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Radically Inept
Sunday, July 04, 2004
  Back to the nickel transaction cost

I was 'thumbing' through the NY Times today, and I ran across this article - D.I.Y. Meets N.R.L. (No Record Label). I like the idea, but I think the prices don't reflect the economics of the web
Rock musicians have been recording live concerts and selling them over the Internet, as CD's or MP3 downloads, for years. But Mr. Camelio's twist is new in two ways. First, he sees the Internet not as a supplement to labels and record stores but as an alternative. Second, he's marketing more than music.

On Ms. Schneider's Web site, fans can order her CD for $16.95. For an additional $35 to $95, they also gain access to printed scores, rehearsal sessions, interviews, post-concert question-and-answer sessions and commentaries, including a two-hour audio stream of Ms. Schneider analyzing several of her arrangements.

On Mr. Hall's site, for $60, fans can watch him give a guitar lesson.

"The key thing was when I realized that anyone could download music for free," Mr. Camelio said. "I got to thinking: what's the one thing you can't download, the one thing that the artist can hold on to? The answer: the creative process. That's the product I'm offering: the creative process."

To a surprising degree, these special features are also turning out to be the most lucrative part of the package. As of last week, Ms. Schneider's online customers were spending an average of $53, nearly three times the price of the CD.
I don't know, but that is why I like the "nickel transaction cost".

It started because Harry the Troll suggested I do a music blog in the comments. I sort of liked the idea, but I realized that the real fun of doing a music blog, would be to allow the listener to actually here the song, band, whatever, that I would be commenting on. And, that was not going to be easy. There are some artists that allow you to sample their work, and some even let you have access to entire songs, but in most cases, all you get is a snippet if you're lucky.

So, continuing down this thought process, I thought the problem is paying fair royalties to the artists, coupled with the problem of copying the music...The whole Napster.com thing. Well, I thought you know, if downloads of music could be done for a nickel and royalties distributed from that, well that would go a long way toward solving the problem. At the cost of a Nickel, it wouldn't be worth making a whole lot of 'illegal' copies. In fact, I think if you could get to that rate, music Piracy would become non-economically viable.

Harry, yes, same one, informed of the term micropayments, and after reviewing some of the literature, pro and con, I still think it's a good idea.

What I'd want in an ideal world, would be for artists to post their music directly to an 'internet jukebox'. Playing their songs would cost the costumer a Nickel. Again, ideally, 1 Penny (the best penny link yet) would go to the host of the jukebox, 3 cents to the artist, and the remaining penny would go to the referring page [if I'm writing on a song or artist, and you the reader, choose to listen to the song by linking from Radically Inept, this site would get the Penny (this site would never get rich, but)]. If the listener started at the artist page, the artist would get the 3 cents in royalties and the Penny for the self referral.

Okay, this is based on being able to make the financial transfers w/o having to pay someone like PayPal. But if you did, you should still be able to the costs down to a Nickel, and at that price, a lowly nickel, I'd be just as happy in most cases not to copy the song. There are many songs that I like to hear occasionally, but have no desire to own, and would be perfectly willing to pay another Nickel the next time.

So, I think I'll wait until I can let the reader listen to the songs I'm writing about before I'd try to do a music blog.

Of course, there are some other good reasons to do this. One is, it would be nice to no longer have record executives w/ power. Hell, getting rid of the recording industry as it now stands, could earn someone a Nobel Prize for ridding the world of a few leaches.

Second, artists could go to people like Big Rock Studio Technologies (always time to plug a friend) record their music in the studio, and after editing it, put it into the Jukebox (getting closer). The band would have to market their songs themselves, or hire a firm, but costs would be negligable.

Okay, I think that's somewhat coherent, and I'm done for now...

Found this site which some of you might enjoy during my research: Free Music Download, MP3 Music, Music Chat, Music Video, Music CD, ARTISTdirect Network 
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