posted on Sep, 28 2010 @ 12:09 PM
Hope you don't mind, but here's a snippet of an article i wrote for university about this very issue.
Alternatives methods of distribution in the early 21st century
“"On one side is the old high ground of the industrial era capitalism; on the other, the new high(er) ground of next-generation capitalism. The
yawning chasm in between them is the gap between the 20th century and the 21st" – Gerd Leonhard
As already mentioned Radiohead’s ‘pay what you like’ technique would be more applicable for the bigger names in the industry, as is the
technique applied by Prince in which he released his album Planet earth with the Mail on Sunday newspaper at a cost of £250,000 but considered by
some to be an ingenious method of self promotion much to the dismay of retailers and Sony BMG. Paul Mcartney not only supported the Rage against
Simon Cowell campaign but contrastingly supported himself in the world of corporate advertising via Starbucks record label Hear records. Certainly
these methods may only really apply to the established, so what other options remain?
Rick Rubin (Co-head of Columbia records and producer) declared that music should employ a subscriptions service in which all the companies could
potentially agree on a format where music will be available everywhere for the a small fee. He worries that if something like his idea isn’t placed
into the system, the bigger corporations would wait for the companies to weaken and then be fully absorbed by Microsoft for example. His idea can be
summed up like so:
"You'd pay, say, $19.95 a month, and the music will come anywhere you'd like. In this new world, there will be a virtual library that will be
accessible from your car, from your cellphone, from your computer, from your television. Anywhere. The iPod will be obsolete, but there would be a
Walkman-like device you could plug into speakers at home. The service can have demos, bootlegs, concerts, whatever context the artist wants to put
out. And once that model is put into place, the industry will grow 10 times the size it is now.
Other ideas of a ‘Music tax’ have been submitted by Jim Griffin (Warner ) and Trent Reznor (of Nine in nails) who believe that a music could be
taxed via the ISP and the tax could be donated to the publishers and artists, although this deal which Warner claims could ‘generate $20 billion
annually’ is considered unfair by the millions of people who do not use the internet for downloading music.
The EFF (Electronic frontier foundation) who are donation-supported active representatives of public interest in both legal issues and campaigns
against the imposed ideas of internet tax and the ‘3 strikes’ rule , declare that a voluntary based submission to ‘get legit’ by submitting
less than ten dollars a month to an industry ‘collection agency’ which would prevent the offender from being prosecuted for illegally downloading
as then this money could then be pooled and re-distributed to copyright holders.
‘In exchange, file-sharing music fans will be free to download and share whatever they like, using whatever software works best for them. The more
people share, the more money goes to rights-holders. The more competition in applications, the more rapid the innovation and improvement. The more
freedom to fans to publish what they care about, the deeper the catalog”
And yet another idea presented into the public domain is the ‘Music like water’ idea by Gard Leonhard in which you pay for access and not the
individual track. The idea that music should be evenly distributed amongst everyone with full access to everything for a short monthly fee very
similar to the ideas presented above, in which the music experience could be customed to the individual listener (maybe with an account much like a
SKY television account holder for example), with feedback and ratings being a priority to the artist who will wish to enter this ‘new version’ of
the industry on the idea that the music can be distributed exactly the way it is now (i.e. very few changes in the format whether this be sharing via
MSN messenger or taking for a peer to peer system) but would have an ‘account’ that would allow you access to any music in a growing catalogue.
Gerd Leonhard said the following on his blog.
“Because here’s another thing that will happen when the water/music flows freely: the up-selling opportunities will be huge, diverse, and
multi-channel. We will have all the user data we could ever dream of having: opt-in profiles and lots of user feedback, usage patterns, program
preferences, personal profiles, locations and access modes. Apart from the obvious concerns over data security and privacy (now there’s another huge
business opportunity!), this data will allow the content providers / rights holders to zero in on one person at a time, and offer relevant and timely
upgrades to him / her, and maybe to place very unobtrusive and friendly product messages.”
Some examples of alternative methods of distribution...
Let me know what you think...