Future of Digital Music–The Future of LMS Content

Recently, I spoke with a reporter from The Vancouver Sun about the future of the music industry and digital music. I have written before on the topic in my post New Music Distribution Model: Video Games.

The music industry is still struggling with creating a new revenue model and how to handle the disaggregation of content. I told the reporter:

“I think they (CDs) will go the way of 8-tracks,” he said. “Basically, what the music business is having is a disaggregation of content.

“Rather than a CD or album, you have to find multiple distribution channels for [today’s] music. Before, there were limited distribution channels and purchasing channels.

“There are bands that are bypassing labels and going straight to their fans,” Kapp said. “You can do it all with software, you don’t need a huge recording studio, and it is also now easy to sell your music and distribute it.

“You are always going to have the Britney Spears and Christina Aguileras, the huge stars that need the machine behind them. But there are far more artists that can make a decent living [who] are never going to be superstars.

Plus I said that new channels…like any web enabled appliance can become a channel for musical content and that micropayments might be the future of the music industry.

Check out the entire article: Digital downloads kill music on discs

The music industry is a model of how I think training content is headed. The idea is that the content within the LMS can no longer live in the LMS trap. Like music used to live in the trap of albums or CDs. You liked one song but you had to pay for the entire album or CD. The same way in learning, you want one piece of content but you have to go through the entire course to find what you need. Instead, information needs to be free and people need to find it more easily than loggin into an LMS, finding the right course, navigating to the right spot and then learning what you wanted to learn ten minutes ago.

Disaggregation is the future of the music industry and of training content.

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Posted in: Out and About

Leave a Comment (5) ↓


  1. Laurie August 11, 2009

    Recently, digital music is improving until such time that downloading of music instructional software is popular. In this kind of method, work goes simplier and easier.

  2. Bart April 8, 2009

    I’m not sure if you’ve ever downloaded and installed Steam to a PC…but this is another model that I feel LMS systems could move towards. We’re using it to help run our university-wide gaming initiative here at PSU.


  3. Mark Burke April 3, 2009

    Well – Dr. K — you have never been one to not express a revolutionary vision…

    I agree with your music industry comments — spot on.

    An educational market, with this must disaggregation scares me. If I as a learner have TOTAL choice, what happens when I learn something out of sequence. I still hold that teachers and experts should prescribe learning paths that can lead to success. There seems to be risk in open selection.

    How do we handle this?

  4. Greg Sweet March 31, 2009

    Mr. Kapp,

    I disagree becasue I do not think your comparison is accurate. I don't think that content disaggregates as much as it aggregates in new ways. That is, LMS <> album, LMS = iTunes.

    LMSs just need be more iTunes-like and allow learners to pick and choose more freely among the content. Afterall does anyone really complain about needing to log in to iTunes or Amazon to find a purchase content?

    Then of course, is this really a fucntion of the LMS or is it function of content design?

  5. Avneet March 31, 2009

    Karl, there are some great insights in this post. Being new to the L&D field, I was really surprised to hear this comment from an executive of a training company: "by moving our courses to online, we are actually reducing the students'/ instructors' flexibility". But it makes sense – because the LMS is constructed around "processes" i.e. reading/ studying/ enrolling etc – rather than around "content".

    Would love to talk more about what is disaggregat-able in a training course, what form/ format does it take . . .etc. Are you open to a quick conversation around this? Please let me know at avneet.jolly at insightory.com.

Karl Kapp
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