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The Up and Downs of Digital Download Distribution


Previous Entry The Up and Downs of Digital Download Distribution Oct. 23rd, 2007 @ 01:12 pm Next Entry
I feel like ranting.... :P

Digital downloads are becoming more and more common these days. So far, only audio (audiobooks and music) and software (games and utilities) are available for a price, movies and TV shows and comics are trying to do this with relative success...

But why do we buy them digitally? I love to hold something I've purchased, and to see that it's there, tangible and visible, but... things are changing...

The main benefit of digital distribution is that more money goes directly to the creators, since the don't have to pay someone to produce, transport and sell the item. So if you want to support the creators, getting a digital copy instead of a physical one does seem like the way to go.

Another benefit, is that most of the people who provide digital content will allow you to re-download it if you lose the file. I'm pretty sure a store won't give another copy just people you're disc is old and worm and won't play anymore...

And of course, they only take up your hard drive, not your shelves, so if you don't have much room, it's also a good idea!

But it's not perfect.... It's not either good or bad, but a digitally distributed item usually stays at the same price (at least longer than a retail item would), but it also STAYS there, it will never be out of stock!

But the biggest problem is, once you get something trough this method, you're stuck with it! If you buy a game at a store, you can sell it, but who would buy a digital file that easily available elsewhere?

It's obvious this method will not take over, because people will always buy the retail item, because they want to hold it, or because they will sell it when they are done with, or if they just don't like it....

Of course, this is slightly different with stuff like Virtual Console or Live Arcade, who provide retro games. When you buy a used old game in a store NONE of that money goes to the makers of that game, while most of it does for Virtual Channel and Live Arcade. Think about that the next time you buy a used game...

But this also means buying a used game is the perfect way to NOT support a company, so if you hate a company, but their stuff used so they don't get their hands of your money! ;P

So what do you think about digital distribution
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Date:October 23rd, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I don't think I've ever bought something as a digital download out of laziness, although sometimes I do go to the retail store to something the day it's out instead of buying it online and waiting for the delivery to arrive...

Which means I did out of impatience, so you do have a good point there too! :3

Date:October 23rd, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC)

The Up and Downs of Digital Download Distribution

Poster: "So what do you think about digital distribution?"

Postee: Well, allow me to visit my consensus on digital distribution, if you will, through examining your below statement.

> I love to hold something I've purchased, and to
> see that it's there, tangible and visible...

Now, let's explore the above statement more closely...

I have heard this remark made, particularly, about music and its, oh how shall I put it, "housings," i.e., compact disc, vinyl, cassette tape, 8-track tape (oops! age spoiler) for what seems like eons.

Being that music is not a tangible entity (even though you have access to, and even benefit from its aurality when you purchase it), you are only "holding" the casing in which it is embodied. You are not, nor can you ever, "hold" the actual end result.

Thus, this equates to limiting your experience of any given music to a purely psychological state, at least, in this scenario, sans a live performance of the artist/creator.

And, as such, and since it is, indeed, about the end result, of which you receive from either the physical casing or its lack of physicality via a digital presentation, is it not more advantageous to experience it via the latter in several respects, the least of which is saving space? I dare say so.

So, on closer observation, there really isn't a "down" to the new digital environment...only an "up" (my humble opinion, but don't quote me on it). And, in having said that, music's "tangibility," well, it's a mind thang.

- KL
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Date:October 23rd, 2007 12:42 pm (UTC)

Re: The Up and Downs of Digital Download Distribution

Yes, the tangibility is something we need to get over, but for now, you are stuck with a digital download, if I buy something on iTunes and don't like it, I can't sell it or get my money back, but who knows, maybe in the future?
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Date:October 23rd, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
I LOVE digital distribution! I've sold a lot more music than I would've as a result of it. If people only want one or two of my tracks, they can buy them. As an unsigned act, I either have to put together CDs myself, or pay a bunch of money to have them made. With DD, all I have to do is sit back and watch people enjoy my music!
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Date:October 23rd, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC)
I don't like that iTunes doesn't let you download the files again if you lose them, but I'll have an external HDD for backups soon, so it won't be that much of a problem...

But I do like that they give you previews, and that some artists, like you, let you listen to the whole thing before you buy it! :3
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Date:October 23rd, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, eMusic has that over iTunes. iTunes has been known to change, though, so maybe they'll wise up soon. Regardless, it's not that hard to back mp3s up on a CD... which you can (everybody, now!) HOLD IN YOUR HAND! Thank you, thank you.

And, yeah, especially as a new artist, I find it wise to let people in on a lot of free. Some amount of free is smart for ANY artist. They Might Be Giants give away a lot of free tracks between albums as well as full free podcasts with new music to remain present while people wait for their new release. I bought all of Lemon Demon's albums as a result of the vert number of free tracks he gives away on his site!
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Date:October 23rd, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC)
That should have read VAST number of free tracks. Oy.
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