Monday, November 06, 2006

it's mostly commercial

During my conversation with Dave Douglas last friday, I asked him if his MP3 store used DRM (I didn't know, because buying MP3s isn't really attractive to me). He replied that it didn't use any and that he'd rather trust in the consumer's goodwill/solidarity/honesty (I paraphrase, but I think that was the gist of it). It's interesting, then that Greenleaf should post an article about the Russian AllOfMP3 site. Not so much because they're selling albums without authorisation, but because the format they're moving to, "an ad-supported distribution of free content," might very well become the industry standard:

many record labels are planning to let users download their content for free in exchange for putting advertisements, sponsorships or promotional offers in audio and video files and on peer-to-peer networks such as Grokster or Limewire.
Should music be like TV (or, perhaps more accurately, radio)? Will it be possible to circumvent these ads, just as the TV shows you can download on bittorrent networks are stripped of their ads? Will making the free stuff worthless (who wants to listen to ads on their MP3 player?), encourage people to spend more? If people become totally unaccustomed to paying for music, will an advertising-supported model further marginalise non-mainstream music or not have much of an effect either way (or have a postive effect)?