recognizing Arthur C. Clarke’s third law

Posts Tagged ‘iTunes

The stars belong to everyone

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moby-waitforme-cover-webMoby sent an email to Bob Lefsetz regarding his new album Wait for Me [lala link]. In it, the recording artist shared the news that his album would be No. 1 in Europe if it weren’t for Michael Jackson. But then he said it was funny that the best-selling iTunes track is Shot in the Back of the Head.

To quote Moby’s email: “Why is that funny? Because it’s the track we’ve been giving away for free for the last 2 months and that we’re still giving away for free.” (Here, among other places.)

Having an official video by David Lynch certainly helped, but the iTunes sales are an excellent example of the famous bottled water analogy: even when something is available free, people will pay to get it in a manner that suits how they wish to acquire and use it.

(Title lyric by Brown, Henderson and DeSylva via Frank Sinatra.)


Written by chris

July 5, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Posted in copyright, marketing, music

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Workarounds as a business model

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Wired’s Listening Post blog has an interesting piece by Eliot Van Buskirk hypothesizing that iPhone applications may provide a workaround for the intransigence of iTunes pricing. Artists who want to be available via Apple at a price other than the fixed rate of 99 cents can simply package their music as an application.

The article gives the example of Seventh season “American Idol” winner David Cook. 19 Entertainmdavid-cookent/RCA is selling a virtual lighter application, one that just happens to play Cook’s single “Light On,” for $1.99 (iTunes link). Ad-supported free downloads are another possibility, as are a variety of other possible business models.

The obvious objection is that music acquired through an iPhone app wouldn’t synchronize with iTunes. But this could be overcome, Van Buskirk believes, by sending purchasers an unique code for downloading an MP3. That’s a lot more work than most people are willing to do – otherwise iPods might not have the giant market share they enjoy – but there may be a germ of a viable idea in here somewhere.

Written by chris

November 3, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Posted in Mobile, music

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Convenience, cost and DRM

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When it comes to view TV on a mobile device, the most common expression of skepticism is that nobodyiphone_apps will want to watch sports on such a small screen. (That’s in America anyway – it’s a moot point in other countries where such viewing is common.) But it’s possible that some minds were changed when power difficulties shut down the TBS domestic television feed during the American League Championship Series Game Five between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox, since that glitch didn’t affect subscribers to the MLB At Bat iPhone application.

There also has been some approving coverage of the price cut from $5 to $2.99 just in time for the playoffs. But on the flip side, several bloggers are noticing that the fee only covers the current season – which ends in a couple of weeks – and remembering that they spent money on videos that became useless when the MLB changed their DRM last year.

Written by chris

October 20, 2008 at 1:35 pm

Posted in Internet, Mobile, Television

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