As someone who loved Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, I’ve always been fascinated with the world of marketing and promotion and how word spreads through different social networks. Since social networking sites like Myspace have done wonders for bands unable to pony up the cash for paid promotion (What? You mean that listening to music for free actually helps sales? Gee golly.), now several other sites are jumping on the bandwagon.:
Several new online services have emerged with their own takes on digital music discovery.
These services take the form of social networking sites, music blogs, search engines and more. They are largely a response to the perceived lack of quality recommendation tools on the larger digital music services such as iTunes, Yahoo and AOL.
A key quote from this article is this one:
“The iTunes store is not a discovery tool,” says David Hyman, CEO of MOG, one of the notable newcomers.
I love iTunes to death, but they’re right. It’s not a discovery tool. You don’t pay a dollar just so you can really sample a piece, and iTunes would be the last place I’d go to sample new music. However, most of their podcasts are completely free, and I go there to sample new stuff all the time.