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Thursday, March 16, 2006

I Predict the Future of Music Distribution

Well, I tried to tell you people! I finally have a great idea, but I just don't know how to capitalize on it. Email me if you're ready to invest.

Wal-mart is planning DVD-On-Demand for their stores. It's the exact same scheme I concocted and pitched to my local indy record store. Wal-mart pays a license fee to the studios. They burn the DVD in the store while you wait.

Read this slate article,

And then read this thread from back in the beard contest for my plan.

The stores burn the CD's while you wait. Further I envision a Netflix-esqe shipping plan. No packaging. Just the pretty, labeled CD (and no digital rights restrictions) for less money than iTunes can sell the album.

You see, the first time all these itunes junkies try to move computers and their Digital rights stuff gets screwy, they'll be sorry.


Excerpt from my Whiskerino debate:

"Itunes has no artwork, digital rights restrictions and lower sound quality. All for 9.99 a "album". This plan of mine would allow you to offer no artwork (same as Itunes-artwork is in artists websites now), NO digital restrictions (better than Itunes) and CD quality sound (better than Itunes) for a lower price (better than Itunes).

This is a niche market in the beginning but your not just serving Southeast VA. It's worldwide. How many of us from whiskerino would be willing to buy a CD (in paper sleeve-but we provide our own hardcase just like we would with Itunes) for 6.99 2.00 shipping (and your prices will drop as the distribution channel gets more efficient. Itunes' prices will rise only because big labels want more money)?

My plan is to take the digital music model into the distribution chain to keep alive the record stores. You'll soon find yourself with less inventory. You just own a CD burner. If someone wants a CD, you burn it for them (in full CD quality, not Itunes quality). No leftover product. Less shelf space needed. No back room full of CDs. No shipping cost for the labels to send them to you. Less costs for you. You're closer to profitability.

All of this helps support the brick n mortar store. There are still point of sale terminals in the store. There is also online orders coming in. Less costs for both sides of the business.

Then if others copied the idea. Big deal! Time isn't the only dance club on Granby. You'll keep your customers through good service, fair prices, and a sense of community.

I'm a computer guy and I've attempted to embrace the Itunes way. This theory of mine is a direct result of my experiences with Itunes. As you said, Dave, Itunes will have higher prices soon enough (for the same lower quality sound and restrictions). They are setting the indy market up with their greed. My plan won't make anyone rich right away, but I think it might keep us all in business.

Deliver higher quality product at a lower price, all with better customer service. "

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