Give The Music Away

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How do you wrestle control of the music download business away from Apple? Mark Cuban says you should give the music away and sell advertising instead. I have to admit, there just might be something to what Mr. Cuban is saying.

Would it be worth it to Google to pay $575mm and up per year to completely turn Apple upside down ? To completely preempt their ability to sell IPods ? To potentially introduce a new hardware device, or partner with someone who has one ? To sell advertising around the music rather than the music itself ?
 

AaronP

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They wouldn't be able to do it because the people who run the Music Industry are too fucking greedy.
 

ferzerp

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Who would put up with advertising on their personal mp3 player?

Not I.

Not many I suspect.
 

HardOCP News

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I think what he was saying was this:

Pay the industry money for licensing. Put ads on the webpage (not your MP3 player).

Cuban is saying that the industry made $575 million off of iTunes last year. Google paid almost 4 times that for YouTube. it would be a bargain to spend $600 million to license all the music they want from the industry and do with it what they will (give it away) the industry wouldn't care, they are being paid for it. Google could sell ads on the GoogleTunes store and so on.

I could actually see this working for Microsoft, they have the money and the resources to...at least...offer $0.25 tunes and still come out even.

If MS and Google teamed up...wow.
 

kush

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Drop the DRM, and then we'll talk..I could give a rats ass less if THEY paid ME, ad supported very low -> no cost, whatever - I'm not touching any of these services with a 10-foot-pole if they have DRM. Same/similar pricing, no physical product, and on top of that you are telling me I can't use the product why *I* want? Just let the dinosaur die - the real (talented) musicians out there will have no problem selling their wares THEMSELVES, and *gasp* they would end up making FAR more than the RIAA cartel pays them currently.
 

drizzt81

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Very interesting idea. I am always surprised by how many businesses can run based on ads alone.
 

WhiteWhale

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kush said:
Drop the DRM, and then we'll talk...
Think kush got it right. People really just aren't going to do much with it until the drm or fair useless stuff is gone. Which of course the cartel won't let you do.

--WW
 

nilepez

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kush said:
Drop the DRM, and then we'll talk..I could give a rats ass less if THEY paid ME, ad supported very low -> no cost, whatever - I'm not touching any of these services with a 10-foot-pole if they have DRM. Same/similar pricing, no physical product, and on top of that you are telling me I can't use the product why *I* want? Just let the dinosaur die - the real (talented) musicians out there will have no problem selling their wares THEMSELVES, and *gasp* they would end up making FAR more than the RIAA cartel pays them currently.
Only if they find an audience that will buy the music. It's easy to rag on the labels (and the RIAA). Hell, they often deserve it, but the truth is that most bands need the promotional push a label can give them. Of course if the goal is just to be a live band, then it doesn't matter. But if you want to get on the radio, you better have a label behind you. The only major exception to this rule is College radio (though even those are harder to get on than they were 20 or 30 years ago) and established acts (Pearl Jam and Prince come to mind). However, the latter almost always end up signing deals with the majors to promote and distribute. A new act could never get that type of deal.
 

nilepez

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WhiteWhale said:
Think kush got it right. People really just aren't going to do much with it until the drm or fair useless stuff is gone. Which of course the cartel won't let you do.

--WW
I want lossless files. I don't care about drm if it's burnable, because once I burn it, the DRM is gone....obviously that's a much bigger issue with DRMed lossy files. The bottom line is I refuse to pay for audio files that chop off all the frequencies above 16khz. And I also refuse to pay for files that lock me into a certain player.
 

pgwalsh

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Mar 21, 2005
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Steve said:
I think what he was saying was this:

Pay the industry money for licensing. Put ads on the webpage (not your MP3 player).

Cuban is saying that the industry made $575 million off of iTunes last year. Google paid almost 4 times that for YouTube. it would be a bargain to spend $600 million to license all the music they want from the industry and do with it what they will (give it away) the industry wouldn't care, they are being paid for it. Google could sell ads on the GoogleTunes store and so on.

I could actually see this working for Microsoft, they have the money and the resources to...at least...offer $0.25 tunes and still come out even.

If MS and Google teamed up...wow.
What's to say Apple couldn't take the same approach? What's good for one could be good for another. Their would be an interesting wrestling match between Google, Microsoft and Apple. Considering Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, sits on Apple's board, it would be unlikely for Google to bite at Apple's new bread and butter. He would have to leave the board.

I find it more likely for Google and Apple work together. Apple has a superior distribution model compared to other stores. While a search is easy enough for Google, they may not want to go through the hassle of supporting a site when they can use an existing one. If Google injects advertising within ITMS you might see Mark Cuban's senario. With free music, you'll see a lot more downloading and the music industry will want their slice. Ad supported options may include sitting through an advertisement to obtain the free music or ads pushed to you.

Without a doubt, I think it's time for the music industry to drop the DRM requirement and lower the prices to your suggested $0.25. We'll see.
 

nilepez

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pgwalsh said:
Without a doubt, I think it's time for the music industry to drop the DRM requirement and lower the prices to your suggested $0.25. We'll see.
That will never happen. There are already bands that refuse to put their music online, because they make almost nothing from iTunes sales (and I assume that is true for other sites as well).

Radiohead was never on iTunes, but they were on Buymusic. They've since pulled everything.

A band typically makes between $2.00 and $4.00/album. $0.25/song adds up to maybe $3.00/album. If the seller gets nothing, that leave no more than a buck for the label.

It's NEVER going to happen. Prices on music have declined over the years (when adjusted for inflation), but they're not going to drop to a quarter. Sheesh, singles cost more than than 30 years ago.

I don't value sound files very much (especially lossy sound files), but bands, labels and online file brokers are out to make money. A quarter isn't a money making proposition for anyone.
 
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