iPhone vs. Big Media: Mo' Music Mo' Money!
With the super-fast new 3G iPhone Steve Jobs will all but certainly announce this June, it makes sense that Apple would want to provide services that exploit all that delicious bandwidth, like over-the-air (read: via cell as opposed to WiFi or local sync) ringtones, ringbacks (shudder!), and iTunes Music Store purchases. Sounds great! You're on the road, away from your WiFi and your computer, and you hear a great song, and it's available right there via 3G HSDPA download. More songs for us, more content for Apple, and more money for the artists, right?
Wrong. Enter the record labels, who reportedly think that if you buy a song over 3G as opposed to WiFi on your computer, it should somehow give them MORE money. That's right, a bigger cut for them, meaning higher cost to Apple, meaning (unless Apple eats it like they are with movie sales right now), higher cost to us.
Makes, sense: be given a bigger, more convenient market... demand higher prices.
Where did these guys come from? Did I miss some late-night infomercial...?
Hey kids, want to work out of a gold-plated office, create nothing of your own, yet make millions of dollars a year? Well, you're in luck, simply become a recording executive, rope desperate young bands into quasi-indentured servitude whereby you "front" them money for everything from making a CD to the lobster salad on the buffet during your first "meeting", and fleece consumers for $20 a CD, which cost pennies to burn, contain more filler cr@p than killer tracks, and you own exclusive distribution for!
But wait, there's more! Act now and you can also go to court and get a ruling saying ring tones are derivative works that you don't have to pay artists for, and then insist they aren't derivative works and charge customers $3 to rent one for 3 months!
We're not done yet! Fail to strap a licensing mechanism on the original Napster, thereby creating a generation of kids who don't understand paying for music, only to get rescued by Apple and their easy-peasy $0.99 iTunes store, of which they pay all development, hosting and infrastructure, credit card transaction charges, marketing, etc. while still giving you 70%. And all you have to do is withhold DRM-free music from them and offer it only to their competition!
Still not enough? Find out the number-one music retailer's ultra-hot iPhone is getting a 3G bump that will not only provide you ridiculous ringtone and ringback (see layer of hell, 644th) sales opportunities, but also over-the-cell-network music purchases, the ultimate in tech-crack impulse purchasing options, with no additional cost or effort for you, AND ASK FOR AN EVEN BIGGER CUT.
That's right! Act now and force customers to pay more for shorter cuts and to download over cell as opposed to WiFi! You deserve it! You're entitled! And you don't care a flying fig about consumers!
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