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Bright Lights, Bad Business Model

May 24, 2005

Walking up Broadway on my way back from dinner, I noticed a crowd of people cheering under bright lights in the middle of Times Square. AudioSlave was blasting. Being a fan of the Jimmy Kimmel Show, particularly the concert series, I guessed it was a live simulcast and went over to join the fun. The picture below is the camera man dancing to the music while operating the steady cam.

Part of the concert series is the ability to buy the live performances. It was a good song and a nice “only in New York” moment, so why not?

Because to get the music, you must download Sony’s soundstage software. I don’t know what that will do to my computer, and Sony is not telling as there is not even a FAQ on the site. Even better the music is DRMed to death – it only comes in Sony’s proprietary file format which only plays in SoundStage or Sony’s iPod knock-off.

I would have happily paid my $0.99. I would have paid $10. But if you want to install your spyware on my PC and give me a crippled product, no thanks.

Earlier in the Day I had listened to Scoble discuss a major value point for RSS – he is happy to have relationships with companies, but it must be on his terms. I could not agree more.

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