Disruption and Opportunity in the Music Business

Web 2.0 Expo Conference

Presented by Hadi and Ali Partovi from iLike

Sorry if my notes are a little sketchy. They flew through this stuff pretty fast.

Some quotes that I caught during this presentation:

“The Music Industry DOES NOT EQUAL The Record Industry”

“Typical artist gets on the order of 15% of their income from record sales.”

“The album is dead.”

How do consumers get their music?

  • Digital Downloads
  • Direct to Fan Channels
  • Live Music
  • Streaming

Digital Downloads

  • iTunes
  • Rhapsody
  • Amazon
  • Napster

Consumer pays for music with their own money.

Direct to Fan Channels

  • MySpace
  • iLike
  • Kyte
  • Nabbr
  • ReverbNation

Revenue source is through advertising and subscriptions.
They touched on the social networking aspect of the music scene in this section. One of the demos that they did was to show some of the content being uploaded directly by the artists themselves. Bono Vox demoing a song that was recorded around the time of the Joshua Tree album but didn’t make it onto the album.

Bono added lyrics and laid down the vocal track in his home studio and then uploaded the thing to iLike. The rest of the band had never even heard the finished version and he was joking about it in the video! They also showed some uploaded content from Jewel and other artists that was sort of video blog stuff. Taylor Swift using her cell phone to record a “Hi, I’m playing in Philadelphia tonight, hope you can make it” video. Pretty neat.

Live Music

This is where the bulk of artist income comes from and is increasing rapidly.
Part of the reason of why this is happening is that promoters have access to better numbers regarding what consumers are willing to pay for concerts because of online sales of tickets as well as demand for tickets that is obtained via sites like iLike and Eventful.


  • iLike
  • Meem
  • Rhapsody
  • Pandora
  • AOL
  • LastFM/CBS

Revenue source is though advertising and subscriptions

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