Today, thinking about ways of selling content online, especially music, demands to take a close look at even distribution channels you didn’t bother to think of before.
You simply can’t afford to miss any options for sales any more. As album sales still drop and single downloads do not compensate for the loss of physical sales diversification of revenues is gaining more and more relevance.
The crux of diversification is that new revenue models must not cannibalize existing products.
So let’s think of revenue channels that do not concern physical media or downloads but opening revenues without loosing channels you already have.
Is anyone of you familiar with ableton live?
It’s a music production software as well as a tool to play (preferably electronic music) live on stage, as a DJ or a live set. Most producers I know use this software somewhere during their productions or stage appearance.
A brilliant yet simple marketing tool with ableton is their option to share projects you work on via an integrated social community function.
You can go to their website (as long as you own a purchased version of their software), log in and download a project from artists you like. By doing so you don’t download a watermarked, blocked, fixed thing, but the very files the respective artist would have on his laptop when performing on stage using ableton live.
What makes this interesting is, you can now use this stuff yourself with it’s full functionality. You change it, remix it, do whatever you want with it, just like it is something you created yourself – and it is for free.
Now imagine, you could download comparable data, tracks, from other sources too, that would allow you to easily modify the music according your own needs, as a ringtone, as a soundtrack to a youtube video, change it into a longer, shorter, an instrumental version, etc.. And above all to re-share it.
Nice ad on for consumers.
Now comes the artist / label.
I don’t ask to give away such content for free, just to lower the barriers for consumers to actually use your product.
Imagine an increasing lot of various versions of your content would float the web and thus penetrate more channels, in various formats than you could produce your content for.
I remember a tool called potato.
The idea would be to combine marketing and sales with this open data. As long as you just want to listen to a track, whether it’s just music or in a video, it’s for free – this would be the marketing.
As soon as someone would want to use it for modification there’s an option to purchase it as an open data format. Or – as ableton does – bind this open data to a specific software one needs to buy in order to modify the data.
Numbers prove for years now, that users aren’t interested in traditional consumption patterns any more – downloading stuff to store and own it. Consumers demand content that they can use, modify, create stuff with.
This idea is about to involve those consumers into your revenue models. Not selling them the actual content, but the option to work with it, either based on a data format or on a software.
Does this make any sense?