I love my iPod.
It’s funny because I didn’t think I’d be an iPod person. I got an iPod a few years ago because I wanted to put all those educational audios on it rather than carting around a million CDs. I didn’t think I’d be that interested in the music part.
Why? Because I never could get the hang of the whole music thing. I have such eclectic taste that radio never worked well for me — I found myself picking stations not because they played more of what I liked but less of what I didn’t like. I almost never bought records because for the most part I would like one song from a band and that’s it.
But that all changed when I started to get ready for my first marathon. I decided maybe I better bring some tunes to keep me motivated. I started going through the CDs my husband had (my hubby has about 400 CDs, the complete opposite of me) and loading songs. And I started downloading those 1 or 2 songs from other bands from iTunes.
And now I finally get it. iTunes has allowed me to finally create the mix I want. I mean, I can’t stand country (although I have 3 songs from Faith Hill) and I got a lot of 80s and hair bands (but there’s a lot of bands I can’t stand in those categories who will never be MPW iPod-worthy). My taste ranges from Boomtown Rats to Queen (lots and lots of Queen, they were an exception to the no-album-buying rule, but no “Another Bites the Dust” or “You’re My Best Friend”) to Def Leppard to The Guess Who to George Michaels (gotta love him) to even a Ted Nugent song. (My husband couldn’t believe I put that Ted Nugent song on the iPod. I’ve often thought someone should have a contest, can you guess which Ted Nugent song I have on my iPod? In fact, I think I will have that contest. If you email me the correct answer I’ll send you a digital download of one of my info products. But I digress.)
Anyway, so where am I going with all of this? Well, I read an article about how the music industry is having a heck of a time making money now — for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is because they can no longer make money the way they used to.
You see, as I learned in this article, the music industry is financially based on selling albums, not individual songs. In other words, they make money by cramming albums down buyers’ throats, even if those buyers only wanted 1 or 2 songs. Now with iTunes, buyers buy the songs they want, they’re not forced to buy everything.
And the music industry is having some problems adjusting. So that means I’m actually in the majority of music buyers rather than the minority. And that’s why iTunes is making money hand over fist (because they’re allowing buyers to buy how they want, rather than forcing buyers to buy how they want to sell to them) and the record companies still haven’t figure out what hit them.
So what does this have to do with you? Well a couple of things. First off, is your business based on a way of doing business that makes more sense for you (the business owner) or your customers? If you aren’t selling your products or services in a way your customers want to buy, you ARE vulnerable. Even if this is the “way it’s done” in your industry, you’re a sitting duck for an Apple to burst on the scene and take it over. (Note, if this is you, there’s a big opportunity here for YOU to be the Apple in your industry.)
Second, are there ways you can restructure your products or services to make it a no-brainer to do business with you? Is there an opportunity to sell to your customers the way they want to buy?
Remember, buyers always have the power. They can choose to do business with you or not. It’s up to you to decide if you want to make it easy for them or not.