One day while I was browsing through the internet, there was a very interesting article that caught my eye. Now you all know, being the artist that I am, downloading and sharing music isn't the greatest thing in the world but I respect everyone else that chooses to do so. I know that an artist doesn't make much money from album sales, but for me it's more of giving respect to the artist because of the hard work they put into the album. When an album is produced for an artist there is a lot of work put into it and the artist has plenty that he/she wants to show their fans. If the fans don't buy the CD, then they never get what the artist intended for them to have. Whether it be, pictures taken, credits in the album, or even the thank you section at the end of the CD insert. You learn a lot about artists that way.
Anyway, what I'm trying to get to is a new type of marketing that Apple and EMI are getting involved in. Of course most of us are familiar with downloading music onto ipods and we all know the cost of the download is .99. What Apple plans to do is created a download that would be available for .99 which will be a restricted downloading, meaning it can't be copied or shared. They will also create a another download that will cost $1.29 which will be a restricted-free downloading and it will have a better quality sound. This second download can obviously be downloaded and shared. Stopping right there for a second, I'm not too sure how I feel about that. I take that as those that want to purchase the music for themselves only and pay a cheaper price because they aren't interested in copying are being cheated by getting a sound that has a no good quality, and those that want to share music get a better quality sound. Is this fair? I think that it will push everyone to pay the full $1.29, which I understand is a great way to pull in money. It's business. But I think that it's a forceful way to do business. Apples knows that they have a tremendous customer base and they wanted to make a little extra money so why not be the first to feed into the music piracy frenzy. HMMM! Not trying to say that's what the goal was but it seems a little fishy to me. I'm not totally sure of the plans that EMI Group plans to embark on but it will probably be just as enticing. We will see how this restriction free downloading will work in the near future.
Right now I also know that competitors of EMI Group and Apple are not feeding into the downloading frenzy. They actually think that Apple's customers will only be even more confused with the whole restricted downloading process, but I guess only time will tell. Below is a little from the article I found. Read over it. It's really interesting. I would also like to know your thoughts and some of your solutions on what you would do if you were a music company as a competitor of Apple or EMI Group.
Why Online Music Will Stay Locked Up
Louis Hau, 05.03.07, 6:00 AM ET
Just because the music industry has already been hit harder by digital piracy than other entertainment businesses doesn't mean it should give up the fight to protect its content, said Michael Nash, Warner's senior vice president of digital strategy and business development, speaking at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers annual convention.
"No intellectual property business is going to cross the digital divide without figuring out how to protect its content and to ensure that transactions are associated with the acquisition of content,'' Nash said. "The music industry simply has to solve the content security problem or risk the obsolescence of its business model.''
Thomas Hesse, president of global digital business and U.S. sales for Sony BMG, quipped that, "We don't want the whole world to be a college dorm. Because that's what a no-DRM world looks like--it's a world in which all product can just be cloned without limitation."
Straddling the middle ground was Universal Music Group, which has been mulling the possibility of dropping usage restrictions, according to Amanda Marks, Universal's executive vice president and general manager of digital distribution.
"It is a step that we would not take lightly," Marks said, adding that "if further tests prove that this provides us with a net positive sales result, by which I mean sales increase more than piracy, then we will try to work out a reasonable solution."
Meanwhile Apple's online music competitors are arguing that dropping DRM could actually make buying online music even more complicated than it already is.
Please leave your comments. I want to know what others think about this.