You Don't Beat Pirates By Doing Something More Annoying
from the you-need-to-add-value dept
You can certainly understand where she's coming from, as a musician who's traditional business model is under threat. However, contrary to the opinion of some, it's the consumers who eventually determine how a market works -- and treating consumers as criminals tends to backfire in a big way -- especially when other artists are figuring out ways to create business models that work without treating fans as criminals.
The good news is that Gregg seems to be willing to try out new ideas. Her and her producer (who's also her husband) are apparently planning to launch an ad supported music site that will allow musicians to upload their music and receive a cut of any advertising revenue associated with each stream or download. The details aren't entirely clear, but I don't think this plan is going to work all that well. While it is good that she's trying out new models that end up being free to the end user, ad-supported revenue models are going to be tough -- and it seems a bit extreme to claim, as Gregg has, that this is a way to "beat piracy."
Ad-supported websites are already having enough trouble making enough money to survive online, so Gregg's going to quickly discover that the ad money won't flow as quickly as she expects. Is she going to claim that the police are coming after the folks using ad-blockers as well? Also, given the convenience of other sites where music is available, expecting them to go to a different site to get their music may not be very convincing. The problem with an ad-supported music site is that it doesn't add any value to the end user. Trent Reznor's business model worked by providing more value to the end-user. Jill Sobule's business model worked by providing more value to the end-user. Gregg's solution doesn't add more value to the end user, and for that reason is going to have a difficult time succeeding, let alone "beating" piracy.