Friday, December 31, 2004

Music = Loud

Why is music so loud now-a-days. I pretty much can't go to a show without earplugs. And I always forget the earplugs... so I end up sticking anything in my ears... paper towels, hats, beer....

Am I old now? Isn't complaining about music volume the mark of an old person. My brother-in-law-in-law used to say that having his first BBQ was when he finally knew he was a man... grown up 'n all. I wonder when that happened for me....

More scattered thoughts....

I like web comics.

Web comics are great because the biggest expense associated with them appears to be web hosting. (and supplies, but I suppose those that create web comics would have the equipment no matter what)

Internet distribution is going to change the way the world works. The record industry knows this. That's why they're lobbying so hard to keep their business model intact.

I buy CDs. I like owning the media. I'm probably like most Americans.

Who is the guy who's going to figure out how to make a business model out of un-DRMed (digital rights management) distribution of music? I've spent time thinking about it, but so far all I've come up with is a website that's primary offering is to categorize and rate all the music, and provide hosting to the artists. So you take the place of the record labels by filling the two major rolls the recording industry fill today. 1) Marketing. 2) Distribution.

Maybe the business model needs to be like google adwords.... artist royalties per download.... that model has problems as well though. In order to remove the DRM enticement you have to make money for the artist and middle-man no matter how many copies of the song are traded. Subscription fees to access the ranking/recommendation system is one area that seems like it's ripe for money.

In the future of music distribution, the hard part is going to be finding the music you're interested in. As music production costs come down, and distribution costs come down, the hard part will be finding good music.

The problem is getting the artist money in that model.... maybe it needs to look something like this.

1) Artists are paid to get their music into "the system".
2) Artist retains all copyrights and royalties to the music. (they call pull their music off "the system", They can also sign deals with other distributors)
3) Artists are paid bonuses for the "activity" their music generates. (activity could be high reviews, or inbound links. "The system" would need some good spam filtering if possible to avoid abuse)
4) Users have access to any piece of music in "the system"
5) "The system" will track ratings and recommendations to provide value to discerning users looking for new music.
6) Users may be requires to paid for bandwidth they consume from "the system" (priamarily to offset bandwidth costs)

So... who wants to make "the system" with me?

Here's what I like about
1) Artists get paid
2) Artists could get paid more for better/more popular music
3) Nobody cares about DRM or expensive lawsuites.
4) Artists get paid

Here's what I haven't figured out yet
1) Can the recommendation/ratings be valuable enough for people to pay for them.
2) Will people pay for the bandwidth they use? (if not, then this could fall about as bandwidth costs soar through the roof)
3) Is somebody going to steal my idea and make this before I do.
4) Will artists find this model compelling.

Maybe it's just the wine talking...

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