Share the Digital Booty

Interesting academic report from Harvard University that talks about how important sharing (as opposed to piracy) will be a key driver for online music services.In order for online music to fulfil its potential it will rely on online playlists and allowing podcasters or bloggers to be its ambassadors and evangelists by including music in their efforts.

“Sharing isn’t equivalent to stealing,” said Michael McGuire, research director at Gartner Inc., and a co-author of the report.

The study claims that soon 25 per cent of online music store transactions will be driven by “consumer-to-consumer taste-sharing applications, such as playlist publishing and ranking tools built into online music stores and external sites with links to stores.”

Sounds Web 2.0 and the music industry are heading for the kind of crash that an express train would be proud of. Its going to get messy before it gets better and the music industry will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the future, despite the fact that sharing music in this way is just the digital equivalent of promotions and record plugging.

Kudos to Marketwatch.Picture courtesy of Toner.