Have you ever been among a group of people who use terms you are supposed to know? What did you do? Did you act like me and pretend you understood perfectly? I remember my time at primary school when a would teacher use big words to describe a situation and everyone else would appear to know until I discovered the truth at break time.
It can still be like this in the music business especially when digital sectors are discussed. So in this article I want to help us understand certain terms used. They are:
1. Bundling and Unbundling: Bundling is when tracks available for download have to be purchased as an album/EP. It means you have to buy the whole "Bundle" or nothing at all. Unbundling means that the music owners have made it possible to buy one or any number of tracks from the same album/EP without the requirement to purchase the whole release.
2. Bundle: this term is used to describe a tie up of music to other services. For example Universal Music Group had a deal with a bank in France where young people requiring a credit card can also have a music service. That is a "Bundle" because it ties up financial services with music.
3. Re-Bundle: This term is used where an artist puts together high value packages by selling all they have as one package. I.e. an artist may sell a package that includes a CD, T-Shirt, DVD, Concert Ticket all at one price to their fans instead of selling the same items through various outlets. This is particularly useful where the artist has a good database of fans.
4. A la Carte: this is a process where the consumers choose what they want from different genres. So what iTunes offers is typically an A la Carte service because those who purchase from their stores can have the pleasure of choosing from anywhere in the store to make up their order.
5. Streaming: in terms of music, streaming is where you are listening to music as it is been delivered by the provider. It is distinctly different from a download, where you transfer the complete track/album to a listening device/pc/storage before you listen to the content. Where streaming is offered you cannot download the content (legally).
6. Subscription: this is a new business model that allows the consumer to listen to as much unlimited music per month for a monthly fee. It is the type of service Spotify offers.
7. Ad-funded Model: this is a type of service that shares revenue with content providers. I.e. Spotify has adverts running before the music is played. The advertisers pay Spotify to play the ad and Spotify in turn share this revenue with the music owners.
8. Music on Demand: The ability to be able to listen to, play back or watch high quality content as soon as the play button is pressed. The recent technological development of bandwidth has made this possible.