The Spaghetti Effect

by nate on January 4, 2010

In the video below Malcolm Gladwell talks about a man named Howard Moskowitz and how he revolutionized the spaghetti sauce industry. In short, he’s the reason that there are 20+ variations of spaghetti sauce on store shelves today. He realized that there was no such thing as a “perfect spaghetti sauce” only “perfect spaghetti sauces.” I think that this type of thinking is the thinking that will allow mobile to continue to tighten it’s choke hold on the music industry as we know it.

We all know that iTunes has changed the way music is distributed, cutting profits for major labels while leveling the playing field for independent artists. However while the distribution model has changed, the way that people experience music has not. In most cases it’s still just an audio download. Enter the App, apps provide the opportunity to turn sales into what they should have always been conversations. While people have been talking about this for a while I think there are a couple things that will have to happen before we see a significant shift from traditional releases to App releases.

Acceptance vs Understanding: While it is clear to almost everyone in the music industry that mobile marketing and distribution needs to become a larger piece of their overall business strategy, many have not done much if anything to address it. That’s because they know they need to do something but most of them don’t know what that something is. They have accepted that they need to change, but they don’t know what that change should be because they don’t completely understand the the opportunity that a more mobile distribution model provides.

Understanding vs Execution: There are also people who have accepted that they need to change, understand why the change is necessary and yet they still have done nothing. The growth in the use of mobile marketing as an effective, engaging and innovative tool to communicate with customers will not be driven by ideas. It will be driven by the execution of those ideas. Brainstorming sessions don’t sell music.

So, once we have moved from simply accepting and understanding what’s happening to actually executing and becoming a part of the change we will see in the entertainment industry the change that Howard Moskowitz brought to the spaghetti industry. Artists interpretations of the App that vary as much as the sound (and quality) of their music. Until then, go buy a CD.

Just My 2 Cents.

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