Monday, July 6, 2009

Borrowing CD's

Good morning, everyone. I now fully awake and blogging from the balcony again. I saw an interesting ad on the way to the shore on Saturday. There was a little CD store with a sign offering "CD test-drives." You could, for $4, "borrow" a CD for 15 days and then either purchase it or return it.

Now, here is why this is interesting. I believe physical media to be dead, or at least on its deathbed awaiting its inevitable fate. I hate the idea of having put a physical disc into a media player to listen to music or watch a DVD. I find it to be the definition of primitive. So, what does one do if one runs a business predicated on an antiquated technology? Let people borrow CD's, take them home, and rip them to digital form for less than the cost of buying the album on iTunes.

Sure, this isn't what is explicitly advertised - but I'm pretty sure the intent is painfully obvious. Right, it's not legal - and I'm not condoning or endorsing it with this post. I am just saying that I understand the thinking behind it, it's clever, and it's interesting.

If we compare this model to other methods of obtaining music, it seems to do pretty well when graphed on the risk-to-reward Cartesian plane, mainly because there is about zero chance you will receive a pre-litigation letter from the RIAA.

Anyway, just thought you might find this interesting. (Again, I'm not endorsing this model so don't comment about how I am a jerk - well, to clarify, you can call me a jerk, but not for this reason.)


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