Will This Business Fail?! AudioCouch.com



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Hey guys...here is a chance for you to all test your entrepreneurial savvy. A friend of mine just started this site, AudioCouch.com and its in BETA right now...getting ready to launch soon. The question I have for you is...

WILL THIS BUSINESS WORK?

Why or why not? What do you think are it's strong points? What are it's weak points? Visit their site, check it out, and post your thoughts in the comments section below. Best comment wins a free copy of "The 7-Day Startup".

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13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

awesome website but with everyone and their mother carrying a personal mp3 player, do they really need something this redundant?

9:59 PM  
Blogger TeenBiz said...

That is a great point and a great question to ask, is there really a need for this? Do that many people rotate between multiple computers?

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Carl said...

I personally work in an office where I have internet access and the speakers are built into the monitor so I can't plug in my ipod. I would love to have access to my home music and I really think AudioCouch will fill that need pretty well. I can imagine a lot of older professionals that don't use ipods taking advantage of this so they can have their "classics" on in the office. But the first guy that posted had a good point, a lot of people do have iPods and MP3 players and if you already have one, it may not be all that useful to you.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i reckon this site will unfortunately not work due to everyone having a mp3 player up their sleeve but this idea is definitely very creative and can be successful if approached properly

11:17 PM  
Blogger Darryl said...

A few things..

The website looks modern, the idea of having your music connected everywhere, anytime, is good.. Although this has been done before!

I'd point your friend here http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/16-03/ff_free

It's good that he has a package that is free, but it should all be free, If you look at the economics of this model he is going to try using.. he will fail. It should all be free, advertising and sponsorship would be the best way to subsidise the cost of gb's.. Everyone else does it!

Also, as has been mentioned, everyone carries around their music on an mp3.. But then there is still a place for services like www.grooveshark.com in there, which millions use everyday.

This is an old way of looking at fixing a problem.. which isn't really a problem anymore.. Having a backup of your collection of music online is great.. But think about it this way.. How many gb's of music do people have these days? Look at capacitys of modern mp3 players for instance.. 16gb!?? Not going to scratch a dent I'm afraid!! The model everyone is moving back to is P2P. Its coming back in a huge way! Plus as everything tends to be always on and connected these days, it works better than it used to.. Also remember that things like Microsofts Mesh are starting to pick up steam.. People don't want outside solutions.. they want integrated, connected ways of doing what your friend is trying to launch. Anyway thats my 2 cents on it all anyway!

1:40 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Hellooooo! I believe this business will FAIL! Why? Although most people do, many people less computer savvy might not have flash installed, resulting in them not being able to view the site. Well unless the website checks and displays a simple plain text HTML page, I didn't check :P.
2. As it's been already suggested practically everyone has an MP3 player and will not be interested. I'm pretty sure the younger generation won't even take a second look at it.
3. By just a google search you can find a BUNCH of free alternatives for the same or similar concept.
4. SEO isn't that great IMO. Sure if you search Audio Couch it'll come up, but I couldn't find it searching audio streaming related keywords. But then it's only launched and it takes time so..
5. Prices- When I first looked at the prices I was like WHOAH! Well maybe not like that but still lol. I think it'll look much better if you put the prices down as per month instead of per year.. just seems like its less, or maybe thats just me.

He/She should have created something else.. maybe create something similar but instead somehow use the ipods wifi technology and be able to access the music with any ipod touch or other similar wifi enabled mp3 players. Now that would have been unique and something I would be willing to look at. Great Idea so whoever wants to use it, go ahead haha. Aha! It could be an Iphone/Ipod Touch App, forgot about that lol. Anyways Have to go to school :-(. Later.

3:31 AM  
Blogger Kitty Lover said...

Hi!

I looked at the website. It looks very good and very profesional. I think the business could do very well if it had somemore features. The reason it would need more features is because if you are just paying for something to put your music on you could just use your ipod, mp3 player etc and cary that around but the main idea of the business if so people can listen to music where ever they are which brings me to my next point. If you want to carry your music computer to computer you can go to a store and pay $25 for a 4GB USB memory stick where it cost more than that just for 2GB.

Also it looks just like iTunes which may lead some people away from it. Another disadvantage would be advertising. How could you advertise the business?

As a music lover myself I think they could improve the business a lot more such as being able to download songs for free with a subscription. The way you could offer free songs legally would be to have lots of ads like Spiral Frog and hae them "pay" for the music.

In conclusion, I think this business will not do well because of all of the free things out there.

Laura :)

PS I would love a copy of the 7 day start up! :)

12:42 PM  
Blogger TeenBiz said...

