12 Comments

Summary:

Does everything have to be ad supported? Today, there are two stories – one in The New York Times and one on Business 2.0′s website that look at the idea of P2P music downloads that are going to be advertising supported. Given that music industry has […]

Does everything have to be ad supported?

Today, there are two stories – one in The New York Times and one on Business 2.0′s website that look at the idea of P2P music downloads that are going to be advertising supported.

rollingstonetongue.jpegGiven that music industry has basically lost the battle over file-sharing networks, the logic behind alternative ways to monetize P2P music is understandable. Still, it is hard to imagine people enduring ads for free downloads, but then that just might be me.

Why wouldn’t they move to another network, which is ad free? That hasn’t deterred some start-ups who believe that there is money to be made (or lost) in this business.

Business 2.0, focuses on an Atlanta-based company, Intent Media Works, that also claims “that 60 percent of users are willing to endure the resulting pop-up ads.” The New York Times is focusing on Qtrax, which used to be an illegal file sharing network, but has gone legit and signed up Sony BMG.

Strangely enough Qtrax is doing business with former executives from SpiralFrog, another ad-supported music service that flamed out while trying to get to orbit. Rebel Digital is the new company by Former Spiral Frog CEO, Robin Kent, and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Lance Ford.

Back when SpiralFrog came out of stealth, Liz was skeptical about company’s chances. I don’t see why it would be different this time around.

  1. I think musicians (though not necessarily the music industry) have another excellent option: concerts. A couple of years ago I happened across a report that included statistics for the increase in ticket prices. That’s an opportunity for performers.

    Consequently, Experience will trump P2P ads, imo. And if the creators get the bulk of their income elsewhere (which is, from what I’ve read, true in the majority of cases), then expect them to leave the middlemen behind by embracing Experience revenue streams and using free – and ad-free – downloads as a means of advertising.

    The way I see it, the unwashed masses will get the sanitized stuff for free, and the privileged will get the Experience. And with the widening gap between the Have’s and Have Not’s – and the dying middle class – this makes a lot of sense to me.

    Share
  2. As an industry person, a member of the indie music community, and an avid consumer of music, I see wrapping music in multiple layers of advertising as a huge issue.

    Spiral Frog fizzled because nobody wants to jump through a million hoops just to hear a song. It’s already out there, and already free.

    Why is a certain pirate Russian mp3 site popular? It’s an inexpensive central point for tons of content. That idea needs to be replicated on a domestic basis, and in a way where the artists get paid.

    What is needed is a central repository for non-DRM music that all consumers are charged a flat “subscription” access fee for. Billed through their bandwidth provider, that total revenue would then be pro-rated and distributed to the carriers. (i.e. E-music billed via ISP.)

    Nobody thinks about their water bill when they take a shower. Nobody should worry about price when consuming music and media.

    Share
  3. Yes. In a few short years there won’t be any ‘real business’ anymore. Civilization as it exists on the planet today will not become extinct ’cause of flood/meteor and all that other nonsense. With all of the future human economic activity poised to be based on running ads for others, and since the “others” are a dwindling minority – We are in for a heap of a trouble.

    Any silver lining? Hopefully, soon we can drive away with a tank full of gas from the nearest shell station by listening to a 2 minute clip of how ethanol/green stuff is bad for us.

    Share
  4. How am I the only person that is thinking:

    “Ad supported free music… you mean like RADIO?”

    Everyone is talking about this like there has never been free music available with ads. Sure, we’re talking about on-demand but c’mon people, how easily are we missing the point here???

    Share
  5. Maybe ad agencies can start buying out bands or have them record songs with product mentions plugged in… :)

    Share
  6. “it is hard to imagine people enduring ads for free downloads”

    It is?

    “Why wouldn’t they move to another network, which is ad free”

    Because none exist?

    Share
  7. If it’s not too long, I’ll watch an ad in exchange for free music.

    I may be in the minority but I feel a little guilty when I get P2P music for free so an ad might just be the perfect conscious cleanser.

    Share
  8. If they do the Ads without the Disk Jockey patter then I’m in :)

    The main problem with all these Ad supported plays is the sheer amount of Ad inventory space that will need to be created…..dividing that into the Attention Capital of the listener will lead to extremely low values per Ad.

    Ads are to Web 2.0 what Eyeballs were to Web 1.0

    Share
  9. Ads, no ads. DRM, no DRM. The options are apparent and so is choice. Listening to music is one thing, owning it is another. Ultimately, there doesn’t seem to be much of a big difference in radio and music with ads. Almost seems like a stretch of a topic.

    Share
  10. Who knows, it might work (after all, I’ve been listening to the free, ad-supported version of Launch radio for years!). Consumers are provided with a wide variety of choices though, including the increasingly popular GigaTribe file-sharing software, which encrypts all exchanges between friends: http://www.gigatribe.com

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post