Posts Tagged ‘digital content’

Digital Music Sales Grow

January 30, 2008
But Overall Sales Still Falter

Although music sales as a whole have declined, digital music sales grew to $2.9 billion in 2007 (compared to $2.1 billion in 2006), according to reports from The New York Times and The Economist (handy graphs in the latter link… especially if you fancy Beyonce). Once again, the fall in overall sales is being blamed on piracy. Understandable. I only hope a) we find better ways to curb this piracy other than DRM (or even worse, the Sony debacle of 2005) and b) this transforms music companies, which, for years, have basically served as mammoth loan sharks… with exorbitant overhead.

Interestingly, there appears to be a demographic divide between those who buy CD’s and those who download their music, according to a list of the top ten artists of 2007.


Eisner Has A Point Concerning the Writer’s Strike, But…

January 9, 2008

…he’s being quite a jerk about it. Jeff Bercovici has kept tabs on the phrases used by Michael Eisner to describe the current writer’s strike; those phrases include “stupid,” “misguided,” and “insanity.” In an interview with Ad Age (sorry, subscription required after jump), he also called the strike “foolish.”

Now, Mr. Bercovici has elsewhere pointed out how Michael Eisner may not be the internet visionary he likes to make himself out as, but I do have to say this: while I do not appreciate Eisner’s course rhetoric, he has a point. Right now the pie that the Writer’s Guild is going after is small, and there isn’t much to go around. Not because the powers-that-be have it all gobbled up, but because, truly, there isn’t much on the plate.

However, I disagree with Eisner’s assertion that it will take three years to figure this out. Distributors and content owners want to get paid as much as the writers; they will figure it out sooner. For instance, if my personal habits went from die-hard appointment television fan to utilizing iTunes, NetFlix, and ’30 Rock’ on for my content consumption, I have a feeling the money-makers are racking their brains to get something out the door faster than three years from now; to them, that’s probably an eternity.

Changing Face of Content Distribution

January 8, 2008

For the time being, “movies and TV shows on a computer screen is ‘kind of a geeky experience’,” writes Brian Steinberg for Advertising Age. He goes on to quote Phil Leigh of Inside Digital Media: “‘People that are involved in geeky experiences, they are people that are more prone to go to a peer-to-peer site and make a pirated copy.'”

Wait… what? I’m assuming Mr. Leigh has evidence for this assertion, but I’d really like to see said evidence. In my own experience (ha! I love how personal experience always trumps an argument), my consumption of media has changed drastically in the past year-and-a-half. Whereas I used to rush home for the new episode of “24,” or “House,” etc., I have no television “appointments” anymore because I either buy the episode on iTunes (that’s right: buy… as in pay money… as in non-pirated…) or wait for the season to come out on DVD so I can add it to my NetFlix Que. 

Speaking of which, NetFlix announced a partnership with LG to stream rentals directly to the latter company’s HDTV’s.   Comcast shot back and announced they are working on a similar deal, trying to put together a large library of on-demand movies; they also announced the launch of the website, a “movie-tv hub.” Similarly, Google is teaming with Panasonic to enable the latter company’s televisions to display web content (i.e., more than movies and television shows). So, another attempt by Google at getting into the content business? Sigh.

So the moral of the story? “‘The television industry is one big experiment at this point,'” says Kurt Sherf in an article on I couldn’t have put it better myself. I’m not going to make any predictions now as to what a successful content distribution model will look like, but at least now I can understand why major television networks and giant movie studios are sweating…