Death of a Publishing Process

from the changing-business-models dept

mhh5 writes “These two articles are fairly well-thought-out opinions on the Napster and DeCSS issues (article 1). Except the author seems to think the shareware model of publishing is “the wave of the future” (article 2)…. (Any stats on how well shareware actually works in the real world, anyone?) I personally think the “future” of publishing is a service-oriented one where subscriptions are paid –for “better” service. Pirates will always exist, and at some point I think pirates actually become legit businesses if their services are of quality. If a pirate can provide content better than the content-owner, then the content-owner needs to upgrade his service so that people will prefer non-pirate service.”

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Comments on “Death of a Publishing Process”

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Mike (profile) says:

Re: Shareware

I think I’ve heard that less than 5% of users on the really *popular* programs actually pay, and the number goes way down for most other shareware programs.

Personally, I’m still intrigued by the idea of artists who say they won’t release a new album until they have a certain amount of money guaranteed to them. Then the fans who really want the new music will put up the money, and get first access to the new music. At the same time, the musician makes a lot more because they get rid of the middleman and can take a lot larger cut without having to sell nearly as many albums. Of course, this only works if you have a big enough fan base… so you’d have to start small scale. I’m not actually convinced that this would work for everyone, but it’s a different idea.

mhh5 says:

Re: Re: Shareware

Ah yes, the blackmail business model… I’m not sure I like that model b/c it favors cheapskates and disfavors the true fans and the artists. And what if the artists have a bad album? Customers will feel cheated, and the artists will suffer from not being able to continue the blackmail scheme from a “crying wolf” syndrome. Also, the rewards to the artists are not in proportion to the quality of the *current* work since no ‘royalties’ are given. If a band’s first album is their best, they might never be duely rewarded for that effort–only on the hope that their _next_ efforts may be of similar quality. This effect funnels artists into a rut of producing what the fans are expecting more so than the current reward models, I think.

But maybe it would work if the band started releasing different ‘versions’ of their songs -live, unplugged, with a solo interlude, a dance version, etc… But probably not, since only true fans would even care.

Are there other alternatives? Some strange “auction/lottery” model where everyone pays a fee for the proportionate “chance” of being the first to get their next song? Is that a good business model? How about the “ultimate barter” system that requires every site to be a “ratio”-server? So you need to upload N songs for every download, until eventually, someone has to pay for new stuff…. Ok that doesn’t sound right, but who has a better idea?

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