The Young and the Digitally Restless

From Hypebot:

A new, technologically capable generation of music listeners is approaching adulthood. These former MySpacers are evolving into sophisticated music consumers with new and challenging expectations.

They have heightened demands for mobility and social connectivity; they value the freedom to actively seek music, and also the choice to passively discover it. They don’t acknowledge the monetary value of songs like they do trading cards, but instead collect them like seashells, freely and effortlessly. They do so because it’s their recently discovered “birthright” in this digital age, and because they can.

New technology has unveiled the true nature of their music listening behavior, raising the standards for music services that are easy to use, compatible with Facebook, and all the while unobtrusive. And even then, users may not pay for them.

Understandably, the young and the digital are a tough crowd to please, but the music industry has finally put its thinking cap on. The complexities of modern music listeners are becoming clear, and many efforts have been made to accommodate them.

iTunes and iPods continue to hold their own, but the MP3 library business is becoming a niche, existing in a more diverse and expanding music market.

The most adaptable online music service to date is Spotify, which debuted in the U.S. just over a year ago. Spotify acknowledges the wide-ranged expectations of its emerging market while remaining elegant, straightforward, and cost effective.

For many listeners, Spotify will be the “gateway” music streaming service, with the desktop version and mobile radio as the free entry points. New users will quickly find themselves organizing their favorite songs into playlists. The free 30-day trial gives them a chance to sync their playlists with their mobile devices, which are always accessible—even offline.

But Spotify is more than just a giant music library. Third party apps provide unique and diverse music experiences. Apps like Soundrop passively expose users to new music (a la Pandora) in different listening rooms. The radio-faithful listeners will be drawn to Billboard Top Charts. SeatGeek personalizes timelines of upcoming concerts. For the first time, listeners can choose between wide ranges of musical experiences all in one platform. Pretty nifty.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Hypebot