I am surprised that this thread has pointed so strongly toward the
price hike and quality as being risky.
Please let me be concise with some of the facts....
Steve Jobs noted that about 3% of music on all iPods is copied from
CD...... CD that is already non-DRM and sold by the major record
labels. In the penultimate two years, the biggest selling albums have
sold about 10 million copies each worldwide, down to 6 million in
2006. Seeing that probably over a hundred different albums are
released per month in the UK and US, the chance of a new recording
being successful enough to make the charts in future is pretty slim
on CD sales alone..... if you look at the amount of new artists in
the UK chart during any one year, I would be surprised if there were
a crossover of upwards of ten percent in to the mainstream.
With this in mind, the major record labels are making pretty large
investments in new product, which is cross collateralised from profit
on their own successful artists. If one looks at the piracy issue,
the biggest "loss" was through illegal copying of CD by industrial
duplicators. The RIAA and others could average their losses by
looking at the illegal manufacturing, in the physical sense. They
then put their stall out by going after "high profile" sharers.....
mostly youngsters, as a way of changing public opinion..... as well
as trying to stop the real pirates with criminal legal action.
The relationship between the Majors and its public has been fraught
for a long time, in my opinion since W.H.Smith was included in to the
fold of record shops only selling what the Majors wanted them to,
back in the late eighties when it was all about a monopoly on
physical distribution. The top five lost much of their customer
loyalty and as such the internet, and copying, was the perfect reply.
From way back then, EMI was parodied as "Every Mistake Imaginable"
within the recording world..... which if you look at some of their
failures was pretty true.
I think that Steve Jobs has defined a market and it has taken a lot
of persuasion to get the Majors involved....... illegal file sharing
will be eventually seen for what it was all along, a smokescreen
covering the fact that the major record companies completely lost the
plot at the beginning of the nineties. Now they have evidence to
support legal downloading as a relevant revenue source.
There is still a huge market for high quality music and recordings,
with sample rates better than CD on the horizon.... this is hopefully
the beginning of that new market. With almost 0% manufacturing and
distribution costs in comparison to a physical CD, they will surely
make more money, not less, and EMI's share price will hopefully
reflect the u-turn in policy.
For my ten pence, I would rather pay for a proper legal product than
any of the crunched mp3 files that I have heard. In future I would
even pay double the present license fee to watch BBC TV on my laptop
worldwide through the net..... and I hope to, eventually.
One of the most exciting parts of all of this entertainment is the
growth and realtime connection within society as a result of TV
schedules, tours, and album releases..... across the board perhaps
that has a value that is lost when the control of the distribution of
ideas is lost, as has been seen due to concentrating on negative
issues instead of the positives.
Remember that Thriller sold 40 million copies in its first chart
run......... and for all the losses, CD sales haven't done too badly,
still, it is time for a change.
Download sales increased by 65% in 2006, but in the UK digital albums
are still only 1.4% of the overall album market. In the singles
market, where all this is being promoted, 79% of the 65.1 million
sales in 2006 were from legal downloads.
A quite astounding statistic is that CD sales, for many reasons, fell
by 20% in the US in the first quarter of this year compared to
last..... perhaps CD has finally had its day .... and now we can
begin to enjoy larger files with better quality. Blueray at 96Khz
with DTS for example, but then who wants a physical copy?
On the other hand, perhaps Apple and EMI are crazy......... the
evidence would suggest that they both have far to go forward, and at
least they are willing to give it a go. At £15 an album, if the
quality is good and the product is free of DRM, then I will certainly
buy it. I hope that they achieve the success that the artists need in
promoting their products, in a way that sounds as good as possible.
On 3 Apr 2007, at 13:15, Dave Crossland wrote:
On 03/04/07, Jason Cartwright <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:>
Yes, of course. However, I said "more people put the unDRMed file
on the> torrents". The file without DRM will be easier to
distribute, therefore> perhaps more people will.
The point about this Apple/EMI deal is that they have costed out
the"cost" of non-DRM. This is very significant, and something
MilesMetcalfe suggested in the DRM Podcast.
Since there's no transcript, here's my understanding of what Miles
was on about:
The BBC was in a unique position to be the first to
challengeentertainment businesses on their assumption that they
cannot makemoney without DRM.
How? Calling their bluff by asking to cost it out, and negotiate
Apple/EMI have beat them to it, but as Tom Loosemore said at the
startof the DRM podcast, the BBC dropped the ball on strategic
future mediavision some time ago.
In a capitalist system, everything has a price, even intangibles.
Sowhat is the precise figure of the risk that non-DRM formats poses
toproducers? Specifically, at what price would they sell the BBC
therights to publish online in non-DRM formats?
It makes sense for the BBC to offer non-DRM formats because it
ispublicly funded, and restricting the public isn't good. It makes
sensefor the BBC to seriously ask how much this would cost, because
it ispublicly funded and can actually pay a reasonable premium for
So far, this has not been discussed anywhere openly. All we have
fromApple/EMI's no-DRM publishing is a 130% price, and a higher
The higher bitrate is a misdirection, as someone else already said
The price is still significant, though.
The BBC is paying rightholders to be able to publish things in the
DRMiPlayer, they could pay them 130% of that cost and have no DRM.
Soundslike that hundreds-of-thousands budget figure bandied about
to develop"Open Trust Model DRM" or whatever it was, could be
better spent onthese 30%s.
Prices are ultimately set by what the market can bear, and
whenproducers have talked about the price of non-DRM content
before, namedvast sums that the market simply would not bear. The
BBC needs to beprepared to call their bluff on this. If I can buy a
DVD of a wholeseries for £20, watch any episode as many times as I
like, convert anyep to a format that will play on my iPod, and even
share duplicatecopies of the discs with my friends using software
that comes with theoperating system, then something like £5 per
showing per person isclearly a nonsense figure that the market
simply won't bear.
The thing about putting it into numbers is that they can be tested.
£5per showing per person can be put to the test in the market, as
anexperiment. If the public engages at this price point, amazing.
Ifthey don't, either the price has to come down, or a better
service hasto be provided.
I'll be interested to see what happens to the 130% price, if it
goes up or down.
The other thing about putting it into numbers is that it examines
theassumption that producers should be paid for things that
haven'thappened yet. Performers are by their nature egotistical,
and tend tooverestimate the size of their audience. The risk that
they aresuccessful, and non-DRM files will hurt their income, must
beconsidered next to the risk that they are unsuccessful, and they
willhave no income at all.
The other group who are influential in the BBCs use of DRM is the
BBCTrust. For them to mandate DRM seems to be the tail wagging the
dog.Surely the "public value test," that the trust is meant to
evaluateBBC activities with, is failed by DRM, since DRM provides
no value tothe public at all.
Its possible that, despite this Apple/EMI deal, television
productioncompanies will never take part in any non-DRM discussions.
The BBC has said it is committed to new talent, though, so if
thisreally turns out to be the case, the BBC can either become
anelitist institution propping up the old established players,or
make good on its commitment and start giving new talent theexposure
that they need, on the new terms that they will no doubt
becomfortable with. And pay them 30% more than the big boys!
Sent via the backstage.bbc.co.uk discussion group. To unsubscribe,
please visit http://backstage.bbc.co.uk/archives/2005/01/
mailing_list.html. Unofficial list archive: http://www.mail-
Sent via the backstage.bbc.co.uk discussion group. To unsubscribe, please
Unofficial list archive: http://firstname.lastname@example.org/