Whenever we explain the theory behind CDizz to people in the music industry, we use the water allegory:
Years ago, people used to go to the well to fetch water. They carried heavy buckets to their homes for drinking, cooking and hygiene. Then came indoor plumbing and people had free, unlimited water available at the end of their tap.
Nowadays, people are carrying water in heavy bottles and paying money to get bottled water. What happened?
Several things happened:
1. The quality of bottled water is not that different from tap water (in most countries), but it doesn't hurt to hint again and again that tap water has all sorts of unwanted components. Hurting the competition is a useful tactics.
2. Added value - Bottled water were said to contain essential minerals and all sorts of ambiguous virtues. It doesn't hurt to claim your product has values, even if they're trivial.
3. Creating a buzz - Bottled water are "cooler", "better", "exclusive". You know the drill.
The music industry used to sell physical music, but suddenly everyone now has music plumbing. It started with radio, cassettes for copying music, and then came the net. Do you think the music industry can adapt?
Music and Media Futurist Gerd Leonhard used a very similar "Music is like water" allegory during Canadian Music Week 2007 (YouTube video here, starting from 6:30 minutes).
He also talked about the reasons for music sales drop and generally illustrates beautifully the problem CDizz is aiming to solve: Providing added value for music, giving a strong marketing tool for music companies and opening a new revenue channel by sharing ad profits.
His presentations are available here, they're worth browsing if you're interested in this subject. Here are a few examples:
DRM is dead: approximately 75,000 different devices can play MP3 files, while only 75 play DRM files.
Music mashing sites are growing. People are adding their own value into music.
More on the proposed changes to the music industry here.
It's great to find someone that clearly states when you're struggling to explain. I hope to attend one of his appearances one day.
CDizz Player is a free extraordinary multimedia CD player [download here].