its the simplest of ideas. Take any MP3 player, Ipod, PSP, whatever and pre load it with songs. With 30, 60 and 100gbs capacities, the potential is amazing. How simple it would be if the user could sample and choose.
No more having to go to illegal sites to sample music to decide if you want to buy it or steal it (them , not me :).. Its all right there.
ITunes Media Store users could let Apple download overnight and fill up your hard drive and let you go nuts.
Think maybe the total amount of music sales might go up ? Of course it would.
Think piracy would go down ? No question about it. Its easy to spend hours on your own Ipod picking and choosing, even for high school kids wit hmore time than money. And it would be fun and a huge value add for music consumers.
So why doesnt it happen ? This old fuddy duddy music licensing organization called the Harry Fox Agency.Talk about an organization so out of step with the times its holding an entire industry back.
How expensive is it to “pay the Harry Fox Piper ?” From their website
“The current statutory mechanical royalty rate is $.085 (8.5 cents) per song per unit for recordings of compositions up to five minutes (5:00) in length. “
Thats alot of money. Do the math. How many songs can you pre load on a 30gbs or 60gbsIPod. How many as those harddrives grow and grow.
At 8.5 cents ea. Thats big, big dollars. Per Ipod. Which is exactly why you cant buy MP3/Ipod devices preloaded with music. Its obscenely expensive .
Why not do it the right way. Since units like the Ipod can track usage, just set a very simple reporting mechanism. Its being done for subscription services. Downloads are tracked. Listening is tracked. Why not apply it to mobile devices ? If the user has privacy concerns, they wont buy the unit with this feature.
There is absolutely no reason for Harry Fox to charge just because a song is preloaded on the Hard Drive. It has every right to charge if that song stays on the hard drive and is listened to.
So why not finally put DRM to ause that actually benefits consumers ? If that song stays on the hard drive 5 daysand is listened to more than 5 times during any period, then Harry Fox can collect on it. It wouldnt be 8.5 cents. Thats a ridiculous number of course when there could be thousands of songs on a hard drive. People who just kept the songs on the hard drive could end up costing the distributor thousands of dollars per Ipod as hard drives grow. But just like the subscription services have worked things out, there is no reason why Harry Fox cant come in to the 21st century and realize that their beneficiaries will make more money by making it easier for music lovers to consume music.
It also takes away some of the incentive for users to troll illegal download sites.ITunes and the other music sites could easily download music overnight and let the users have fun with it.
Wake up with a 1k new songs on your IPod every day, week or month. Pick and choose what you want. Keep what you like, delete the rest. If you dont want to delete, we will remind you that you will be charged for them and we will hit your credit card for them.
Its the 2006 version of the Record Club. Instead of mailing a record or CD, they download to your harddrive. If you dont delete it, you bought it. And deleting a song is a lot easier than returning a CD.
Of course, Harry Fox will probably fight this idea. Why ? Dont know. Ask them. But the labels surely should be fighting to make this happen. Otherwise its just one more blown opportunity.