Friday, March 14, 2008

A New Model for Digital Content?

So you really want your content to be available digitally, your audience refuses to pay for it online, but you still want to make money?

The music industry is starting to get interested in a new idea explained on yesterday:

In recent months, some of the major labels have warmed to a pitch by Jim Griffin, one of the idea's chief proponents, to seek an extra fee on broadband connections and to use the money to compensate rights holders for music that's shared online. Griffin, who consults on digital strategy for three of the four majors, will argue his case at what promises to be a heated discussion Friday at South by Southwest.

Why is this just about music? Why aren't the newspapers in on this, and other content publishers?

And, at the end of the day, does this model make sense? Consumers would still be paying for content, but not directly based on how much they consumed. Does it still make sense to pay for this stuff at all? Certainly artists, producers, publishers deserve to get paid for work that they do. But if the market is telling them that their work isn't valued enough to be worth payment, then is a monthly fee really going to work? Should they instead be trying to find other lines of work, or other ways to productize/monetize that work?

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