RIAA vs File-Swappers

RIAA has been spending time on stunts to try and scare people from file swapping rather than spending time on innovative solutions to tackle the problem and give the users what they need at a fair price. They have definitely made a start with Apple but have miles to go before they achieve this goal. But they miss 2 other issues in mind completely!

What happens to the folks that already have music downloaded to their hard drives? Is there a way one can do good karma about it?

Today even If I buy the music from Apple how does it differentiate from the songs that have already been downloaded? Thats the problem. Is there any way one can launder the black mp3s to white? If there was a way to do it, then I would .. and Im sure many would!

File swapping is not a problem in the US alone! Expatriates living in the US are bound to listen to their music from country of origin.

There are songs that are released back home that takes times to come to the US, while there are others that are just not available. And in many countries Im not sure if there is organisation like RIAA that is addressing this problem with the same vigour!

The only way RIAA is going to beat file swapping is by providing a service which is feature rich, user friendly and is simple to buy. Period!

He are some ways that I think these issues can be tackled.

Catering to the Impulsive buyer

People either listen to new music in the music store or online or on the television. If someone likes a track and if there was a way to buy the track then and there at a fair price, I think money people would want Good karma! Sure iTunes is one way to go, here are other ways to go. I for one listen to new music either on launch.com (Yahoo’s service) or on Amazon.com online or at the local store. This weekend I really enjoyed listening to Sing Along by Dave Mathew’s band on the CD “The Complex” by The blue man group. There’s no way I could buy just the track for a fair price! Now if I could swipe my card at the local Barnes & Noble and get the song emailed to me would I buy it for a reasonable price, u bet I would! The same scenario repeated itself while I was watching the video “If your not the one” by Daniel Beddingfield at launch.com, I would have to buy the whole album or buy the single for 6 bucks! Proposterous! If I was give the oppurtunity to buy the single with one click even for 2 bucks I would have!! So the bottom line is to provide a simple and easy to buy music while I hear them the first time and you would have more buyers and more good karma on this planet!

P.S: Yahoo usually does an awesome job with integration but they have done a really bad job with Pressplay!

Ads on Music services

People either use a service like kazaa or grokster while smarter people use kazaa lite. People are sick and tired of spyware and ads! Im over 21 and I dont smoke! nor do I want a free television! Gimme a break! Nor do I want to use Yahoo personals. But would I like to see ads about albums about my favourite ads would I mind it, hell no I would watch it! Instead of fighting services like Kazaa RIAA should spend time coming up with a innovative ways! I would even go as far as saying that they should get someone to write a P2P client which would have the following

  • Songs encoded with 32kpbs freely downloadable
  • ADs about albums and favourite artists.
  • Alerts on my instant messenger about new albums and other releases.
  • Themes various genre from other countries(With the advent of Napster Im more open to listen to music from countries like Africa)

Incentive for buying music

It is nice to say that its good karma if one buys music rather than downloading music from free services. I would model something similar to the Credit card points/rewards program. Consider someone buying Eminem & “R & B” CDs in detroit. If he/she would be given preference for buying tickets to a local concert for accumulating some many points then people would see value. One could also use the suggestions mentioned above as incentives. RIAA should think of these like the cash rebates that the Car manaufactures are providing.

Tie up with recording companies abroad and provide a spectrum of mp3s/music that surpasses the ones on kazaa

Recording companies aboard are in the process of rejenuvating older songs.Many of the oldies are still cassettes in India. Im not sure they realise that their collection still exceeds the one on kazaa. Think of the possibilities, I could sit at my the home in the US and buy songs that were released in India in the early 60s and 70s. If they really wanna change minds to adapt to good karma then they would have to come up with a solution across countries.

It amazes me how yahoo & amazon have not capitalised on this market. Yahoo has the best integration services around and they had a tie up with Pressplay while amazon sells CDs and is one place where people visit for their shopping needs! Beats me!

Anyways I did have a few more suggestions that I will rant in a few but until then enjoy the music!

P.S: A lot of what is told here is based on my experience of the recording industry in the US and in India, they may or may not apply to other countries though I have assumed that there are no differences.


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