2011 was the year that brought the term “social music” to the mainstream. Sure, we had used services such as Napster, Last FM, Pandora and Myspace but for the first time they were clearly defined to the masses.
Here are a few of the exciting moments that occurred in 2011 for social music.
When Mark Zuckerberg announced at Facebook’s annual Developer’s conference that the future of music was social, I could feel a shift in the music business. On this day Spotify, Mog, and Rdio were introduced to the world as Zuckerberg spoke about the “frictionless sharing” of music. Although I didn’t understand what was the big deal about seeing what my friends were listening to via my news feed or ticker, it at least got my attention and forces developers to come up more interesting ways to connect more people with more music.
Myspace was sold to Specific Media for 53 million dollars
This was a pretty sad moment for a former Mypspace addict. However I was pretty excited when I found Sean Parker AKA Justin Timberlake had part ownership of the company. They have since rebranded themselves as a social entertainment site, but their future plans are still unclear.
Spotify was released in the United States
I have to admit that this was probably the most talked about US launch I have seen in a long time. When you have the CEO of Facebook calling your service “So Good,” you at least deserve a close look. Spotify came and fizzled, after 200 independents bands and a few major artists didn’t think it was profitable enough for them. However, in late November Spotify to open up its platform for developers in hopes of being the Facebook of music.
Blackberry Launches BBM Music Service
The fledging mobile manufacturer decided to release its own social music service to the masses. BBM Music has yet to catch on even with Blackberry users opting to use other services like Pandora and Spotify. Call it bad luck or bad timing, because BBM Music entry into the market was overshadowed by the power shortage that Blackberry users experienced during the same time that were introducing their social music service.
Google Launches Google Music
Google Music is one of the most exciting new products that i have seen Google release lately. Outside of the mediocerly designed interface, I think Google Music will be a serious contender with Itunes and Pandora if they can add some more engagement. In addition, they are able to offer huge discounts on music with their strong ties to the major record labels and its cloud service makes listening to music and the go simple.
Pandora Goes Public
The most powerful internet radio company went Public this year at $16 per share, and is now trading somewhere around ten dollars a pop. Although the jury is still out on the profitability of streaming music services, Pandora has added more engagement opportunities like Pandora Presents to entertain its 80 million listeners.