Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

Summary: I've been following the digital music industry for years, and I'm baffled by where it's heading. That's why I want to hear your thoughts on what needs to happen to the industry to make it interesting again. To sweeten the deal, I've got a couple of 32GB Zune HD devices to give away to the most interesting opinions out there. Here are the rules...

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Update December 17, noon PST: This contest is now closed. You're welcome to add your comments, but they will not be considered for judging. - EB

In a pair of posts this week, I looked at the shifting landscape of digital music services. (See iTunes alternatives: how do Amazon and other digital music services compare? and More iTunes alternatives: can a subscription music service ever succeed?)

But I admit I'm baffled by where this industry is heading, which is why I want to hear your thoughts on what needs to happen to the digital music industry to make it interesting again.

To sweeten the deal, I've got a couple of 32GB Zune HD devices to give away to the most interesting opinions out there.

Here are the basic rules. Read them carefully to avoid having your entry disqualified.

  • Register as a ZDNET user. If you're already registered, you can skip this step. If you're not a ZDNet member, click the Join link at the top of this page and follow the instructions.
  • Log in and leave a comment below. In 100 words or less, share your insights on the future of the digital music industry. You can praise or pan any product or service—winners will be selected on how funny, creative, and insightful those comments are. (And don't go over that 100-word limit or your entry will be disqualified.)
  • Leave only one comment. You may enter this specific giveaway only once. If you enter more than one comment, you will be automatically disqualified.
  • The winners will be selected by a panel of judges. The First Prize winner will receive a Zune HD 32GB with Zune HD AV Dock (worth $320). Second prize is a Zune HD 32GB with a one-month Zune Pass (worth $245).
  • If you are chosen, you will be notified via e-mail. Winners will be selected and notified on January 4, 2011, and must respond within three days. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen.
  • Entries can be submitted until Friday, December 17 at noon PST.

And here's the mandatory disclaimer that our legal department insists we provide (sorry for the ALL CAPS, but you know how lawyers can be)…

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. MUST BE LEGAL RESIDENT OF ONE OF THE 50 UNITED STATES OR D.C., 18 YEARS OLD  OR AGE OF MAJORITY IN YOUR STATE OF RESIDENCE OR OLDER AT DATE OF ENTRY INTO CONTEST. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, ALL U.S. TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  CONTEST  ENDS  AT 12 PM PT 12/17/10.  SEE OFFICIAL RULES FOR DETAILS.

Good luck.

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159 comments
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  • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

    While I would love to win a Zune, I am already maxed out and actually had to retire my Zune 120 when I added a Windows Phone. I have had many MP3 players over the years, from iPod to an iRiver and most recently all generations of the Zune. I would have to say the iRiver was the best in terms "services" as it was just a large (at the time) drive and you filled it with whatever file management methods you preferred. Those days are over in many ways. I like Zune and if there is one reason why it would be the software. Beyond that I am a Zune Pass subscriber and really think its a great value but I am always looking for new music if I wasn't the value would be lost.
    jkavanagh58@...
    • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

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  • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

    The music industry is headed to a cheaper subscription based model. It works out well for both the consumers and the music industry. Customers will not pay $10 per album any more especially with torrents out there. On the subscription model they can get multiple albums for close to the same price as just one. So if you download 2 albums in a month your subscription just paid for itself. They will still keep the purchase a single album or song model for additional revenue and for those who won't download music as often.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

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  • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

    The mainstream music industry is failing and dragging everyone else down with it. Garbage artists with one decent song per album led everyone to thievery. Paid digital music looks like it's helping but it will fail. With digital music quality is lacking and the overall packaging justs plain sucks. Artists need to deliver good music and care if their fans want to buy their music.
    khaos13
    • @khaos13

      The artists, themselves, _DO_ care. It's the rotten-azz RIAA that controls what the artists are ABLE to do. So if you don't like the music that is out there, don't buy it ...in ANY form. The RIAA has been ripping off the artists and the public ever since its inception. Their sue 'em all attitude is just one of their latest schemes. After fighting digital music for decades the RIAA now thinks they want to kill music on physical media such as CDs. Does that truly make sense? Yup, the music industry is dieing all right!
      btljooz
  • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

    Make it global, unlike services today, and this contest.
    Make a Kindle like whispernet - streaming without the data cost.
    Oknar
  • Subscription music can succeed

    as long as the owners of the music can see a value (profit) in it, but I would need to know how the music owners are paid in both subscription vs purchased to make an educated guess.
    As I had mentioned before, the Zune Pass works perfect for me in that I purchase my 10 new songs a month, (favorites) mine to keep forever, and for 4.99 a month I just rotate out songs andwhat not of tunes I'm in the mood to listen to on occasions, without having to repurchase them all at once, or at all. I have quite a few vinyl records I have no wish to spend thousands on replacing.

    I loaded up 6 hours of Christmas music for the family Christmas party, and it didn't add anything cost wise to my monthy subscription, while still downloading my 10 songs.
    John Zern
  • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

    The music industry is on a path to new business models that will likely emphasize on-demand streaming, live performances, and the death of the plastic disc revenue model. Even MP3 purchases will flatten out and may even decline... as on-demand streaming eliminates a lot of the need to own music. Piracy will likely also become irrelevant in this model.
    NSILMike
  • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

    Keep the Zune, Apple won this war long ago because they make 1 product, they market the brand really well (celebrities, movies) and things just work. I still have my old ipods, all work great to this day. I still have my first generation nano which I use at my work out room and the battery still lasts a good 5 hours! that's Apple quality for you.

