More Napster Business Model Discussions

from the keep-it-up dept

So, if you missed Techdirt last week you missed two very interesting discussions about Napster (discussion 1, discussion 2). At least part of those discussions helped inspire one of the participants to write up a suggestion for a business model for Napster which he passed on to me in hopes that we could review it. The basic concept is that people would pay for the music they downloaded if it’s easy enough to do so. My initial thoughts are that it’s a bit more creative than most business models I’ve seen before in that it tries to make do with what’s available currently – though music players would need to be changed. I have no idea on the technical feasability (and wouldn’t mind if someone wants to comment on that). However, it still relies on the idea that people will want to pay for the music they download – which is a risky assumption in my mind. Plus, no matter what, it’s adding a layer of complexity to the process – and it requires that all music playing software work with the system. If anyone has any other thoughts… post ’em here.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “More Napster Business Model Discussions”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
John Williams says:

Napster Business Model

When a radio station plays a song, they don’t know who is listening. Napster could collect a small amount of anoymous information about each download i.e. rough geographic location, gender, age range, etc. They make their money from sponsors and then “buy” the rights to play the music.

As a musician, it would be extremely valuable to me if Napster could give me a report that said something like “you’ve had 100,000 downloads in Dallas, 10,000 in New York”, etc. That would tell me the most lucrative areas in which to tour. That is be valuable information – as valuable as getting paid for radio airplay…

Phillip says:

Perhaps PC media players could be left untouched?

If the large media giants decide that downloads over their set-top boxes will dwarf those of PC downloads then they could ignore the PC media players and make sure that their proprietary media players implement the payment system. In this manner the whole PC side of things could be left untouched yet the set-top box users can participate in the shared pool of all MP3 music on the Net. The PC users not being affected would have no incentive to try and remove any copy identification. On the other hand, if consumers knew it was possible to reward their favourite artist directly they may demand on the software authors enable this option?


DOY says:

Businss in the wild

Napster is dead because it will no longer provide what people have come to expect. The recording industry is dead because they can no longer control the production and distribution of recorded music. A new model will arise from the ashes (and several will die trying, but that’s business).

Here is what the new model will need to provide:
? The ability for anyone to submit music
? An unbreakable rating system so the cream can rise to the top
? A two tier catalog (with the same songs in both tiers)
? Tier 1 – Low bandwidth low fidelity free music, so you can decide what you like
? Tier 2 – High bandwidth high fidelity low cost music, so you can buy what you like

The price of the music will have to be low enough that piracy becomes unprofitable. If you could download music from your favorite artist for .25$ a song and know that the artist was getting .20$ of that, would you go to the trouble of running a Napster type server so that someone else could get that music for free? If they want free music they can listen to the free samples.

The trick to defeating the RIAA is to use music they don’t own. I have nothing against Brittney Spears, but good singers are a dime a dozen. The world is full of great musicians that don’t have recording contracts because that would destroy the artificial scarcity that keeps the music industry in business.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...