The Guardian has an article outlining BSkyB’s plans to build an itunes killer in partnership with Universal.
The new service, scheduled to launch this year, will combine an unlimited on-demand jukebox service with a set number of monthly downloads that can be saved, even if users stop subscribing, for a single monthly charge.
There are positives. The music would be DRM free and, as the Guardian points out, this could be the thawing of relations between “ISPs and record labels over a future model that will reduce piracy and establish new revenue streams.”
It will also be available to everybody. But…
…Rob Wells, Universal Music International‘s senior vice-president of digital, said it was “an inevitability” that Sky would eventually bundle music subscription into its broadband and television packages. He said that once consumers became used to a combination of subscription services and paid-for downloads it would become the dominant way of listening to music.
Ahh, if only the future where that easy to control Rob. So, the logic seems to be as soon as we can get people back in to the idea that there is only one place to download this stuff, we are back in the record shop model again. Thank God.
So why is this a lesson from the Music industry? What can the journalism industry learn from this?
I think it comes from asking a simple question: When there is a workable service out there, why build another one?
The only possible answer to that is because ‘we can control it’.
Don’t duplicate. Collaborate and Innovate.
I know that right now there are newspaper groups who are paying developers to code photo share, blogging, ad platforms etc. You are. Admit it. If they aren’t doing that, they are buying them in and re-engineering them. Great. Some innovation there. But it seems to me that the best way forward is to collaborate.
Ownership of the platform only goes so far. What you gain in control you will eventually lose in market share. Surely we know this from the decline in print.
Having a presence, and leveraging that with your core audience is more valuable