    Everyone I know relies on Apple to buy music, and they are not technical people. They call me when Windows won't boot or when their computer is infected with spyware. They've never once called to ask or complain about Apple producs, they just work.

    ZUNE? Seriously?? The person who killed KIN at Microsoft needs to put ZUNE to sleep, it was a failure.

    I will also admit, I used to buy all my MP3's at Amazon. Not the same experience as Itunes, Once Apple got rid of all DRM I've never shopped Amazon mp3's again.

    Long live Steve Jobs!!
    hfsma
    • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

      @hfsma Or you could post something relevant, possibly win a Zune and then sell it on Ebay/Craigslist or even give it away as a gift if you REALLY don't want it. That's what I would have done if Ed was giving away iPods.
      statuskwo5
  • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

    So much unnecessary, redundant technology getting in the way of my mellow. I mean, really, Amazon or Apple have a tune on their server, I download it to my PC (yes, Im a PC, Mr. Mock-Turtleneck) and then I suck it into my media player of choice. Can't we get to the point where I can be bombarded from every angle with waves from Mesh Networks, Wifi, Bluetooth, 3G and Zigbee so that I can chill to Enya via tinfoil earbuds (hats are downright silly in a thunderstorm) of some sort and let the cloud Reign O'er Me?
    cdelplato
  • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

    I think that, as in all industries, the best quality service or most aggressive marketing will get the lion's share of the market. So, iTunes will probably remain a foundation service, as much as I dislike that.<br><br>However, as people continue to get devices centered around rich media - WP7, Android and iOS all run phones that play music - the market may shift to balance the needs of those devices. The mp3 player may eventually become extinct. I am not an all-in-one device kind of guy, but I think most people are.<br><br>In that kind of market, services like Amazon MP3 and eMusic are likely to have big wins since their services are not necessarily tied to a specific device or OS.

    *Edit* additionally, eMusic has a buy-once model, the last time I checked. So, if your HDD dies, you can just go back to eMusic to re-download your previously purchased music.
    WookieFan
  • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

    Looking at the state it is in, and where it can go I see a few things happening. My favorite, eMusic will continue its march toward being not much of a deal. Already the amount of music one can get with the shift away from credits, is less.

    Amazon will wind up duking it out with iTunes for the top spot. The deals on Amazon do get better, and the fact that it is all in mp3 format does make it real desirable.

    The section that is going to suffer will be the indie bands. The closing of garageband.com, lala and a couple of other sites have left a huge hole in a centralized location to find the smaller (up and coming) indie bands. Right now there is eMusic, but even they don't carry everything that sites such as Pitchfork review. Now band can go through their own site, but with all the DCMA notices that the RIAA likes to throw out there, even when its stuff they have no control of, it makes it more likely that you will have more difficulty finding the small indie bands online. this is a shame because if not for small indie bands seeing the initial potential in using the internet to get their music out, I don't think we would have sites like Pandora, or even iTunes. These were the real pioneers, and they will have to come up with the next level.

    I do see Social Networking, especially twitter coming into its own for small labels. with twitter, they can promote bands, and link to special deals, sites to purchase albums, and more.

    Really, we have to just wait and see what the future holds. Hopefully it will be a good surprise where it all goes.
    mbkavka@...
  • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

    Apple is the 10 ton gorilla in the room. They've managed to make the ipod a necessary social accessory that happens to play music. I had a teenager complain to me about how expensive ipods are, but when I pointed out there are cheaper alternatives, I got a deer-in-the-headlights look. Until Apple's stranglehold on the market can be broken, the digital music market will be defined by what Steve Jobs thinks it should be.

    Other products and services will appeal to niche markets and Apple-haters but their influence will be severely limited.
    kiz
    • The Apple consumer

      @kiz

      Reminds me of a conversation I had with my nephew-an Apple fan who owns multiple devices. I tried to convince him that the current line of Nano was a ripoff. I informed him that Apple stripped the device of the camera, the larger screen, the ability to view photo's on a larger screen and ability to play videos. But it sells for the same price as the last gen of Nano that had many more features.

      I mentioned that the current Nano 16gb was selling on Amazon for $170-$179. I let him know that the Zune HD 16gb was selling for $150. I then had a discussion about why would a person buy the clearly limited Nano when the Zune had more features.

      Among other things, he basically said that people buy Apple products because they sell well and everybody has them.

      Apparently Apple consumers buy the products for social acceptance, not because of features or value for the money. Many of these consumers are teenagers. Soon they will be adults and realize that money is not unlimited and must be spent carefully.

      Its nice to be popular, but its better not being poor.

      Proud owner of a Zune HD. Very happy owner of both Microsoft and Apple stock.
      mstrsfty
  • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

    Well don't want the Zune don't even want a windows phone. After DRM made it so hard to enjoy the music I legally purchased I stopped acquiring music period. Hate Apple so iTunes is out of the question.
    Adaminvegas67
    • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

      @Adaminvegas67
      Music purchased through the Zune store does not have DRM.
      Cold Lampin'
  • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

    You mean the same Zune HD Microsoft still refuses to release sales figures on?

    No thanks...if Microsoft can't put out how many they have sold, it's obvious that it's a total flop.
    cyberslammer2
    • RE: Share your opinion on the digital-music industry, win a Zune HD

      @cyberslammer2 So if other people aren't buying it you aren't going to either? Wow! Last time I checked Zune HDs were still available for sale by major retailers. However, here you could WIN a Zune and that won't cost you a thing, except maybe contributing something relevant to the discussion?
      statuskwo5