An ir­re­sistible urge for free mu­sic

Korea JoongAng Daily - - Front Page -

prof­itable con­cert band in the world, the free re­lease on iTunes at­tracted even more peo­ple to its shows.

More­over, the global dig­i­tal-mu­sic mar­ket’s fo­cus has moved on to com­pe­ti­tion among free stream­ing ser­vices. Stream­ing ra­dios are con­sid­ered the next big thing of the fu­ture in the mu­sic mar­ket. Un­lim­ited dig­i­tal mu­sic is pro­vided for free, with oc­ca­sional com­mer­cials. In­stead of “own­ing” a mu­sic file through a down­load, fans now “con­sume” mu­sic by check­ing it out from on­line li­braries.

I, too, have been charmed by the ser­vice. It started to feel quite fool­ish to pay any amount of money to lis­ten to mu­sic when it could be found for free. It’s hard to fight the ir­re­sistible temp­ta­tion of free­bies. How­ever, there’s no free lunch. Mu­sic may be en­joyed for free, but we of­ten for­get the ad­di­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion charges. We end up spend­ing the same money one way or another.

A more se­ri­ous prob­lem is that cul­tural con­tent, in the form of free mu­sic, could be an at­trac­tion as stream­ing ra­dio be­comes a popular business model. In fact, Ap­ple spent $100 mil­lion to have U2’s al­bum re­leased at the un­veil­ing of its new iPhone 6 — and the tac­tic cer­tainly worked.

It feels just as bit­ter as won­der­ing whether prod­uct place­ments are used to fund a tele­vi­sion drama or a tele­vi­sion drama is cre­ated to fea­ture prod­uct place­ments.

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