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Would "Windowing" music releases (a la the movie industry) work?

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Now with all the upheaval in the music industry regarding the future of

digital distribution, the Booz-Allen & Hamilton consultancy firm has issued an interesting report suggesting that the music business take a lesson from the movie business's so-called "windowing" distribution

approach. The report, entitled "Windows Into the Future: How Lessons From Hollywood Will Shape the Music Industry," shows how the film industry's strategy of releasing a movie in various stages, or windows (starting with theatrical distribution and proceeding into home video, pay-per-view TV, pay cable TV, and broadcast TV) has increased the revenue base to where theatrical movie showings now account for only 23% of total revenues.


Applying such a strategy to the music industry might result in an album's traditional release to retail, followed by digital downloads, subscription-service delivery, and discounting through record clubs, giving consumers and companies comparable windows by which to buy music

while both maintaining traditional retailing practices and incorporating new online means."

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this idea could have some merit to it, i think.


or, it could worsen the strangle hold of the industry giants.


movies are certainly not a place for artistic work these days, at least not major releases. movies like "killing zoe" are my favorite, and seem fairly underground, underfunded, and low production in my view.

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Hey, here's a good marketing idea someone should try sometime:


Make a really good product that people actually want to buy for it's inherent value.



New and Improved Music Soon: http://www.mp3.com/chipmcdonald

Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com

Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/


/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien

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Rob, that seems like a good idea, but there's a flaw: so far, movies have been more difficult to copy and release online. Yes, there are places where you can download flicks, but you need a REALLY fast modem as these are huge files. It's so easy to pirate music, and that's one reason why it keeps happening.


Actually I'm sort of trying a different approach, getting individual cuts out in a variety of places, after which I plan to follow up with a CD that has them all. That way, if someone hears some of my music and likes it, perhaps they'll want to get the CD so they can hear more of it.

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Windowing is a credible approach, but one that has a couple of pretty huge hurdles. For one thing, it's a theatrical approach and the record and movie types aren't really chummy, even in the consolidated mega-media companies.


Essentially the DVD release of regional versions of movie product tests the idea of windows. The encryption coding that has been cracked by DeCSS is the protection that theoretically allows a staged worldwide release of movies. That is, that discs for the US can't be read in European or Asian players. And that movies opening on their lucrative theatrical release schedule in overseas markets won't be compromised by DVD's leaking into the distribution system.


Right now the studios seem pretty spooked by the DeCSS cracking and might not be in any hurry to extend it to music.


(Ironically the cracking was enabled by the US restrictions on encryption technology. It was a dorm room project.)

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