A few days after the fact I read this article on Realtid.se. The contents of the article are nothing jaw dropping. The comments on the article however, reflect the fact that so much of this discussion is taking place well outside the realm of relevance. People are talking about whether or not artists should be able to be artists, something that would require them to get paid for their work. Fair enough. But it is utterly irrelevant. Art will not dissappear. Neither will the internet. I will not waste energy on this discussion. Like most things, it will evolve Darwinistically.
To be productive we have to discuss value. The business model of charging for copies is obsolete. Some copies, such as physical books, have a certain value and will prevail. CDs are just a hassle. So are digital self hosted files really. So where can we add value? Here are some examples:
1. Hosting. Hosting music and syncing it between players is a hassle for the consumer. Especially if you have to authorize the player (In which case the stolen product is actually superior to the purchased one. Go figure).
2. Shareability. An effect of sharing a central database of music is that sharing music only requires sharing a tiny link. The evolution of sharing services is still somewhere around the stone age.
3. Upping the S/N-Ratio. There is just so much music! Finding the stuff you love could easily be a full time job. In my engineering days we talked about upping the signal to noice ratio. Last FM and Genious has scraped the surface of this field, but here you can create real value. And again, a centralized music database makes this much more effective.
4. Augmented Intelligence. Yes, Jan Guillou, I know you’re upset about your audiobooks and that I’ve been focusing on music. But here is an idea for audiobooks as well: If a centralized service keeps track of what I’ve “read” of what audiobook it can help me mine this data (since audiobooks are also available in text form) and help me draw conclusions that I would perhaps not otherwise have seen. I’ve personally co-developed a service doing knowledge clustering for the television industry. We could just as well do it with this data. Suddenly the person using this service is smarter than the person downloading on Pirate Bay. Again – this is real value. If anyone out there would like to develop this service, give me a call. I’ve made quite a bit of progress here already.
The current discussion about Pirate Bay is a joke. We will laugh at it ten years from now. If that.
This blog is written by Walter Naeslund and has been around since 2007. The blog is about the journey of starting an advertising agency and a sneak peek behind the scenes of what goes on at the Honesty HQ in SoFo, Södermalm. It is also a blog about communication & technology. The blog has gathered almost a thousand posts over the years with several longer and shorter breaks. Welcome and enjoy.