Here’s an interesting item from WebProNews, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince (or is it Prince now that the copyright hold on his name has been dropped…) is trying to take action against the big kahuna of file sharing Bittorrent sites – The Pirate Bay, Youtube and eBay over alleged copyright infringement of his name and intellectual property.
Somewhat ironic considering he had a promo with a British Sunday newspaper to give away copies of his “Planet Earth” CD free with a particular edition.
Already the Prince video clips are going up faster than older ones are being taken down at Youtube. Is this really a battle worth fighting for?
When products were physical – in the form of a CD, DVD, book, manual – it was easier to maintain copyright. When Prince distributes his CD free with the UK paper, were the CDs imprinted with “Promotional CD – Not for Sale”? Did they say “Resale Rights granted”?
And if you give away media and content free in one channel, how do you enforce pricing in another channel, whether it’s a iTunes store or in a CD store?
The moment something can be digitized, whether it’s an MP3, PDF, DOC, JPG or other digital media file, you can have legislature like the DMCA (digital millenium copyright act) and DRM (digital rights management) infrastructure in place. You can even password protect your files, but eventually these protective measures will be overcome.
Don’t get me wrong, because I produce digital products too.
But where I see the opportunity is that most of these products are still linear in terms of information flow. It’s still very ol’ skool…
You buy a CD, you listen to it. You buy a book, you read it.
Where Web2.0 and community sites are coming into their own, is the ability to interact with the author or creator.
If a CD contain songs also contained a link to a forum or a blog, it’s add value to the process….You’re not just buying a song, you’re buying into the interactivity element too.
Many years ago, I had a chance to talk to the head honchos at Accenture, and they painted out the Internet’s 3 levels of development. (or levels of engagement if you prefer)
A blog/website/forum can be:
- Informational OR
- Conversational OR
At the moment, most items are informational – information flows in one direction, from the creator to you, there’s no feedback loop, unless it’s conversational in nature like in a forum or on a blog with a comments section.
Why not evolve digital products to a conversational model?
Better yet, a transactional level (the highest) with the ability to upsell even more products – souvenirs, higher value items, collectibles, concert tickets, etc.
This is as applicable in the entertainment niche as it is in the Internet Marketing, business or any other vertical out there.
The bottomline line is that transactions are conducted on a value continuum – if we’re going to keep going back and forth and remain stagnant in the 1-way media, things will remain as they are.
If we move up the value chain to conversations/interactions and transactions, the profits will be higher and so will the market opportunity.