Fighting For Your Ears

Last week Spotify revealed it’s going to promote podcasts on its streaming service, providing yet another example of the fierce competition underway for your ears.

Indeed, between music services, audiobooks, and podcasts, the fight for listening time is only heating up. When Apple’s multimedia player, iTunes, was released in 2001, competition across these different types of audio was not as evident. When iTunes transformed into a digital multimedia store, this changed.

Originally, however, iTunes was a simple music player and Napster, an unlicensed peer-to-peer file sharing service, which allowed users to send audio files back and forth, was the closest thing to a digital music store. While Napster quickly ran afoul of U.S. copyright law, the overwhelming response to the product demonstrated enormous pent-up demand for a licensed digital audio service. Eventually iTunes emerged as not only a service for purchasing songs and managing files on music devices, but one for listening to music.

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