Declaring playlist bankruptcy – lost in a land of infinite choice

From Paid Content:

Subscription media services are rapidly seeing consumers build up libraries in their rental ecosystems. But, as they become more popular, operators must keep it easy for users to go back to the content they love and pay for.

Tunes Store’s disaggregation of the album in to its individual parts long ago allowed listeners to reassemble those parts to their own, not artists’, preference.

In fact, there is no more apt an emblem for how our generation can now curate and remix content of all kinds for itself than the music playlist.

It is the emotional currency of this construct which music services like Spotify hope to tap to drive up consumption. By enticing users to invest in creating dozens of personalised playlists, which cannot be exported to rival services, Spotify hopes listeners will ascribe to it enough value that it becomes difficult to leave its ecosystem.

It appears to be working. CEO Daniel Ek recently said Spotify users have created more than 700 million playlists, websites like ShareMyPlaylists exist to list thousands of them and Spotify’s in-app search results now also return users’ playlists.

But is this playlist-centric music universe pre-destined to be the best means of consumption today and going forward?

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