Monday, February 19, 2007

Ooh, not a whole quarter-video

After the 66% Jam comes the half-hearted embrace of file sharing by Universal. The New York Times reports that the label is going to release snippets of videos onto the file-sharing networks - and they'll be free of DRM.

There is, however, a catch:

But they will also be incomplete: users who download them will see perhaps half the video and will be directed to the label’s own Web site to watch the complete version — and the advertising planned to run alongside.

Well, it's a sign of some grudging acceptance of the new world - we suspect this may even have worked in 1998. But in 2007, we're not quite sure what the point is - firstly, it torpedoes the RIAA mantra that there's no legitimate use for file-sharing networks, for how can a network be illegitimate when one of the RIAA's major members has started to use it?

But secondly, why only release a smidgin of the video? If the label really wants to sell advertising space, why not fling out the whole video with an advert embedded, perhaps as a static banner along the top of the screen? And perhaps offer a link to their site then, where you can purchase a lovely, full-sized, unencumbered image?

Because who in their right mind is going to waste their bandwidth downloading ickle bits of videos when they could be using that time and processing power to get something complete?

One point to Universal for accepting that they're now a player in a totally different industry to the one they used to be in; no points for execution.


Anonymous said...

That reminds me of when I downloaded stuff off kazaa and all it was was the chorus looping, sometimes it would take a while for me to realize I'd been had!

The RIAA should give up...people are using encrypted file sharing solutions now too, so they won't be able to track stuff that people are sharing. There's several solutions out there such as Gigatribe ( ).

It's time to stop taking consumers for fools!

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