Has The Recording Industry Finally Realized That Selling 1,000 Songs In One Package Makes Sense?

from the could-it-be?!? dept

While we still think SanDisk’s new music format is unlikely to get much traction, there was one bit of interesting news in a report on the new slotRadio device designed to play its music-on-microSD: you’ll be able to buy slotRadio cards with 1,000 songs on them for $40. We’ve been wondering for years why the industry is so focused on the $1/song price, when new technology allows for tens of thousands of songs to fit in your pocket. In fact, if you get past the whole price-per-song thing, you start to wonder why you can’t buy an iPod stuffed with thousands of songs based on exactly what you like. To date, it’s always been a price issue — with the industry requiring its huge fee per song.

But apparently that’s changing. slotRadio has almost no chance (DRM included!), but the very fact that it got the industry to agree to a package that involves 1,000 songs for $40 shows that, somewhere, somehow, people in the industry are realizing that, when you can carry 40,000 songs in your pocket, the $1/song pricing model just doesn’t make sense.

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Companies: sandisk

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Comments on “Has The Recording Industry Finally Realized That Selling 1,000 Songs In One Package Makes Sense?”

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R. Miles says:

Re: Re:

I wondered that myself.

Unless he was speaking in terms of CD portability (player in the house vs. in the car).

On topic:
$40 for 1000 songs. Great! Sign me up! Now, where do I go to select my 1000 songs?

Pass. No way in hell will I pay $0.04 for a Britney Spears song or other artists I don’t like.

No choice. No sale.

Dave says:

Re: Re:

“you can turn the thing on or off, pick a playlist, fast-forward past tracks (but not move backwards to play songs again), and turn the volume up or down. There’s no way to search for songs, create playlists or do any other customization — you turn it on and listen, that’s pretty much it. Like a radio.”

Much fewer than a CD.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Woohoo! A new business model that Mike likes that gives you less rights. Damn straight, Mike is switching teams!

Reading comprehension is your friend: I said *THIS* model isn’t very good because of the DRM (which, yes, is fewer rights than a CD). But the very notion of finally recognizing that packages of 15 songs makes a lot less sense than a package of 1000 songs is a huge step forward.

Is it that hard for you to separate two concepts in your brain?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Open without restrictions, the 1000 songs would likely be sold for hundreds of dollars.”

Yet another logical mistake, Harold. Yes, that’s the market price *now*, under the business model they’re currently trying to enforce (and even then only via major labels). There’s no specific reason why they can’t be priced lower, especially with a “lucky dip” kind of structure like this.

It’s not a bad model once you remove the DRM. Submit your likes and dislikes, get a grab bag of 1000 songs for virtually nothing per track. Remove the ones you don’t like. The customer gets a good deal (unless the selection is *really* off, they get a significant saving on the tracks they keep). The label gets a good deal (exposure for lesser-known artists and back catalogue tracks that wouldn’t normally get bought).

As ever, the DRM is the sticking point. But other than that, it’s a good idea. The reason why this is a positive move is that previously the RIAA has been obsessed with per-track pricing, claiming that 99c/track isn’t enough. This looks like a good move in the other direction, letting consumers choose their pricing model. Time will tell how this works, but it’s a nice gesture toward giving some value to customers even if the DRM ultimately makes it useless.

“the only reason the package exists at that price is because of super restrictive DRM.”

It was claimed just a few years ago that iTunes could only exist with DRM, and that it would be impossible to sell unrestricted files. This has been proven wrong. You do seem to concentrate on the current status of new ideas rather than look at their future possibilities. It’s a shame that people as closed-minded as yourself are the ones in control of the music industry.

John Doe says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, everytime I tried to comment I got a message saying my post would be reviewed and would appear shortly. None of my messages got through during that time. Now I just get the usual message that my post will appear shortly. No mention of being reviewed.

To be honest, I was antognistic a few times, but nothing like WH.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I wonder if this site uses a spam filter…

Yes, we use a spam filter. We get approximately (no joke) 20,000 spam comments a day. The filter is pretty good… Probably only about 25 spam comments get through to the site each day, and about 1 false positive is flagged each week — though we do let those through eventually.

Not sure why John Doe’s posts got caught, but hopefully shouldn’t be an issue going forward.

John Doe says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Interesting, so it wasn’t personal? 🙂 BTW, I did get blocked at home last night too.

BTW, with all of your posts you have about the music and movie industry; do any of the record labels or studios ever call you up to chat? Have they ever sat down with you to hear the counter opinion?

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Interesting, so it wasn’t personal? 🙂 BTW, I did get blocked at home last night too.

Nope, not personal. And, yes, I cleared out the one that got blocked last night (it was the only false positive in a list of 700 to check). The spam system dumps things in two piles: one is *this is 100% spam* and the other is *this is most likely spam*. Yours was in the latter, but it’s usually easy to pick out the real posts (they include actual words!). But I whitelisted your IP also, just to make sure.

BTW, with all of your posts you have about the music and movie industry; do any of the record labels or studios ever call you up to chat? Have they ever sat down with you to hear the counter opinion?

Only recently that has happened. But… so far only one label has actually taken the time to really talk it out (so far). Others have called, but basically to complain about what we write. I’ve asked them to take part in the discussion or to explain what I got wrong, but they refuse.

