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Monday, August 03, 2009

One copy, one sale, many users

This is the new business model of the Music, Movies and soon e-books users.
File sharing is going to be the ONLY reality of tomorrow while it is the predominant reality of today.
It wasn't long ago that many predicted that CDs would never replace vinyl, and later that MP3s would never replace CDs.
You can still find great record stores that specialize in vinyl, but the trend towards digital music has been steady and unstoppable.
And the music industry has paid a huge price for their failure to embrace the new technology. After first ignoring new technologies, they then proceeded to try to sue innovators, restrict users with DRM copy protection and then punish fans with indiscriminate lawsuits, none of which did a thing to stop online sharing of music. Sales are down, illegal file sharing is up, and no one has found a way to unite the industry around monetizing the sharing of digital music.

Will the same thing happen to the publishing industry as books become digital? If the trend continues, with better devices promising longer battery life and better screen resolution, digital books will become a force to be reckoned with. Are we doomed to watch the publishing industry run through the same gamut of bad decisions that have plagued the recording industry for the last few years?

Book publishers should learn from their friends in the music industry and move aggressively to try out new models.
But which new models?
First of all one phrase has to be said before beginning to evaluate the available possibilities and this is:

Good bye to huge revenues.

"Let’s use MJ’s tragic death as a mini case-study. $300 million over, for example, 25 years? That’s $12 million a year.
I’m deliberately leaving out ads, endorsements, concerts, etc., to focus on the structural problems in one industry: music.
If the world’s biggest pop star only made $12 million a year from his recordings, why would anyone make serious music? Where did the rest of the money go? Why, straight into record labels’ pockets. Did they make better music with it? Nope — they made Britney and Lady GaGa. And that’s how they killed themselves: by under investing in quality, to rake in the take."

Copyrights should be the revenue of the artist, not the (enormous) income of the industry.
Revenue should be on the base of the audience.
If you have one thousand customers you earn 5 euro per copy, if you have one million you cannot expect to earn five millions, or you shouldn’t.
In principle the job is the same and the number is NOT always due to the fact you are a genius, very often is a value added by a wider audience.
"Innovation tends to occur not because of one brilliant idea from one brilliant individual — but as an ongoing process, with lots of folks tossing different ideas at the wall, and seeing what sticks."
The success of MJ was due also to the dedication of his fans, and they should be in one way rewarded.
Why not by paying less?

The Ramsteins will held a concert in Berlin on December 18,19, 20, 21.
The tickets were Euro 70.
I found that price outrageously high.
But that was nothing compared to the Euro 200 or 250 they reached on eBay a few days ago.
And we were in July!
They sold tickes for 120,000 fans A DAY!
That makes 480,000 people in four days!

I guess that if they do not sell CDs and their music is illegally downloaded, they still make ENOUGH money!
My question is: Would they be so popular and be able to have full house in ANY concert, if their music was not as well known as it is thanks to the "free" downloads?

This is a good example of "alternative" business model to guarantee the right revenue to the copyrights owners...
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