Friday, August 29, 2008 review for Marketing magazine

Here's the 'Digital view' piece I wrote for Marketing magazine about 2 weeks ago. They've still not published it so I figure I should at least let it out here before it's too out of date...
You'll notice the usual freewheelin' style was toned down for a more genteel audience ;)
Have you seen, the ‘Twitter for music’ service?
That’s it in a nutshell: a tool for suggesting songs - and sharing your story about them - within your network. In true micro-blogging style, blip messages use 150 characters or less.
Like an non-stop request show Blip will grabs songs suggested by your friends (dj’s) from music search engines Seeqpod and Skreemr. Likewise your ‘listeners’ can hear to the songs you post.
Whereas Twitter asks ‘what are you doing, right now?’ asks ‘what are you listening to?’
As an added bonus each ‘blip’ contains a link to Amazon’s music store where the song can actually be purchased.
It's not essentially a new idea - streaming via your friends is around with the likes of LastFM and iLike as well as ‘mix-tape’ services like Mixwit and Muxtape – but Blip’s appeal centres around it’s ‘micro’ nature and seamless integration FriendFeed, Twitter, Pownce, and Tumblr.
As the establishment music business keep looking for the magic formula that will bring the multi-million sellers of yesteryear Blip’s creators, US indie ‘label’ have embraced the fact that the traditional means of distributing music, and their associated business models, are no longer viable.
Blip wins by empowering the artists (any band is free to load their music into the network) and tapping into existing communities of music fans as the distribution channel.
There’s still some rough edges; the slightly spammy nature of invite process, for one and Blip needs a decent database plugged in for the retail model to have a chance. This is potentially the big opportunity for record labels or, indeed, retailers (HMV? Zavvi?).
Blip is browser-bound at the time of writing but the inevitable Adobe Air desktop app and mobile widget will only add to it’s appeal. One to watch…

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