But, there is a growing openness. I’ve now at least talked with people at all 4 of the major record labels, with one recently expressing a lot of interest in talking further. So, we’ll see…

Matt says:

even royalties are screwed

Take note of the “less rights are provided”. WH is right for once in that this is a bad thing. For some reason the media companies (not just riaa, mpaa as well) have a problem with REWINDING and actually playing back the same song/movie/using something more than once by your own choice.

This is why Pandora has to do this, this is why Sandisk has to do this, it’s stupid. Mike, can you look up and/or someone link as to where or why this is? I never could figure it out, but it’s really stupid overall.

RD says:

Missing the point once again WeirdMoron

This is why sharing is so much more popular, aside from any “no cost” aspects. CONSUMER CHOICE. IF this was 1000 songs that YOU want, play WHERE and WHEN and on WHAT device YOU want, then people would eat it up. But the greedy labels cant have that, no sir, we gotta have a) lotsa money and b) absolute control. The consumer sees this, and goes with sharing because he can GET WHAT HE WANTS. The idea of “you cant compete with free” is true when “free” represents as much about choice and ease of use as it is about cost. People WILL pay if its reasonable and easy (see: iTunes), but when you lock it all up and chose FOR the customer what they are getting, the customer will give you the big middle finger and find it elsewhere.

Yakko Warner says:

Unplayable without special software

Anyone taking bets on how long it’ll take to crack the DRM and (a) get the MP3 files off the card, (b) add support to Rockbox to play the files and support your own playlists/rewinding/etc, or (c) both?

I don’t know whether to say it’ll happen quickly (due to the potential of all those songs and/or the possibility of using them on any Rockbox-compatible player) or slowly-to-never (due to the fact that no one will care, since all the songs are probably available on the internet in un-DRM’d MP3 already).

Mikecancook (profile) says:

Why Sharing is Caring

You know when you share music with friends? You’re in your car and some kick ass song comes on and they are like, “Who’s this?”

Then you reply, “Oh this is so-and-so. Their first cd sucked but this one is awesome!”

So then, you burn them a cd and say, “Here’s a cd from that band you asked about the other day. I think you’ll totally love it!”

See, no one burns a cd for their friend and says, “Hey, here’s a cd from so-and-so. This cd is complete crap and I’m sure you’ll agree with me. Just keep a bucket handy in case it makes you vomit!”

My point is people share experiences they enjoy with their friends. Movies, tv shows, music, whatever. It’s really retarded for any group of individuals or businesses to assume that each ‘experience’, each play for each person is going to equal a sale. If the experience was worth while enough for the person who did not originate the purchase then they may choose to purchase the content which will then be shared with their friends. Which may generate more sales but never in a one-to-one relationship.

Personally, the movie studios and music industry should really be paying me for exposing my friends to music and movies that they otherwise wouldn’t have experienced and would never have bought.

My best example is the movie ‘Pootie Tang’. Which, if a friend had not exposed me to, I would never have watched. After see it, I bought the movie and have showed it to all my friends. Who, of course, never would have watched it. Now they have experienced it, some have purchased it, but none of them would have if not for someone sharing the experience in the first place.

A referral fee of about 10% sounds good. Thank you very much!

Cecil Green (profile) says:

So... They give BJs?

I like the idea of buying an iPod and being able to choose 40,000 songs pre-loaded. That would be pretty cool.

How about a house that comes pre-loaded with lots of movies and songs in a media database as well? Why not. Could do it for cars as well. Buy a car, get 1000 free songs, DRM-free, pre-loaded on an on-board media system.

Then the artists could just schedule a time to come by and blow me for a few dollars — or a “pay what you think it’s worth” BJ. Pretty cool.

TPBer says:

This is so new

Why would we start paying now, 10 years ago , maybe if a deal like this was offered. I doubt it though, because of all the restrictions put in place. Car stereos and cheap Philips dvd players come with USB media ports that can navigate FAT32 partitions, 128GB max, like an Ipod.

I bet I have amassed 500+ gigs of mp3s alone not, counting the terabytes of .avi files. I started in the late 90s, just as anyone with a clue and new the value of infinite copies is nothing.

Hey Harry take your short-sighted retarded views and go let the ‘AAs anally rape you. Like anybody can stop this, it’s like trying to stop the “Global Warming”.

Stephen says:

in defense of concept

I bought a Sansa Fuze instead of an iPod for several reasons, one which was it came with a 512mb microcard loaded with music. I figured it was going to be all crap and I planned to just erase the card and use it for extra memory, but to my surprise it was actually pretty good stuff. I like one song enough to buy the band’s album. The DRM sucks, but sooner or later I’ll get off my butt and rip my favorite tracks to a rewritable CD and poof goes the DRM. Then I’ll have what I want to listen to when I want where I want and how I want.

Note: the promotion was doubly pleasing because they accidentally sent me a second card.

Justin M says:

Sansa Fuze

I gotta tell ya, I bought the Sansa Fuze yesterday and purchased the slot radio card to go with it. I did a quick update to the Fuze and SR works perfectly. I will admit I am alittle disappointed that you cannot play the music on another media or use random access to start a song over or goto the one you really wanna hear but I will say this. The song selection was great. I purchased the “Rock” card and it came preloaded with 7 really good playlist, “Classic Rock”, “Modern Rock”, “Hard Rock”, “80’s Rock”, “90’s Rock”, “Workout”, and “Chillout”. They are very well constructed. If for example you we’re at a party and just wanted a good mix of music to play in the background this thing is absolutely perfect not to mention it makes for great driving music also. Don’t completely knock it. It’s not all bad.

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