Everyone is getting into the music game. And I mean everyone.
Hertz already has a partnership with LiveNation, so it was a small step to create the Hertz Music Store and jump into the fray. While details about exactly how selecting a playlist or downloading music when you rent your next Camry or Impala will work are not clear, the directionality of this move screams commoditization of music.
Yes, Pandora may be the big brand that everyone talks about, but other pure-plays are working hard to provide their own spins on playlists and personalization – including even car rental companies. What’s next? Jewelry stores? Mattress discounters?
This suggests that in the not-so-distant future, very unlikely brands and companies could launch their own music playlist initiatives, further flooding the market with options and choices – most of which consumers don’t really need or want.
So maybe it comes down to this – who is offering the best, simplest, and most trusted music experience?
And that’s where your friendly, local radio station either steps up and proves its worth, or is just the next in line to be slaughtered by the glut of choice.
Who provides that experience in a way that is truly additive and welcome to the listening experience? Understanding when consumers want a knowledgeable concierge to help guide them through their favorite Country, Classic Rock, or Top 40 hits – or when they’d rather go it alone – maybe even jockless – is at the heart of the dilemma…and the solution.
The marketer Clayton Christensen asks brand managers to think about why consumers “hire” your station – and how that changes by day, locale, situation, and mood.
This is a process that more local stations should undertake rather than finding out “Which station plays too many bad songs along with the good ones?”
In the meantime, get ready for the continuing flood of branded music products that will be coming our way as more and more companies get in the game.
We’ll see just how open to choice consumers really are.
And who is doing the best job of understanding and fulfilling their real needs.