iTunes Ping

Apple launched a new version of iTunes a few months ago. The most important new feature in iTunes 10 is Ping, a social network for music. Ping allows the 160 million iTunes users to follow artist and friends, thus making iTunes “social”.

Following an artist or a band on Ping is similar to liking them on Facebook or following them on Twitter. Following your friends on Ping allows you to find out what they’re listening to and to get music recommendations from them. This takes place in other social networks as well. Om Malik praises Ping for moving from what he calls a “click-and-go-somewhere-to-download” model of recommendations to the “future of social commerce” where social networking is integrated with commerce.

My problem with iTunes Ping is that I don’t think finding music to buy is the problem. I’m not looking for new music to buy – I’m looking for new music to listen to. There are a lot of services around that combine recommendations with actually listening to music: Spotify Social allows you to see what your Spotify-using Facebook friends are listening, whereas music blog aggregators such as The Hype Machine or Shuffler provide recommendations from strangers. Sure, I might eventually buy the music  (if it’s not on Spotify or if I absolutely must have it on my iPod) but it will take more than a 30-second sample and a recommendation.

How do you find new music?

About Riikka

Student in the Marketing and Media Management program at SSE. Some of the things I like are: baking cakes and drinking tea, research, working with people who love what they are doing. One of the admins for this blog.
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5 Responses to iTunes Ping

  1. dopenoms says:

    Hey, I like your blog. Just wanted to tell you how I think that Ping is bringing back a bit of old school music marketing. Word of mouth, or kind of anyway. The cool part about listening to music way back when was coming across it for the first time. Usually through a friend of mine or whatever. This way, with Ping, you can see what your instructors, co-workers, cousins, or whatever it is are tuning into. What makes this program better is they can be a million miles from you. I-tunes let’s you have a quick listen and then decide if you want to check out more from that artist. I think that Ping has a future, right now it may not be very strong but there is a lot of room for it to grow along with the social marketing, entertainment, and the WWW. Also the program is nice and simple, no Facebook-fatigue type drawbacks.

    • Riikka says:

      Thanks for writing a comment!

      I definitely agree with what you write about the importance of word-of-mouth in marketing music. It’s also true that compared with music blog aggregators, or even Facebook, integrating word-of-mouth with your music player/music store offers the benefit of simplicity and elegance – there is just so much information out there! I guess you could say my problem is with iTunes rather than Ping – owning music just doesn’t align with my needs anymore.

      That being said, I’m excited to find out what Apple will add to iTunes later today – will it be a music streaming service?

  2. dopenoms says:

    Yeah, just the Beatles. I wanted streaming, lossless, and album art for stuff you imported using different software. Oh well, what can you do.

    A streaming service that I use is MOG, works like a charm. no mp3s! all hi-def.

  3. dopenoms says:

    Yeah, just Beatles. I was hoping for lossless and streaming. What can ya do, right. Mog is fine for me, great quality streaming hi-fi.

    I also want Itunes to identify for art on albums that I didn’t rip in Itunes.

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