Re: When is an MP3 file like a lighthouse?

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Wed Oct 24 2001 - 17:58:24 MDT

> For example, the Dixie Chicks sold 9 million copies of their Fly album in
> the two years after it was released [1]. It probably sold for about $15.
> If they had reduced the cost to 1/10 as much or $1.50, would they have
> sold 10 times as many copies? 90 million copies? That's almost as many
> as there are households in America (116 million [2]).
> I don't think the market is that big for the Dixie Chicks' music.
> Even at $1.50 a copy, they would not sell an album to every household
> in the country. They would make less money at 1/10 the price per unit.
> The Dixie Chicks do better to sell their album for a larger amount and
> sell to fewer people. The exact point of optimality will depend on how
> quickly the market falls off as the price rises.

Look at it from the other direction: the market was willing to cough
up $100 million dollars to listen to a Dixie Chicks album, in a world
where those people could download the songs themselves for near-zero.
That means the mere convenience of getting it on a small disk that
they can take to the car, the "coolness" of having an authorized copy
with artwork and liner notes, etc., and perhaps the value of assuaging
their conscience that they are obeying present law, was worth $100M.
That's completely on top of what they get for live concerts, appearances
on television, endorsement deals, and other income not dependent on
IP. Anyone who argues that the age of downloading (which takes away
only the value of that conscience-stroking) will cause artists to
starve isn't doing the math.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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