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We have to take our clothes off to have a good time September 22, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, music, technology.
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Direct from the “We’re-out-of-ideas-let’s-see-if-this-sticks” Department, SanDisk along with the four major music labels have announced a new format for music – micro SD cards, commonly found in mobile phones and digital cameras.

I don’t know where to begin on this one. One person I spoke to who was a fan of the move remarked “It is compact, DRM-free, and the files are digital.”

Yes, that’s true.

Just like CDs.

The labels, despite all evidence suggesting radical moves are in order, remain firmly entrenched in the sales of physical media, and not just existing media but they’re coming up with new ones!! NEW ONES!! New forms of physical media while the free world irreversibly slides towards an entirely digital future. You know what? I like album art as much as the next person (I spent a small fortune on my own cover), I’m tactile, I like to touch. But that is not where we’re headed.

The labels are trying to keep the economic model for the music industry revolving around a physical item instead of watching behaviour exhibited by the market and responding accordingly. Yes, we all have devices that can support this format, but the labels are confusing the platform and the medium.

The platform is digital. You cannot have a medium existing on a platform that does not serve the same ends. The medium needs to be digital as well. My iPod can hold 80 gigs of music. Why am I going to mess around with this tiny card that holds a single album? This is ludicrous behaviour. Proper stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off nonsense.

Somebody should get fired for this. Entire departments and a swathe of VPs just for good measure. A new physical format for music. Give me strength!

Manufactured physical products need to get a hell of a lot more expensive. And digital files need to reflect the economics of the market they exist in, not attempt to replicate the old one.

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Comments»

1. Oolong - September 23, 2008

I find it absolutely hilarious how worked up you get. I think that’s why I keep coming back to read you. I can actually imagine you freaking out!

Having said that, can you imagine if this takes off? We’ll all be losing our memory sticks among our albums. I need my presentation file that I stored on Stick2 , No NOT THE BAND!!

nah, if it doesn’t have the physical joy of an album cover/sleeve, it’s kinda a little lost sheep is it not? Not convenient like downloads, nor fully tangible like album covers that house CDs. It won’t even plug into your car, which I find is the other reason why people buy CDs- they can’t be bothered rigging their cars up to play mp3s.

2. David Gillespie - September 23, 2008

As I said on Twitter, I wouldn’t care so much if it wasn’t music! Plus the labels will be spending a fortune on pushing this as opposed to investing in research that will lead to genuinely sustainable models, ones that free them from the brick and mortar retailers they’re currently slave to.

People who want to buy CDs will still buy CDs. The people who don’t want to buy CDs are the ones who require innovative business models. They’re still playing format wars while everyone else long since realised it was the content all along we were parting with money for.

I just do not understand the move. Not. One. Bit.

3. The Music Blogs » The beatings will continue until morale improves - October 1, 2008

[...] my pal: David Gillespie There are a myriad of reports floating around the web today regarding the launch of micro SD cards [...]


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