Subscription Services Good For Indie Music, and Film, Too

Netflix is Great for Indie FilmHome recording studio musicians and indie film makers face a similar challenge: getting their work seen and heard by the public.

In my last post, I argued that music subscription services help indie music by facilitating discovery of new bands by customers. Playlists tend to dig into less popular music, and the incremental cost of experimentation (i.e. listening to new bands) is removed.

There's a great post in HackingNetflix about the frequent viewing of indie films by Netflix subscribers relative to regular DVD renting customers. Check out the statistics:

Overall, Netflix controls only 8% to 9% of the DVD rental market. But the company accounts for one-third to one-half of all rentals of "indie" and low-budget movies. According to Sarandos, the Netflix executive, specialized films often outperform mainstream studio movies rented via the service.

That's impressive. It would be interesting to see a similar comparison of indie music consumption among music subscribers vs. music downloaders. It's likely that the trend is the same: remove the cost of experimentation/discovery, and experimentation/discovery will increase.

This would imply that home recording studio musicians and indie film makers should get their work included in as many subscription-based entertainment services as possible.

Alright, back to jamming on my own home recording studio. ;)

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That is an interesting point. As a Netflix subscriber, I rate movies I've seen, and Netflix generates movies it thinks I'll enjoy based on what I've already chosen. I've seen several movies I'd never heard of before based on these recommendations, and I also browse through Foreign films and indie films, renting even more movies I've never heard of before. I do this because since I'm already paying the subscription fee, why not take a chance on something new? If I were renting per movie in a store though, or purchasing, I doubt I would consider 10% of these movies.

Your comparison is a very good one to the subscription based music services. I don't have a subscription to one, but I'm curious, do any of the services offer recommendations based on your previous or current play list? I'm assuming they do allow you to browse through categories and choose from there, but I wonder how a similar rating service, as netflix offers, would fare in the music subscription world. Listen to songs, rate them, and the service would give you more songs or artists that are similar.

Anyway, great site, great articles! I'd love to hear you jam on your geetar some time!

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