There is a wide variety of services that fit into the category of ‘Music Discovery, Recommendation, and Creation’ (the midemlab category for which Hesse is a jury member) but I believe that the best services share 7 overarching qualities that make them successful in the long term.
They are the following:
1. Powerful consumer proposition: services should provide a clear, simple solution that serves a specific consumer need
2. Intuitive interface: for adoption to move to the mass market, the service has to be easy-to-use and fast
3. Seamless cloud integration: in a world where most consumers have multiple devices, services must be optimised to work seamlessly across multiple screens – computer, smartphone/tablet, and, if applicable, TV
4. Social integration and viral growth: for a service to grow to scale quickly, it should be easily integrated into the social network where consumers spend a lot of time, and its growth should be able to snowball in a viral manner
5. Increasing returns of scale: for a service to effectively defend its scale against followers, the service should be more valuable to a user the more other users are active on it
6. Mass distribution and billing: services must be available for use on all major devices and platforms. Easy access to billing systems is essential
7. Accessible pricing: pricing should be fair to both consumers and content creators.
Given the large number of services that are created every year, as well as the multitude of existing options for consumers, these qualities are essential to rise above the rest and be successful.
Hesse, president Global Digital Business, US Sales & Corporate Strategy, Sony Music Entertainment (USA), is one of 14 top music/tech executives – others are from Facebook, MOG, The Echo Nest, Soundcloud and GigaOm to name a few – who’ll be judging midemlab’s finalists in Cannes next January.
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