How the music industry could save its butt, and their retailing partners butt in the process.
Record labels and distributors (aka Music Industry, aka RIAA) are watching CD sales drop while online music market languish.
Lawsuits and technology counterfight didn’t prove successfull in limiting illegal P2P music downloads. Loathed DRM technology proved to be a barrier to online music sales.
Regain the control of the sale process.
Put themselves again in the center of the music market and control it.
Surf the digital wave instead of trying to hide from it.
Sell digital music without detested DRM both through online stores and offline ones.
Illegally copying digital tracks (MP3) it’s much easier than copy vinyl, tapes or CD. The illegal copy of digital tracks will become such widespread that the overall music market will irreversibly shrink.
The big mistake
The assumption digital music is evil and need to be fight in a all out attack for life or death lead doers to throw away the baby with the bath water.
Digital music is an opportunity to sell much more music and to increase the music market worldwide.
Traditional distribution costs can be reduced through digital distribution, opening the market to new buyers.
High spenders can be lead to pour money through VIP products.
From a user perspective P2P is a time consuming activity, download performance are not always satisfactory, it’s morally condemnable and it’s also an illegal activity.
An efficient online store enabling user to quickly find and download legally what they are looking for at a cheap price without cursed DRM and with a clear fair-use license could prove to be a KillerApp.
There’s no need to use illegal P2P when you can do the same legally and better at a reasonable price, thus P2P music download would irreversibly shrink.
A network of offline store enabling user to buy digital music and transfer it to their devices legally for a cheap price could prove profitable.
Apple digital music platform is profitable, yet it is not a viable solution to replace the traditional music distribution model for the following reason:
it’s intended mainly as an instrument to support devices sales,
you need to download and install specific software,
it’s compatible only with Apple mobile players,
it incorporate tormented DRM technology.
Give them a better experience and superior service. People need tactile and visual experience.
In each offline store allow clients to conveniently transfer music to their devices through blutooth/wifi/lan/usbkey/ipod/whatever; let them choose single tracks make their list, pay and copy them. In each store sell gadgets, players, hifi, everything. Digital devices sales are soaring quarter after quarter.
Each store being a superior flagship store for digital music.
It may sound naive, but it’s not. It’s just facing reality. What have been tried till now simply doesn’t work.
Either the music industry rise a white flag or try something else.
We are at the tipping point, and everyone knows. Music Industry is forced to take action in a different direction: “if you can’t beat them join them”; if not this quarter the next one or the following one but can’t procrastinate.