Pandodaily columnist wants music, not more "features"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 12:10pm

Pandodaily's Erin Griffith has some food for thought for digital music startups: Hold the bells and whistles, and just start forking over the music.

(She opens her column be reviewing the discussion of how expensive and complex music royalties make it onerous for digital music start-ups (in RAIN here), but her ideas that follow aren't really related to that discussion.)

Griffith reminds us of the concept of "FNAC" -- that is, "Feature, Not a Company."

"If its pitch is something like, 'Spotify is great, but don’t you wish you could (fill in blank with one missing feature)? That’s what StartupX does,'" she writes, "it’s probably a FNAC."

In other words, the only real differentiator many (potentially-failed) music start-ups have is in the presentation of music -- the "features."

But "the last thing listeners want in a music streaming service is more features. Typically when a user opens a music application, he or she wants to listen to something right now, not to browse for 15 minutes discovering new artists," she argues.

Who's "keepin' it simple?" The revamped Songza. The "streamlined" update to Spotify. And "If you think about it, traditional radio is the simplest of all... when I get into the car, I almost always listen to radio. I even have my phone out for navigation, but it’s just not worth the trouble of booting up an app," she says. "That could change if I ever upgrade to a fancier car with built-in apps. But the point is that simplicity — with as few options and features as possible — will always win."

Read Griffith's column in Pandodaily here.

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