The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Monday, 08 December 2003]

Creativity in the board room

Online music stores are hot, hot, hot! Therefore, everybody and their brother has to get in on the action. According to MediaGuardian Coca-Cola is crowding on to the bandwagon:“We’re delighted to bring downloadable music to more people and we are working in close partnership with the music industry to do so. Consumers have told us that downloading music is confusing and complicated and what they want is an easy, simple to use downloadable service from a trusted brand,” said the company’s marketing director, Julia Goldin.Yes, absolutely! When I think about downloading tunage, I think about Coca-Cola!

To make it more interesting, Coca-Cola obviously doesn’t have the expertise in-house to create something like this, soCoca-Cola will launch the service in association with OD2, the digital download company founded by singer Peter Gabriel, which already provides the technology for BT’s Dotmusic, HMV, Ministry of Sound, Freeserve and MSN.Good for OD2 that they’re getting plenty of customers. This whole exercise is apparently nothing more or less than a marketing ploy: Coca-Cola gets their name and brand in front of more people, who go to the site to download exactly the same stuff they could download from any of the other sites powered by OD2.

Now the thing is, how many music stores can the market legitimately support? If this market has the same dynamic as other markets, there will be a couple of big players, then a small amount of bit players catering to special markets. I can see iTunes Music Store, Napster, perhaps somebody else, then stores that niche heavily: Bob’s House of Ska and Punk, Jimbo’s House of Country, etc.

Treating a music store as a marketing ploy will hopefully bring the wrath of the market down on schemes like Coca-Cola’s.

Music: “Mad Man” by The Hives

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