Seth Godin has a great post about 14 "things you can learn from the music business (as it falls apart)." And it doesn't just to music. Read the whole thing (a couple of times) but one big point that I take away is this: All the analysis and hand-wringing over what percentage of people pay for some downloadable album is really beside the point. The business model has changed for better or worse. The music business going forward won't continue to be about CD's that just happen to be available in electronic form but are … Read more
I stopped by the packed Nokia booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to get an update on the Nokia Music Store announced over the summer. It's already online in the U.K. (PC only), with a library of nearly 3 million songs.
The Web-based store looks fairly standard. But according … Read more
The answer is "Yes." Sony, as Techcrunch reports, is set to allow DRM-free online music...with the inane requirement that you visit a physical store to buy your online music.DRM free music from Sony BMG will be available from January 15 to those who purchase a plastic card called the "Platinum Music Pass" for the album they want from a retail store for $12.99. Buyers will then have to visit MusicPass.com and enter a code to download the DRM free album they selected in the store.
Astronauts have reported spotting Sony BMG executives … Read more
Call it a mix-and-match approach to music retailing.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment, one of the top four music labels, is the latest to meld an offline-online sales strategy. The record company said in a press release it will soon offer gift cards through brick-and-mortar stores that can be used to redeem music from the Web.
The best part of the offering is that the music is available in unprotected MP3s, more proof that Sony BMG is easing away from copy-protection software. Citing unnamed sources, BusinessWeek reported last week that the label is preparing to strip digital rights management software from … Read more
Social-networking manager Flock has really proven that there's a strong interest in browsers customized for specific users. The tools that it comes with are well-suited to helping people who spend their days navigating those networks. Songbird is the hatchling of Firefox and iTunes, a Flock for music lovers.
In the perfect utopia that exists only inside my head, all cell phones and MP3 players incorporate A2DP, also known as stereo Bluetooth. As a result, they're all compatible with stereo Bluetooth headsets like the Plantronics Voyager 855, which CNET rated 8/10, and which Newegg currently has on sale for $57.99, shipped. That's a pretty big savings over the $149.95 list price.
During business hours, the Voyager 855 functions as a fairly standard headset, albeit one with a cool sliding boom mic. When you want to get your groove on, you just connect the second … Read more
Ask Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead, whether the band's foray into a "pay what you want" model for music was successful and he'll tell you, as he told David Byne (Talking Heads) in this Wired interview:In terms of digital income, we've made more money out of this record than out of all the other Radiohead albums put together, forever--in terms of anything on the Net. And that's nuts. It's partly due to the fact that EMI wasn't giving us any money for digital sales. All the contracts signed in a certain era have none of that stuff.
Sounds great, except that he's comparing "more money" to "zero money." Apparently the music companies don't pay new bands (or old?) squat for digital sales (read: iTunes) of their music. I can't fathom why. I suppose because they don't have to.
But where the interview becomes useful and interesting is when Yorke talks through the relevance of this new model for new bands. Teaser: it's not.… Read more
We're putting the music industry to the sword today, because I just discovered this wonderful blog (The Future of Music), written by Dave Kusek (what is it about those Stanford anarchists?), and it's overflowing with great material.
Kusek points to an interesting Wired article on Doug Morris, chair and CEO of Universal Music Group. Morris suggests that the music industry has been pillaged by technology...yet he was powerless to stop the carnage:
"There's no one in the record company that's a technologist....That's a misconception writers make all the time, that the record industry missed this. They didn't. They just didn't know what to do. It's like if you were suddenly asked to operate on your dog to remove his kidney. What would you do?"… Read more
"Surely, you're joking!" I thought as I read Glyn Moody's take on recent rumblings from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Glyn was making the point that the music industry is hurting itself through its heavy-handed efforts to stamp out peer-to-peer file sharing/stealing.
He's right, but it's even worse than that, it turns out. The RIAA is actually trying to rewrite copyright law on the fly, as the Washington Post reports:In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the [music] industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer....
At least, that's what a recent study from Digital Music News and BigChampagne suggests. Why? Because 36.4% of the 1.66 million computers survey had LimeWire, a popular peer-to-peer (P2P) program installed. Guilty by association?
I have LimeWire installed on my Mac. This doesn't make me a thief. In fact, I've bought a wide range of music through iTunes over the past year. I think I've downloaded one or two songs and a few goal compilations using LimeWire in the past year when I couldn't find them on iTunes. The songs in question - by Led Zeppelin - I ended up buying (again, as I'd already bought them once or twice on CD and cassette tape) when they became available on iTunes.
So, 99.999% of the music I've listened to in the past year was happily bought through legitimate means. .001% was not. At least, not originally. Am I a thief? I suppose so. But not by any devious plan. I imagine that I'm not alone in how I consume music.
But maybe as a 30-something geezer, I'm atypical. Maybe everyone does want to steal music, as the music industry seems to believe. If this is the case, as Ars Technica writes, charging more per song does not sound like a winning resolution to the problem:… Read more