I know posts have been few and far between. A number of factors have contributed to the slow down (but why should you suffer, I know!). I’m hoping that once the election’s over, C.C. can donate more of her time to writing than to stressing out and doing laps around the circuit of political websites.
For now, here’s a fun development in the world of music television.
MTV has finally caught up to the information age and launched MTV MUSIC, a site that allows you to watch any video they currently have in their repertoire.
For instance, you can go here to watch the Beyonce video that you couldn’t watch here.
And a note about that…
I didn’t restore the link to the YouTube video because I felt chagrined at the Beyonce YouTube gestapo for suddenly making the video un-emdeddable. The inclination of the internet has proven to be oriented toward replication of information for dissemination. This benefits the user because a blog like mine can feature the actual product directly along side the commentary. It’s ideal.
This also benefits the product because it gets spread around and reaches wider audiences, developing more diverse threads of discourse, and cuts out an additional step the viewer would need to go through in order to access the information.
Web-based businesses have always tried to reign in the essentially viral spirit of the internet by placing all kinds of blocks and limited-use conditions (I find it absolutely bullshit that with iTunes you “purchase” a track but do not actually retain ownership of the media, as one does with CDs and other tangible media).
These are all obstructions that seem to generate more frustration for the user more than they boost access and consumption of the media. They lead to more negative views of the product, rather than facile, open programs that encourage users to take the media and distribute it as much as possible. Of course, these businesses want to drive traffic to there site so they can generate ad revenue. But this is an old model that may need to be updated, especially with recent news that online ad revenue is dwindling along with print ad revenue.
Another angle that proves illuminating involves the Metropolitan Opera’s live HD movie theater simulcasts. There was a fear, originally, that the simulcasts would deter people from buying tickets to the opera house, since the tickets were so much cheaper. So for the first simulcast, there was a black-out for movie theaters within 100 miles (I think) of New York City.
After the first simulcast, demand for local movie theater access was so high that The Met immediately lifted the ban and started transmitting to cinemas in NYC.
Time has also proven that the simulcast program has generated interest in live opera performance, as The Met has seen its tickets sales strongly increase along with the success of the HD program.
Also important to note is Radiohead’s recent stunt, where they allowed anyone to pay whatever they wanted to download their latest album Rainbows, paying any price–ANY PRICE–as long as they did so before a certain cut-off point. The album seems to have been successful in terms of profits and generated interest, proving wrong common intuitions about media, control and money.
I wish business would really absorb that fact that access promotes interest. All these outmoded, really paranoid regulations on products seem more and more fussy and lame as internet culture matures.