My Music Purchasing Habits

from the New York Times:

“I don’t think it’s time yet,” said Jimmy Iovine, the chairman of Interscope Records, Universal’s biggest division. “We need to convert a lot more people to the habit of buying music online. I don’t think a way to convert more people is to raise the price.

“I believe that he really feels that everybody isn’t hooked yet into the whole concept,” Mr. Iovine said, referring to Mr. Jobs. “You make it affordable, at a reasonable price, so they can learn about it. It’s not an unreasonable position.”

It’s funny but he’s right. While driving home last night from dinner I heard a song from System of a Down on the radio. It was the same one they played last season on SNL.

For a second I thought, you know, I should go home and get this on iTunes.

And then I thought, well, I could just download that one song if the record sucks. But no, it shouldn’t because I’ve read alot of good things about them.

Then I thought, maybe I should just download the one song P2P?

I haven’t done anything about the song purchase yet but I really see why Mr. Iovine uses the word “habit” when describing people’s music buying methods.

In another time, you might say that the correct word would have been ‘preference.” But “habit” seems to fit nowadays because I really believe the P2P file downloading experience is more habit-forming or habitual (as in drug use) than most people would like to admit.

The whole sense of getting something for free when you know you shouldn’t becomes habitual.

I havea come to love the iTunes Music Store purchasing experience because it’s based around instant gratification—kind of like a habitual P2P user.

The promoted selling points of the iTMS are sound quality or iPod connectivity. However, it is the unpromoted notion of content organization and easy acquisition that is most similar, and therefore, most appealing to possible P2P users.

Imagine if the iTMS used a checkout cart like typical e-commerce stores like Amazon. It would fail instantly.