Yet Another Report Of Free Label Music That Isn't

from the details,-details dept

Last week, we noted that the press couldn't stop talking about Last.fm's supposed effort to offer "free" music, when the details showed it was a lot less than the press made it out to be. You'd think that maybe they would be more careful the next time around. However, when you combine the words "free" and "music" it appears that some folks in the press just can't help themselves. Thus, when a company named Qtrax announced "free" file sharing, with the backing of all four major labels, plus iPod compatibility, the press ran with it. The Associated Press and Reuters both ran with it... though, at least the Associated Press has quickly started backtracking after the various record labels all started denying any kind of deal with Qtrax. They admit they're talking, but no deals have been signed -- meaning that Qtrax jumped the gun, as did the reporters who ran with the announcement. Even if the labels do come around on this one, it's a plan that will go nowhere fast. It involves crippling DRM and annoying advertising that won't even be close to effective. This is a non-story turned into a story by the use of two words: "free" and "music."


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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 8:35am

    Is this the same company that claimed they'd have compatibility with the iPod for DRM'd tracks as well?

     

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      jkip, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 2:11pm

      read the article

      if youd read the article youd know the answer. so i will answer for you: no. this is the company that makes ear swabs.

       

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    Mitch the Bitch, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 8:48am

    Both the Assosiated (with Terrorists) Press and Roto-Rueters are Enemies of America and should be shut down.

    If it's against Freedom or Americans both are completely for it.... Is that what "Freedom of the Press" means?

     

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      mat552, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 9:13am

      Re:

      The very thing you are describing is what makes America great.
      You must allow the freedoms. When people get sick of it, the news will reshift.

       

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      Gunnar, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 10:12am

      Re:

      Yeah, that story AP just moved on the rising prices of Hershey's candy bars is just what Osama ordered.

       

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    mike allen, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 9:30am

    itappears that...............

    "Qtrax and the press jumped the gun" I dont see how the press can be blamed for running with what must have come from Qtrax, Qtrax must have put out a press release for this story to have got this far.

    Also musician / artist Pter Gabrial is doing the same thing as Qtrax here in the UK he cant get major labels to sign either. I dont think they will just pay lip service then say NO we have our old model of doing business we will work to that.

    Well done to Qtrax their site was down for a while due to demand that was before the labals said we not signed.

     

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      Gunnar, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 10:15am

      Re: itappears that...............

      Running a story without contacting the other side for verification is the exact definition of the press jumping the gun.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 9:49am

    If nothing else, it's the reporters' fault for not fact checking appropriately before running the story. The problem with everyone racing to get "breaking news" out on the wire is that you can sacrifice accuracy for speed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 9:52am

    This is going to be the main topic of discussion today in my micro-economics class. The professor has a quote he uses a lot "No Scarcity No Value...at least by traditional economic standards."

    The second a good becomes digital in a free market it has next to no value. Granted there are fixed costs involved in making it but the more you sell or distribute the more those costs are spread out, after a certain point the value of the item is now negligible...

     

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      AG (profile), Jan 28th, 2008 @ 10:28am

      Re:

      Be careful assigning a zero or negligible value to digital goods.

      There is still a scarcity at play due to the fact that digital goods require physical resources for hosting and transport, albeit in much smaller unit quantities than physical goods. For a case in point, look at the financial statements of Level 3 (an internet bandwidth provider) and Akamai (a hosting service). Those two randomly selectd firms, which represent a sliver of the industry, had combined revenue close to $4 Billion last year, and have experienced double and triple digit annual revenue growth.

      This demonstrates that society does place value on digital goods. To the extent that consumers can substitute physical goods with less costly digital goods, in the long run this supply/demand dynamic will tend to drive the price up as the digital economy continues to move along its marginal cost curve. In the long run, Internet technology is no more immune from "diminishing returns" than any other.

      As another case in point, the combined average household expense for for bandwidth (cell phone, broadband, cable/sat TV, sat radio, phone, etc.) has been steadily increasing each year. If digital goods are getting cheaper, why is it that we are spending more money on them?

      Peer-to-peer architecture and ad-supported business models do not make these costs go away, they just shift them to different places in the value chain (i.e. ultimately the consumer still pays).

       

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      Mike (profile), Jan 28th, 2008 @ 10:47am

      Re:

      This is going to be the main topic of discussion today in my micro-economics class. The professor has a quote he uses a lot "No Scarcity No Value...at least by traditional economic standards."

      Then the professor is wrong. Infinite goods still have *value*, they just will have a price of zero. It sounds like he's confusing price and value, which are not the same.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 12:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Is it me or sometimes do certain bloggers forget that economics is in fact a theory?

         

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          Mike (profile), Jan 28th, 2008 @ 1:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Is it me or sometimes do certain bloggers forget that economics is in fact a theory?

          Yes, it's a "theory" in the same way that gravity is a "theory" or that evolution is a "theory." There are certainly enough proven forces that go well beyond what common language "theory" is.

          Where economics may be a bit different is that there are so many variables in an economics equation, it's often more difficult to account for all of those variables. Yet, the forces that impact economics are very real. Brushing it off as just a "theory" is brushing off the very real parts of economics.

           

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      Nismoto, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 3:39pm

      Re:

      Don't confuse zero value with zero cost. Just because something has a low or zero cost associated with it does not mean it has little or no value.

       

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    duder, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 10:10am

    qtrax

    what about www.qtrax.com

    They are offering 25 million songs free.

     

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    snharden, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 6:29pm

    QTrax is now live!

    QTrax is now live and downloadable!

     

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    Iron Chef, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 11:22pm

    Totally off topic.

    I am amazed at what I've accomplished over the last few days. So I bought an iPod and returned it to a Big Box Store...

    After exhausing my efforts in finding a 4G iPod (I apparently I didn't have an IQ high enough to find it), I went online to find a similar iPod to what I had, but in the spirit of my personal hero Ingva Kampra, I wanted to pay less than I paid for it. So I went on eBay.

    What happened next was somewhat interesting-- I found an iPod I wanted. Some may say this was an end to a means- but to me it seemed like my quest was a little too easy. We exchanged monetary instruments for an ipod.

    The weird thing is that when I met the guy I bought it from, it had the same serial number of the one I returned three days ago to the Big Blue Box Store.

    Could it have gone through the supplychain before it got back to me? Probably not.

    So yes, I know how these guys work, and I know I was just scammed. I just didn't expect to get the same iPod back for $130 less than I paid for it last time.

    P.S. Mr. Dozer, I've read your ten personas, and I don't fit any of them. Thanks for the insight. However, it certainly helps to understand the narrow window in which you view your world through.

    Yes, I shook your hand at the National Retail Foundation ARTS Conference earlier this month. You were too busy... Just like now. Glad to have met you.

     

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    Cixelsid, Jan 29th, 2008 @ 2:41am

    Meh...

    Free music is overrated.

     

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