the nail on the head because the internet and the way in which we use it seems to constantly keep evolving. This leads to certain problems though when it comes to research such as the amount of time it takes to publish an academic study, many of the well-known theories can’t be used, and the information available on this topic although plentiful sometimes isn’t useful.
As research on this topic continues to rise, as suggested by “New Media” research publication trends and outlets in communication, 1990-2006, social scientist will have to find a way to incorporate the old theories in a way that can be used by the every changing internet. Karpf gives the advice that instead of focusing on a long-term fix, we should instead look for a short term fix to Internet Research and being transparent in conducting research in this field. The process of publishing may need to be revised/condensed and the way we collect data online will need a better filtering process, but the information and knowledge that could be gained by continued research into this “new media” topic could lead to so much new insights. Like Karpf said, the “Internet research is messy but promising.”