22 Jun 2010

Its not a radical idea per se, but I firmly believe we need to step out of a product cycle focus within the industry and look more at micropayments as a means to switch from delivering a £5-£9 product every 2 years to a consistent flow of content for smaller access fee.  Convenience is a massive factor in music consumption these days – it’s why people take a free 128k MP3 download over a paid 320k one, or listen to music through tinny mobile speakers rather than invest in a proper portable speaker system.

With that in mind, I believe we as an industry should focus on the development of a proper micropayment system, wherein people are asked to pay a smaller amount for access to quality content.  Right now you either pay 79p for a track or pirate it for free.  But imagine if all those downloading for free paid 5 or 10p instead?  Potentially it could make for a greater whole.  History has shown that people don’t mind paying for something when the transaction is quick, easy and has perceived value attached to it.  Micropayments could fill a gap here where currently no proper solution exists.

Darren Hemmings [PIAS]

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