How Playlists Could Create a New Industry
by Alex Cosper (02/25/15)

The era of playlists replacing albums started a few decades ago but it has taken until 2015 for an awareness to develop that playlists are here to stay. The rise of mobile devices displaying playlists has expanded the playlist concept even more. At one time the only people who thought about playlists were DJs and radio personnel. But now a playlist is an expression of an individual's musical choices. It almost appears that consumers are being given the tools to create their own media and to share it on social networks like Facebook.

There are still a few components that a DIY musician needs to be make a living at selling songs. The idea of appearing on multiple playlists sounds like a way to make money. Licensing is one of the main ways to earn a living from music. You simply need to know a decision-maker in the film licensing industry. Music can be paid for in a variety of ways, including a layer of consumerism that supports new products.

A new industry would emerge within music if more people were allowed and encouraged to particpate in music. Many fans would enjoy the opportunity to promote their favorite music on their social media pages. The technology obviously exists to track and share music in an organized, legitimate way. A new industry could be based on fans paying to add songs to playlists they promote to friends on social media. As long as the fee to use songs were low enough.

Consumers have played the role of promoters in many ways over the years. The best example is when fans buy and wear a T-shirt or hat that advertises a favorite brand. In order to show appreciation for something, the consumer had to buy a promotional item. The same concept can be done online. If music fans had the ability to buy "song licenses" that allowed them to share music in multiple ways, it would help give the music industry new revenue streams.

Ideally, new media centers will form to support local musicians. These media centers can act as filters that collect an archive of worthwhile music that can be promoted by fans. The cost of the song license needs to be low enough that it would attract participation. Ultimately, music is merging with other media, such as video and video games. Sharing videos through low cost licensing is a phase that would serve many people looking for audio to add to their YouTube videos.

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