Thursday, October 02, 2008

Download later

Today have just run a piece on the launch of Nokia's 'comes with music' handset, out of which nobody came out with much honour, to be honest.

A representative of MySpace UK showed off the MySpace music service, burbling about how it turns MySpace into your music hub on the web or something similar - before Rory Clellan-Jones pointed out that it's not if you live in the UK.

Some fans of The Script were given a chance to explain their justifications for not paying for music, which they delivered with the tone of people who had read something on the internet rather than like it was something they believe - "oh, yeah, I see music as pretty much a marketing tool these days" (do you really? But what about the vast majority of songs that don't get used as marketing tools? Is it okay to not pay for a Damon and Naomi song simply because a Kula Shaker song appears in an advert for apple sauce?); "I think the days of paying for music are over, I'm afraid" (what about the billions of tracks getting paid for through iTunes? Or the racks of CDs in HMV?).

Then they actually spoke to a member of The Script - I couldn't work out why they'd been playing a cover version of a Keane song under the piece, but it turned out that it was them. Script man claimed that he was cool with downloading because "if someone downloads your song, they'll tell 10,000 other people" - which seems to be wrong; downloading makes it more likely that people will sample a song than they would otherwise, but surely it's the people who care about your music enough to spring a little bit of cash for it are more likely to turn into your ad hoc promotion force than those who are merely downloading it on the off-chance?

Finally, a bloke from Omnifone, the company which powers the Sony-Ericcson version of Comes With Music, trumpeted that the way to get people to pay for music is to arrange things so "they don't know they're paying for it". Isn't taking money from people for something that they don't realise they're paying for at the more fraudulent end of unethical?

The whole piece seemed to have been constructed from people who had a shaky grasp on the subjects they were discussing, or, at best, hadn't really thought through what they were saying.


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