The Generation to Watch

One of the emerging traits of the Millennials is that they have a much different perspective on ownership on key areas of the marketplace.  While smartphones are high on the list of needed posessions, owning a car is not.  More critical is their perspective on the arts.  They love going to movies, but will not buy DVDs.  They love listening to music but will not purchase songs.

This last point came home with me recently as I spent some time with a freshman from college.  I watched as he pulled out his laptop and started listening to music on youtube.  He does not own an Ipod.  Now what is more surprising is that he is very much into music (making this audiophile very happy).  For over the last 5 years he has discovered the greatness of a wide variety of genre from the Beatles to Led Zeppelin and just about everything in between.

There is not a question of appreciating the arts with this generation.  It is more fundamental as to their disposable income.  For generations, the music industry has depended on record, compact disc and now digital media sales to drive and shape the sounds of the future.

I would argue that this is a larger concern.  Capitalism is dependent on possession.  It is the fuel that drives production.  From the Model T to the IPhone or Samsung S5, desire and purchase power drives the economic engine.  Since RCA Victor, the arts migrated from a Patron dependency to independent creativity.  During the late 70's, artists even started retreating from live concert performances because of this very model.

How DRM plays into this battle of economics is not clear, but what is clear is that there is a shift.  Apple's purchase of Beats is reportedly more to do with streaming music than with audio hardware.  This noted with the reported downturn in ITunes purchases bears the weight of this generation.  Loyal music aficionados will affirm support of the artist and purchase media regardless of the format.

About Sprawlgeek.
A Seasoned Technology Visionary possessing a deep understanding of technology and business processes.

Doug has accumulated over 35 years of experience in the technology and media markets. His broad career has ranged from leading Research and Development work for a 300+ million dollar company to an E-Government startup. His efforts have been recognized by major trade associations as well as Tier 1 clients.

Doug is now a private consultant and continues to provide his insights to the industry.