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Online Music & Web 3.0 (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Aug 2nd 2007

Web 3.0 formula discussion (4C, P, VS)

Here, we will take a look at the Web 3.0 aspects of online music sites.

Within the broad Context of Music, users may come to music portals with a varied set of intents. From shopping for new music, to expanding the collection of a favorite musician’s work, to listening to a radio channel, a number of these are covered well by the various portals.

The Content of most music sites is impressive. Users can search for music from a wide variety of genres, download songs, music or videos, listen to music, tune in to online radio or live concerts, read celebrity interviews, reviews on latest releases or music related news articles.

Yahoo! LAUNCHcast, a streaming music service under Yahoo! Music allow users to choose from more than 130 pre-programmed radio stations, while iTunes has more than 3 million tracks.

Listening Booth under MSN Music allows users to listen to latest albums by artists with their detailed biography and musical career. You can also look for photos of your favorite artists under this section.

Rhapsody comes with its own integrated music player, which allows the user to download and listen to up to 25 songs a month for free and also get access to Rhapsody radio stations like Urban Hits or Baroque to find new music.

AOL Sessions enables users to see live, in-studio artist performances. I like this feature as it allows me to see my favorite musicians performing in an intimate setting, where they play alternate versions and exclusive music – acoustic takes, freestyle raps and covers of their favorite songs, etc. AOL Sessions also includes cover story, video of in-studio performances, video interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, photos and links to more information about the artist.

One surprise for me was the lack of availability of lyrics on a site as powerful as iTunes.

Most of the music sites score well on Community features. Users can share music with their friends and family, tag, rate or comment on music or video content, recommend an album or song and take part in discussions. Most of these sites have blogs, forums, message boards, live chats, open forums, and also weekly polls on latest issues.

Commerce on music sites is mainly through online buying of music, games, ring tones and retailing of products like iPod, MP3 player, digital media player, headphones, speakers, car chargers, FM transmitters, etc. AOL Music in partnership with Ticket Master sells tickets for Broadway Sweepstakes or Las Vegas shows. Other variations of Commerce include artist memorabilia, and derivative merchandise like T-Shirts, etc.

Vertical Search
Vertical search is impressive on most Music sites and caters to contextual nuances. Users can search by artist, album, genre, songs, lyrics, track and video, etc. iTunes contains music from 22 different genres.

Personalization on most online music portals allow listing of favorite musicians, customized settings, e-mail alerts on latest music news and new song or album releases. Rhapsody enables users to get personalized music suggestions tailored to their musical tastes and carry music with them wherever they go. Yahoo! LAUNCHcast allow users to create their own customized radio station tailored to their tastes.

AOL Sessions

(To be Continued)

[Part 1]
[Part 2]
[Part 3]

This segment is part 4 in the series : Online Music & Web 3.0
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Online Music & Web 3.0 (Part 5) - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Friday, August 3, 2007 at 5:26 AM PT