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This is what Robertson (who you probably know as that guy in the BNL who raps) had to say about digital music:
“People should be rewarded for buying music, not punished for it,” he said. “When I buy a CD I want to be able to load it onto my iTunes library and make a mix CD for a friend or make a copy for the car or my cottage. I don’t go for this ‘if I buy it, I only get to listen to it three times.’”
That’s a dig on new digital rights management (DRM) software model that allows people to buy songs online, but will only allow you to burn that song to CD a limited number of times — the same model as embraced by iTunes.
Steven Page (who you probably know as the big guy in BNL with the really low, warble-free voice), also showed a keen understanding of the issue.
“I think non-DRM is really important to the future of our business, not to restrict people,” he said. “The mistake we’re making right now is that we’re trying to direct and control how people use music and I think that’s pushing people away… Sharing is a big part of music, it’s how you grow a fan base… how to get a taste of music and engage with it.”
When asked about iTunes, Robertson and Page said Apple’s download service gets a lot of things right as far as exclusive content and fan involvement goes, but say there’s still not enough choice, that prices are too high, and that the sound quality of downloads is lacking. Comparatively, the BNL offer “lossless quality” and DRM-free FLAC digital downloads from their own website, www.bnlmusic.com .
They also said that the fair price for music should be around 20 to 25 cents per song, believing people would rather own than steal music, but will balk at higher prices for something that doesn’t come with a CD and album cover.
Although iTunes is the most successful download model out there, Page has a better idea — “Take a look at what people are doing — using P2P services to download everything from an artist and then deciding which ones to keep,” he said. “So, sharing each song as an individual transaction is the wrong way to look at it — instead we should be monetizing music at the point of entry to the Internet, so if it’s already on there, it’s legal, and you can take what you want — then track what’s being taken and shared, and have a Nielsen survey on what people are emailing, IM-ing or downloading.”