Saturday, October 04, 2003


InformationWeek > Intellectual Property > Get Your Movies And Music Online, Legally > October 2, 2003  

InformationWeek > Intellectual Property > Get Your Movies And Music Online, Legally > October 2, 2003: "Get Your Movies And Music Online, Legally Oct. 2, 2003

Industry executives say getting a subscription model that works will be key to growing legit services.
By Tony Kontzer

Movie and music executives staunchly believe that subscriptions will be the primary model by which they'll deliver films, TV shows, and music to consumers online, but they say it's going to take time to transition from the a la carte approach that's still dominant. At the Digital Hollywood conference in Los Angeles this week, they said the key element that's holding up this evolution is not technology, or even economics, but rather consumer education. In other words, if consumers don't even know that legitimate services such as Movielink or Rhapsody are delivering movies and music now, it's tough to turn them into paying customers. "

With the price of most movies listed on MovieLink at $4.99 for 24 hours of viewing, it's not hard to see why this scheme is not going to do a land-office business. The backers (the movie studios) have deep pockets, but eventually this will fade away. When potential customers can trot down to their local BlockBuster and pay $1.99-$3.99 for 5 days of viewing time, the high price alone will stop most people from bothering with this service.

As for Rhapsody, it represents a HUGE rip-off, in my opinion. Why? Because you're paying through the nose for music you don't get to keep without paying MORE. Look at the pricing- you pay $9.95 a month just for the privilege of accessing their network. This does not guarantee that you'll find music you like available there, but given the fairly broad choice, you have a decent shot at it. That's where you run into the first brick wall- if you DON'T keep paying that $9.95 a month, all the music you've tagged disappears, leaving you 30-second clips of each song on your system. Oh, you say you'll just burn the songs to CD and listen to them offline? Nope. Downloading the music you want costs ANOTHER 99 cents a song. So, you pay $10 a month for nothing concrete and another $10-$25 (considering the number of tracks on a CD) if you want to KEEP the music. Pretty rich for music you can get from your local Wal-Mart for $5-$20 a CD, hmm?

If you take a peek at the article referenced above, you'll find that the bigshots in Hollywood had to have a 'conference' about it and STILL can't tell that they're never going to make money based on the above models. Their stupidity practically ensures that there will always be pirating.

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