Thursday, October 11, 2007

record companies optional?

i bought radiohead's new album this week and got it delivered as a 40-something megabyte zip file full of DRM-free mp3's.  and now madonna, nine inch nails, oasis, jamiroquai and others are following the trend.  this has to have the industry in a state of panic.  if they aren't then, they should be.  i'm sure that they still feel like they have a stranglehold on a lot of typical distribution control (radio+mtv), but imagine if social networks start flipping that on it's head.  there's been rumors of a big new set of features for music on facebook.  just imagine if/when radio becomes less relevant towards artist discovery, and it's based on recommendations from social networks.  that time is almost here and it's going to get very interesting.

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I hear you. After setting up my Apple TV I couldn't help but muse similarly with respect to broadcast TV. We have recently more or less stopped watching it and renting TV shows we were interested in on DVD (rented via Block Buster's online service). That works great and is extremely inexpensive at the expense of not being on demand.

When we setup Apple TV we were interested in the series Mad Men and Swingtown and withing a few minutes were watching episodes of each for $1.99. After liking Mad Men we paid for the whole season for $20. Definitely more expensive than waiting for DVDs from Blockbuster but the on demand aspect balances that out (plus we can watch at our leisure while still getting movies from Blockbuster instead of an entire TV series filling up our rental queue).

I think that in the end these usage prices will drop and this will become even more appealing, especially as direct-to-web productions become more predominant and better produced (check out Dr. Horrible).

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