Is this innovation in Music?

What do you mean with innovation? This is the first example is where we look at Music and what the consumer want to archive.

I would like to listen to Heroes with David Bowie. 

To be able to listen to this song in the seventies, when I wanted it and not waiting until it played on the radio, I had to buy a vinyl record or an audio cassette.

I could play it at home or bring it to a friends house and play it there. There was also a possibility to record the tune on a tape when it played on radio or borrow from a friend and make a copy from her.  

When the CD’s arrived, they were an improvement to the LP-record in several ways, but not so much different from the old medium. It was still a physical record and you needed a dedicated player to listen to the music.

The three main differences from as usage perspective was that it had better perceived sound quality and a smaller size, so you could have a CD-player in the car or carry it with you. The third was that the record were in a digital format so it was easier to copy without loss of quality. The last was a benefit for the consumer, but not the record-company. 

The CD as such didn’t change the business model for the record companies and not how the consumer listen to music in a major way. This is a very good example of product improvements and sustaining innovation

Today, I have many more options when I want to listen to Heroes. I can still play the old record on the turntable at home or load the CD in the player in the card when driving. But I can also listen to the same song on my computer, ripped from the my CD, buy from iTunes and listen to it on an iPod or stream the tune via Spotify on my phone. All five alternatives are fully legal ways to consume music.

MP3 and other types of audio-files change a fundamental part of the music listening experience. You did not need to buy the physical media in order to listen to the music, you just needed another type a player. iPod & iTunes changed both the product and the distribution of the product so I would say it was both a new type of product and a business model innovation. Spotify is yet another business model innovation where you rent as service to listen to the music you like. You neither have to buy a physical record or buy a digital file with rights.

In addition to the ways we consume music today, there has also been improvements to the way you you could create and publish music. In the world days, you would go to recording studio owned by the big labels if you wanted to record a record. Today, you could have your own studio at home, mixing on your computer, for a fraction of the cost compared to the old days. You could also publish your song on YouTube or other sites on internet, without the need for a big label to reach your audience.

This is why music is a good example of different types of innovation that changed the industry

  • From LP to CD was mainly product improvement
  • From CD to MP3 was new product and new gave possibilities for new business models
  • From iTunes to Spotify was business model innovation
  • From recording in an analog studio to recording on a computer at home is improvement in ways of working using new tools & techniques

" ... just for one day ...."