We recommend a long blog post by The Echo Nest’s Paul Lamere this week, grappling with the question of whether the 40% of consumers who are “indifferent” to music, spending nothing on it, are entirely lost to the industry. He thinks not, citing their willingness to listen to radio as encouraging. “First, we have to drive the out-of-pocket costs to the listener to zero. This is already being done via the Freemium model – Ad supported Internet radio (non-on-demand) is becoming the standard entry point for music services. Next, and perhaps more difficult, we have to drive the number of interactions required to listen to music to zero,” he writes. Cue a project called Zero UI, which will see Lamere trying to build “a music player that minimizes the interactions necessary to get good music to play – a music player that can capture the attention of even the musically indifferent”. He plans to spend the coming months exploring how a digital music service can use signals like social data, context, location and even data from wearable devices and activity-tracking apps to refine its selection with minimal input from the user. Worth watching.

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