New features of online music stores, as well as stand-alone products and services, are designed to help users share their taste in music and satisfy the inherent desire that music fans have to share their favorite music. Additionally, these tools have important potential cultural benefits that reinforce the value of music and the music economy.
Key Findings • Nearly one-fourth of frequent online music users say that the ability to share music with others in some fashion is an important criteria when selecting an online music service. • One-tenth of early adopters stated that they often make music purchases based on others' recommendations. • One-third of early adopters of digital media surveyed by Gartner stated that they were interested in online music discovery and recommendation technology that is actually powered by their taste in music. • Some of the most-regular users of online music services, whether free peer-to-peer(P2P) or paid services, are the most interested in consumer-generated recommendation tools.
Predictions • By 2010, 25 percent of online music store transactions will be driven directly from consumer-to-consumer taste-sharing applications, such as playlist publishing and ranking tools built into online music stores or external sites with links to stores.
Recommendations • Music labels and artists should closely investigate the dynamics of playlist sites and applications and how they can be used to augment or redesign marketing and promotion strategies. • Rights holders should investigate the potential of providing more-flexible licensing and use rules for their content to allow consumers to easily publish playlists to third-party sites or include their content in podcasts, video podcasts or blogs. • Online music services should enhance playlist-publishing capabilities and strengthen links to third-party consumer-to-consumer taste-sharing sites to drive incremental traffic.