Well - it had to be said. The register.co.uk is on top of the licensed music front as always, but here's something new. Rick Rubin - famed bearded music producer and founder of Def Jam weighed in on the topic last week:
"The delivery of music is approaching zero marginal cost - the cost of enabling each listen after the first. For some, this is a terrifying prospect, as their income may have depended upon charging a price much higher than marginal cost, say $18 for a disc that costs no more than a dollar to reproduce."
"At its most rational, consumer behavior suggests they believe media should be priced at or near marginal cost of delivery, which is closer to zero than 99 cents. This is the price to which they have grown accustomed in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and so on... uncontrolled media generally move at or near marginal cost. People feel it in their belly . . ."
Absurd! Unthinkable! For if there's anything the knee-jerk music industry executives have taught us, inflexibility and general stick-up-your-buttedness is the way to make your business decisions. How to combat the wave of free (iffya know where to look) online downloads and media? Selling songs online for a flat $0.99 a pop just isn't going to work anymore, and you all know it. Rick might not have produced anything worthwhile in a couple years, but he's ahead of the times on this one. Let's hope they listen before we have a totalitarian industry on our hands.
. . . Er, ears.
Rick Rubin image by Robert Hanashiro, from USA Today.