See Things Differently
The story from Musically <below> has two implications.
The first is how the mobile companies and operators have ignored the user experience in their quest to squeeze as much money out of music fans as possible. Early adopters bought music via mobile because it is such a convenient way of purchasing. Only to find the track was extremely poor quality (as low as 64 kbp/s in some instances) and had such severe DRM restrictions they couldn’t do anything with it except play it on their phone, and this despite paying a premium price for the experience. Do that a couple of times and it’s no surprise people have stopped.
Second is the maths on paid vs free. 14m out of a total of 326m means only 4% of downloads are paid for. Doesn’t the industry realise what is going on? 96% of music is now free and yet they refuse to try and monetise it preferring to over charge for single downloads, use restrictive DRM, sue their own customers and refusing to license ad-funded models.
Artists should be concerned their fans are not getting their music in a way that builds a relationship between them. One way is to produce a WAP site they control and offer their music via WiFi networks, cutting out the operator and the data charge.
Germany saw mobile downloads decline in 2007
The German recorded music market shrank by 3.2% in 2007, with a value of 1.65 billion, according to trade body Bundesverband Musikindustrie. However, the real story appears to be a sharp drop in mobile music downloads, from 17.2 million units in 2006 to 14.2 million in 2007. Overall, CDs still account for 81% of revenue in Germany, although single-track downloads grew from 25.2 million in 2006 to 35.2 million in 2007 – a rise of nearly 40%. “Downloads cannot yet recoup the loss of sales in the physical market on account of the lower unit prices,” says chairman Dieter Gorny. The body claims that illegal file-sharing declined last year, from 374 million tracks in 2006 to 312 million in 2007.