Nothing At All To Do With Baseball

Warning — those of you who don’t care what I have to say about subjects other than baseball, go ahead and skip this post. You won’t be interested. Which is fine; different people have different tastes. Anyway…

This irritates me.

(It’s the New York Times, so it requires subscription, but if you don’t feel like giving them all your data, there are ways to get around free "required" subscriptions. Not that I endorse such things.)

I have a lengthy rant on the music industry which I’ll save for another day, because ultimately it’s tangential even to this issue, which is not even tangential to baseball or the Cardinals. But seriously — the thought process here is staggering. "Customers are happy because of this business model. Let’s kill it!"

I only sort of have a dog in this fight. I’ve had an iPod for about 6-7 weeks now (thanks, Erin!!!) and I can scarcely imagine doing without it. But I don’t even have iTunes on my work computer, so it’s not like I spend a lot of time browsing the service. It’s just the whole idea.

For the first time in goodness knows how long, something has happened in the music industry that is bringing people in. People are happy, they get this setup. It’s good.

So, of course, two of the four major corporations want to make it more complicated and, ultimately, more expensive. I understand the desire to make more money. After all, these are businesses we’re dealing with. But this just seems to be further indication of the music industry’s disconnect with its consumers. You know, the people who spend that money that they bring in.

Apple’s not a saint here. There are some valid questions about their motivations and their approach within the article. But Apple is smart enough to understand that when you’ve got a raging success like this, you might want to wait a little while before you gut it.

6 Comments

the idea of the labels withholding their songs from the itunes service seems so … childish — they’re shooting themselves in the foot, which i guess is unsurprising. (these are, after all, the people who copy-protect pre-releases five ways ’til thursday, so that people who are getting paid to promote their product just get aggravated by the hoops they have to jump through just to listen to the darn thing.) i seriously doubt that the labels’ petulance, though, will trigger a large group of matchbox twenty fans to move to a .wma-friendly paid download site.

i’ve also read that labels want to charge as much as $3.49 for a single song — the old price of a 45, but there at least you were getting a b-side. (right now, cingular sells its ‘hottest’ ringtones for $1.99 and up.) it’s going to take a while for consumers to adjust to price points above $.99, i think (and maybe $1.49 for pre-releases/hot songs?) — on the one hand, you have consumers who came of age in the era where music was sold to them as a physical product, and who want something they can *hold* as a way to partially justify the purchase price; on the other hand, you have the digital consumers, who will find something for free if they want to. itunes has broken through in large part because its interface is such an elegant package — it’s a one-stop shop for listening, buying, and transferring music to the (physical) ipod, and it’s simply designed enough that most people can figure it out after a pass or two.

btw, if you want to read some really trenchant music industry commentary, you might do well to sign up for the lefsetz letter at http://www.lefsetz.com. he’s a bit stuck in the fm era as far as his taste goes, but his insights on the completely dysfunctional nature industry-consumer relationship are frequently spot-on.

ok, i need to get to work!!

Put your gripes elswhere. People come to MLB sites to see, hear and talk baseball!

Dude, His Dudeness, Duder, El Duderino (if you’re not into the whole brevity thing):

From M’s original blog posting:

“It won’t just be ball, though I do love ball. We’ll talk music. We’ll talk travel. We’ll talk college football.”

If you go to any of the team’s official sites, you’ll find lots of informative and interesting stories about your favorite MLB teams. If you come to M’s blog, be prepared to read about things other than baseball from time-to-time.

ER

What she (earuttle) said.

is nobody else irritated that the padres are gonna get a chance to win the jackpot in the biggest crapshoot in major professional sports ?
( I may be a nihilist but it’s simply not fair!)

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