"The computer isn't the most natural listening experience for music- most people don't have a dedicated stereo anymore and all (digital) devices don't work together elegantly, but music lovers want that," said moderator Vicki Nauman, VP for 7 Digital licensing, summing up the problem and challenge for tech companies in a digital age trying to deliver music today. The panel collectively expressed the frustrations of trying to do this effectively.
The challenges of seamlessly delivering music to consumers comes in all shapes and sizes. Aron Levitz of Blackberry focused on the international challenges of dealing with varied markets: "for global strategies, you have to figure out local strategies - how music is used in South Africa is different than how it's used in the Netherlands." He also expressed frustration that there weren't better, easier ways to immediately tell friends about great bands you've seen at SXSW: "we need to capture a true socialness in music and that's what's going to be really exciting."
Worst of all perhaps is that, in a fast-changing and digital world, no one has a definite bead on the future. Eric London of T-Mobile frankly echoed this("nobody really knows where mobile [music] is going to take us in the next few years") and Carl Rohling of aggregating radio service TuneIn explained that new emerging platforms and devices make it tricky to figure out which new services to orientate business around: "you have to figure out what the next platform is going to be."
But Pete Downton of Imagination Technologies (a tech company for smartphones) found hope and promise in the big digital gap that's our there:"for global subscriptions, 20,000,000 people are paying for music now and it's a tiny number, (so) music has its best years ahead of it."
* MODERATOR Vickie Nauman - VP North America, 7digital
* Eric London - Sr. Product Manager, Music & Personalization, T-Mobile
* Carl Rohling - VP Business Development, TuneIn
* Aron Levitz - Director of Content Acquisition & Entertainment, BlackBerry/RIM
* Peter Downton - Partner, Imagination Technologies