Great comments guys, you have all made some great points. You are absolutely right, there are similar sites out there already that are free (great link Darryl about what WIRED said about the "free" side of business) and many many people do have ipods and MP3 players.

A couple of you have alluded to the fact that their success may depend on their approach, and I am assuming you mean marketing approach. Since the site is done and ready to launch, what would you do if you were the marketing director to make this successful?

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Money Lady said...

I think the website looks great, but I had to click three pages before I understood what audio couch is. Also, most of my music is downloaded from napster to which I have a monthly subscription. If this were a way to consolodate all of the subscription services like I-tunes, etc so that I could get my music any where, any time, that would work.

I think the best thing a business owner can do is get feedback before they launch a product. Because it doesn't matter what we say now, it's too late.

Now you must implement a push strategy of marketing, instead of a pull strategy, that is having consumers looking for you instead of you trying to get your consumers to buy something they may not see a need for.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Nath5000 said...

Gregg,

- Microsoft has cloud storage with Microsoft SkyDrive as a part of their new Windows Live online service platform. They’re also not the only ones doing this and they allow storage of all different types of files and documents. Microsoft has 5GB of cloud storage of any file type for free and my guess is that that size will increase as time goes on just like how free web based email clients such as Gmail have increased their storage capacities over the years. What’s stopping services like those from implementing a flash based player and instantly becoming strong competitors to a site like Audio Couch?

-Who makes up the target market for Audio Couch and why would they need this service? Beyond that, why would they want it enough to pay for it? Audio Couch will offer 2GB of music storage and flash based access for $30 dollars a year? I think most people who want to bring their music around with them can at least afford a low quality no-name 2GB mp3 player on eBay or Amazon for the same price. It seems to me like the target customer is someone who is going to be using a PC other than their own, maybe their work pc or an internet cafe pc. But, If they can’t even afford or don’t want an MP3 player or portable storage medium which offers more flexibility, why would they want or pay for this type of service?

-Has your friend spoken to an intellectual property lawyer? This sounds like a legal headache. If I was going to start a business it wouldn’t be one based around worldwide internet access of copyrighted digital content.

- The website design is aesthetically nice except that the layout was poorly designed. On my 1280x800 laptop screen, which I think is a standard modern notebook resolution, I had to scroll down on the page to find the menu bar. I am not even using a web browser with any toolbar plug-ins installed that many people do have from what I’ve personally experienced. A website should have the navigation menu located somewhere that the user can see it right in front of them without requiring them to scroll anywhere. I'm guessing the website was designed on a large screen monitor.

-Look at other cloud storage providers and other music based web companies like imeem.com and figure out whether there really is a customer for this type of service. My guess is that there isn’t. If you don’t believe me, try surveying a random sample of what you think would be the target market before you put all the time and money into developing something that nobody is really going to even use let alone pay for.

I hope your friend is open to criticism. I find many people have a closed minded attitude when it comes to their own ideas or work that I like to call “I’m with the band syndrome". They think they’ve done a great job and that they have it all figured out and don’t seem to have enough self criticism let alone the ability to recognize external criticism and use it constructively.

I don’t think this project should've made it past the concept stage without a clear idea of who the target user would be and why they would use or pay for this service. Was there any form of market research attempted before developing the service? Why do they think people would want this type of service? What type of situations would the potential consumers be in that creates a need for this service? I think that they need to re-evaluate the purpose of this business and really try to look for a target market that they can clearly define and measure with some method of market research, even if it's just surveys or interviews.

Let me know what you think of my points.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

"What’s stopping services like those from implementing a flash based player and instantly becoming strong competitors to a site like Audio Couch?"

Simple. Having 100's of continuous connections streaming music for hours is pretty bandwidth heavy and would cost the company twice of what they pay for now. Not worth it. But then that wouldn't be a problem since no one would get it anyways. I would rather just go to last.fm

12:30 PM  
Blogger TeenBiz said...

Great comments guys...I am totally impressed with your knowledge and eye for good (or bad) business opportunities. Nath5000, I will address your points in a podcast in the next couple of days, due to the quality of the responses I feel it deserves and entire episode. I will go back over each of the comments and talk about the things each of you pointed out...then later we'll move on to the offline marketing stuff I promised in the last episode and how that might fit the AudioCouch.com model.

You guys have touched on some great points...nice work.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Nath5000 said...

That sounds good. I’m looking forward to the next episode. You should bring the friend behind AudioCouch onto the podcast as well. I’d be interested to hear the attitude or temperament behind the business and what he/she thinks of the business as well as what they think of our comments. Maybe they have already considered everything we’ve mentioned or maybe they haven’t. It would be interesting to hear.

10:27 AM  

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