Open Data: devaluing or driving music business models?
There is a growing amount of music data “out there”. Data is collected everywhere
and becoming more readily available to the consumer, the private individual, and
above all to businesses. Rather than starting from scratch, business can build on “open” data for sales, and can create new products that make digital music more interesting. An increasing number of businesses are built on other businesses’ open data. Re-using data-sets to create new business opportunities is sensible business strategy, but what about making money ‘for free’ from other businesses available data?
Information is key, and open information is widely available. There’s already a trend toward openness, first with software and more lately with information. However, it can be argued that opening up media content via an API reduces the exclusivity of that content and so reduces its value. And yet, there are now apps and services that dip into many third party data sources to provide enhanced discovery experiences, thereby generating sales. Does opening up data commoditise it, or make it more valuable?
It is rare that a single metric in isolation provides valuable insight, so should music businesses release their data for the benefit of others to build new businesses and services? As the entire music and entertainment market is becoming increasingly reliant on connected data and accessing many data sources, how vulnerable and reliable is open data?
In order to remain competitive and market-leading should music businesses exercise control over proprietary data and take a walled garden approach, or a ‘build on mine and I will build on someone else’s’ attitude? What is the optimal combination of open and “walled garden” data?
Digital introduces the ‘revolution of choice’ with Open Data becoming a route to new symbiotic relationships built on openness, collaboration and transparency as business drivers and generating mutually beneficial innovation. Is giving out data inevitable if you want to sell something?
Opening up data in the music business, will we see a shift of balance in the entire industry just like what happened in the software industry? Where are copyright holders likely to complain - either now, or in the future? Are there any implications of the various licenses, such Creative Commons?
What are the drivers and motivations for opening up data in the music business?
What are the sustainable monetisation strategies of “open source data”?
What are the risks and the rewards, both short and long-term?