Great post, Jane! I love Hypem! I would agree with you that the service provides a unique value-add in the increasingly competitive music streaming space, in which a new entrant like Apple Music can be highly disruptive simply by offering a more comprehensive catalog. Hype Machine seems to successful give users something more than just music through its curated and interactive offering.
At the same time, I would question their ability to scale and monetize. Does it really have a “competitive advantage” in terms being cost-effective; I would imagine its limited staff is a product of having a relatively small user base (i.e. true hipsters :P). I also wonder how effectively they’re monetizing the service through this page-view model; does it really translate into sustainable revenue growth and margins? As you mentioned, services like Spotify and Pandora make the majority of their revenue/profit on subscriptions rather than ad revenue which to me implies the challenges of monetizing based simply on views/displays.
Great post, Ashley! Given that Iron Mountain’s value-add is essentially real-estate and distribution, their operational focus on density-optimization and capturing economies of scale makes a lot of sense.
You mention their move into other value-add services as documents are digitizing, I wonder if their current capabilities align to be the best or most cost-efficient provider of these services. I wonder what the competitive landscape looks like around digital document and information system management and if Iron Mountain can really compete with them. Perhaps, demand for their primary service is will continue to be strong (especially as they expand globally), giving them time to build up these capabilities.