Monthly Archives: February 2011
Itunes has hit the mark with music file download prices. Starting out at $.99, listeners can pick and choose which song they want from an album rather than spending money on an entire album. Their prices have increased on new releases to $1.29 but Itunes also offers a discounted price for downloading an entire album. The choice is left to the consumer. If musicians got together to create a universal site that allowed listeners to sample their music and then embedded a link that connected the user to the recording artist’s own website to purchase, prices could come down for the audience and profits could go up for the artist. In essence, eliminate what you can of the middle man.”
Pirating is not an option for me personally and thus I do not need to be “bribed” into being honest about music. I will pay for music and buy only what I can afford. If prices were higher, I’d simply buy less music. Subscription based music is appealing. I like the idea of being able to listen to anything from any of my approved devices. There is something to be said however, for actually “owning” music. Whether it be via CD or music file, you at least know, what’s yours is yours. Eliminating piracy however, is not feasible. There will always be a percentage of people who take what is not theirs. Much of what is pirated happens outside our borders in countries that have loose, to no copyright laws. Just like any retailer, the music labels will have to factor in a loss from pirating.
The term “File Sharing” basically means that users can upload songs from their own music libraries onto a central server. Those song files become available to any user who is interested in downloading the “shared” and free music. It is thought that “Almost every song ever recorded has been uploaded to some music sharing venue (computer.yourdictionary.com). The idea of “file sharing” music became popular in 1999 with the formation of Napster.com and shortly after, Limewire.com. In 2000, a lawsuit was filed and Napster.com was declared illegal and in 2001 it closed its doors only to reopen them in 2003 with a legitimate digital music store, comparable to itunes.
As with all media’s necessity to adapt to a changing market as we go digital, so does the music industry. In order to maintain lucrative music labels, new and creative ideas that will discourage piracy will have to be created. Monthly subscription based music services are a possibility, as is developing a software designed to “shut-down” a device that is playing pirated music. Stricter laws and punishments have proven to work in some countries and has deterred “file sharing”. Money is lost every day in the seemingly innocent “sharing” of files and if changes aren’t made in the music industry, there will be no more new music to download.
The advantages e-magazines have over traditional print magazines are the ability to share content, gain immediate access, the portability, the incorporation of video media to existing print. E-magazines also offer a greater selection of photos, and an instant “link-up” of relevant information. The advertisers are also faced with an entirely new frontier of advertising options, which are highly beneficial to them.
Some disadvantages to e-magazines are the ability to have it lost, stolen, or damaged. Also there is potential for software bugs and glitches, the older generation would most likely be resistant to change, and only those with an e-reader could access the content. Additionally, an ipad with 3G capability costs $69.99 per month for “anywhere” access. The cost of e-readers and the 3G subscription fees are huge drawbacks.
Fundamentally, the audience for e-magazines won’t change. However, one must consider demographics such as income level and age. The starting price for an ipad is $499, so in order for one to access the content, one must be able to afford one. Retirees may not embrace online content because it is a whole new way to access information in comparison to the traditional magazine.
Yes, the subscription model could still work, but when pricing e-magazines for the iPad why not go both ways? They could sell subscriptions to loyal customers and single copies for those people that are just interested in a one time edition. This process would be mutually the same as regular print magazines. People walk door to door to sell magazine subscriptions or maybe even as a fund raiser for schools and once you’re in, you keep buying (or that’s what they hope will happen); then there are the one time buyers, like those that impulsively buy magazines from the checkout lines in stores such as Publix or Walmart. By giving the consumer options when making a decision they will be more likely to purchase something from your company whether it be a one time purchase or a one year contract. And in this economy, every penny of revenue counts.
The advantages to companies advertising on a digital, interactive platform seem to far out weigh advertising in a print magazine. Being able to advertise something and give the reader a view from every single angle or a product with the flick of a finger, is much more enticing then seeing that merchandise from one view point. Also, on an e-reader or an iPad, the advertisers can now include hyperlinks to their website to get more information on a certain product, or to view other similar products that may better fit the reader’s personal needs. These are milestones in the advertising world. They now have the ability to extend their advertising techniques from the Internet to e-device magazines, and they can even expand their tactics because some e-readers give you capabilities that a regular computer don’t- such as touch screen and auto rotation features.
A nation without newspapers or government run newspapers? Is there a lesser of the two evils? There are two basic news sectors, the public, and the private/commercial. The one that is failing is the commercial. If the commercial news sector continues on its steady downhill course, its journey will inevitably end regardless of the internet. However, is pumping tax dollars into a dying industry the “American” thing to do? Instead, if Americans, patriotically following in the footsteps of our forefathers, sustain the public sector, then in essence, the United States and its model for democracy and free speech would prevail.
Journalistic or postal subsidies have historically been rewarded to all politically affiliated newspapers without bias. In fact, it was because of subsidies, that abolitionist press was able to have the impact it had in the movement. According to Robert McChesney, a Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois,
“Even those sympathetic to subsidies do not grasp just how prevalent they have been in American history. From the days of Washington, Jefferson and Madison through those of Andrew Jackson to the mid-nineteenth century, enormous printing and postal subsidies were the order of the day. The need for them was rarely questioned, which is perhaps one reason they have been so easily overlooked. They were developed with the intention of expanding the quantity, quality and range of journalism–and they were astronomical by today’s standards. If, for example, the United States had devoted the same percentage of its GDP to journalism subsidies in 2009 as it did in the 1840s, we calculate that the allocation would have been $30 billion. In contrast, the federal subsidy last year for all of public broadcasting, not just journalism, was around $400 million.”
Something must be done to adequately revive a struggling entity. Journalism is like the synapses of our nation. Information must continue to flow freely from every corner of America in order to provide insightful and independent coverage of the federal, state, and local government and beyond our nation’s borders. It must survive for democracy to survive for, “Just as a brown planet cannot renew itself, so an uninformed electorate cannot renew democracy. Popular rule doesn’t work without an informed citizenry, and an informed citizenry cannot exist without credible journalism.” (McChesney, Nichols)
McChesney, Robert Waterman, and John Nichols. The death and life of American journalism: the media revolution that will begin the world again. Philadelphia, PA: Nation Books, 2010. Print.