One of their writers has asked a pretty obvious question about mobile phone ringtones:
Three bucks for a 30-second snippet that lasts a year—when you can buy the entire song online for $1 and own it forever?
What am I missing here? How is a 30-second, time-limited excerpt worth three times as much as the full work forever?
He concludes that this is a money making ploy by record-executives, summarising it as ‘the last great digital rip off’. While I agree that it is a rip-off, you’ve got to admire either the optimism or the hyperbole of the writer for thinking that this is the ‘last great’ rip off that we’re going to see related to digital media.
I’d like to make a little prediction – digital TV and movie downloads are going to be among the next great digital rip offs that turn up as soon as the general public becomes au fait enough with computers to start using them.