Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Napster has nothing to sell you....

Get ready for a massive backlash in the world of digital music.

As I mentioned earlier, pointing out an article which mentioned that Yahoo! is doubling prices for MP3 digital music subscriptions, there seems to a movement afoot in the "digital music subscripton" service provider world where they're trying to either (a) lock subscribers into long-term contracts for digital music downloads (and if the subscriber leaves the service, nullify their already paid-for digital music content), or (b) jack the prices through the roof. Or both.

And of course, the greed of the recording industry (and Hollywood) is behaind all of this.

I'm no expert here, but I foresee a backlash like an F5 tornado, leaving such of a whirlwind of discontent that seekers of digital music and video content will return to the digital underground of P2P networks to get what they want without being cheated and gouged.

Just my opinion, mind you, but it doesn't look good for digital music and video content subscription services -- they're certainly making efforts to make legitimate music and video content either too expensive, undesirable, or unworkable for the masses.

Andrew Orlowski writes in The Register:

Earlier this month, Napster began a billboard campaign making a virtue of its greatest shortcoming: that you don't get to keep any music. If you rent music from Napster, the music disappears when the relationship ends. If you want your music to last for life, you need a lifetime subscription to Napster.

Several other companies offer similar services. What they're really selling is a proprietary subscription radio service with a little time-shifting, and a little customization. Not a lot of customization because with a choice limited to a mere million songs there are sure to be a lots of tunes you can't hear, that you might want. And not a lot of time-shifting, either. But at the end of the day, you still have nothing to show for it.


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