Online music services must evolve or suffer

Digital music is tearing up the sales charts, with copyright groups and record companies frantically trying to adjust to a changing market. The digital music market should be extremely appealing to music fans, even with numerous file sharing and peer-to-peer options available online.

Sony and Universal plan to test a new business model focused on releasing singles immediately when a song is released on the radio. It’s an interesting business test because there typically is a four-to-six-week window before songs are available for sale.

Both record labels hope this will convince some music fans to purchase music rather than illegally download it.

Online music services must evolve or suffer

Nokia ended its Ovi Unlimited music service, but will still try to sell music in the following nations: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Turkey and South Africa. Brazil, China and India are three of the four BRIC nations — excluding Russia — where companies focus on lowering prices to fight piracy — while other music studios largely ignore these nations. Other music labels are expected to test these nations in 2011, so there should be interesting results by the end of the year.

Phone owners looking to listen to music have a number of streaming options that range from Rhapsody and Pandora to iheartradio. The constant transition away from PCs into the living room, into mobile phones and tablets, and across multiple CE products has also given users new opportunities to listen to music.

Even with the constant annoyance of DRM and record labels messing about, music fans should be able to find music on a number of devices. Both free and paid music will be available to listeners in the living room, in front of the PC or notebook, using a phone, and while on-the-go.