McDonald's Starting To Realize The Promotional Power Of Music Files

from the how-hard-was-that-to-predict? dept

For years now, a bunch of people have been saying that music is a promotional item, and should be used to sell something else. Each time the topic came up, some recording industry defender would come along and say that was ridiculous, and that if people value music they should pay for it – which was missing the point. It has nothing to do with value, but plenty to do with competitive pressures. It appears that some folks at McDonald’s are catching on. They’ve worked out a deal to give away 1 billion iTunes songs as a promotion. It’s certainly not at the level it will eventually get to, but this is actually a step in the right direction. The trick will be when someone realizes that giving away music shouldn’t be a 1-time promotion, but a long term deal. Also, it would help if it didn’t involve music that was tied down with annoying copy protection. In related news, it looks like more and more people are getting angry about all the different incompatible formats and restrictions on downloadable music. Sooner or later someone is going to realize the full picture: music, by itself, is a promotional item and as such, the more you make it so that customers can do what they want with it – the more they’ll want it, and the better a promotional item it will be.

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Comments on “McDonald's Starting To Realize The Promotional Power Of Music Files”

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Mark F says:

McDonalds is still paying for the music

While I find it hard to believe that McDonalds would pay full price for the iTunes credits they will pay something. Hence this is no different then including coupons redeemable at a music store for singles with each happy meal. The underlying idea of paying for music remains the same.

LittleW0lf says:

Re: McDonalds is still paying for the music

Hence this is no different then including coupons redeemable at a music store for singles with each happy meal.

Maybe literally, yes, there is no difference. However, nothing in this world is “free” in the truest since of the word, there are always strings attached, regardless to whether they are blood-bond issues, political issues, or karma issues.

Napster in its hay-day wasn’t free either, nor was any the music available on it, because someone, somewhere was paying for it (and while I disagree that free music is a lost sale, I do agree that artists must be compensated for their work.)

So McDonalds pays some amount of money to iTunes, but McDonalds gets money back from folks who bought their meals for the free music. iTunes makes out too, because people who would not normally know anything about their service become aware of it, and iTunes pays the musicians (or at least the RIAA, since the RIAA only cares about the RIAA and the Record Companies, and not the musicians.)

The underlying idea of paying for music remains the same.

And I don’t think this is being argued by Mike or anyone else here (at least no one who actually believes the commodization business model that Mike, myself, and others here believe.)

We aren’t saying music should be entirely free, just as Linux isn’t entirely free, nor any other Open Source OS or app. Instead, we look at music, Open Source software, and even movies and television as a commodity. The developer of the work is being paid, but that payment may not come from the end-user. They may be paid through any number of channels, but they are still paid. My employer pays me to develop things, but then I can use that knowledge (and sometimes even the project itself,) to develop other things which my employer doesn’t pay for (I do though, in my personal time.) Then, another company comes along and asks me to take the work I have produced and modify it for their use. In a way, my “things” have become a commodity, something that anyone who wants them can use.

Sure there are leaches who want everything for free, but be careful about lumping us into that category, as none of us are saying everything should be free, just that the current model of spending $18 for a disk with 6 songs on it, one which you like and five that you don’t, isn’t the only, nor is it the best model for selling music. And it certainly isn’t one that helps the musicians, who get screwed any way the game is played. At least with iTunes the customer is getting what they want, now we need to work to make sure the artist is properly comphensated.

Michael Leuchtenburg says:

"music sharing"

“The plans by two of the largest consumer goods companies to spend a significant amount of promotional money on music sharing is a validation of Apple’s revolutionary iTunes service…”

This statement by the NY Post is indicative of the lack of understanding of the online music world by the mainstream media. iTunes does not provide “music sharing” – Napster provided music sharing, and similar services continue to provide that today. There is a vast difference between “you can buy things from this library” and “you can share things with other users”.

I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir, though.

LittleW0lf says:

Re: Re:

This statement by the NY Post is indicative of the lack of understanding of the online music world by the mainstream media.

Oh, absolutely. Except for the fact that some people might consider (primarily, the RIAA, who wants everyone to believe that “if you don’t buy it, you’re stealing it!”,) what McDonalds is doing is “music sharing”, because customers are getting music for “free”, there really is no similarities between Kazaa or Napster v1.0, and McDonald’s iTune deal.

Mainstream media in the US prefers to not deal with the technical issues and prefers to lump everything into small, easy to digest by Joe Sixpack categories. This is partly because they have no clue, and partly because they don’t have a high esteem for their audience having a clue either. Unfortunately, doing so tends to confuse the issues and also tends to make good efforts like this appear to be bad efforts, since “music sharing is bad”TM.

I prefer the BBC approach to media instead (though some would say the BBC waters down stuff too,) where they tell you everything they know and leave you to make up your own opinions instead of making those opinions for you and shoveling them down your throat at the quickest speed possible. I wish someone in the US media would adopt a similar approach.

I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir, though.

It is productive, unlike the regular trolls that often frequent this site, so I don’t see the need to disclaim it.

eeyore says:

Re: I call Bullshit

All the article says is “there are no agreements to announce.” They don’t deny it which means it probably is true that they’re trying to strike a deal and they’re still hammering out the details, like Mickey Dees probably isn’t going to pay retail for the downloads but get a massive price break, like 25 cents or so.

Before you call bullshit read between the lines. What people don’t say is usually more important than what they do.

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