I read the news today (oh boy)Peter Gabriel is giving away free music downloads. Free of Digital Rights Management (DRM) software, so you can copy them to every machine you own, and will play on any brand of music player. And I thought 'So what?' Janis Ian has been doing this for years (Check out her free downloads here and read why she believes in free downloads here:)
Peter Gabriel is counting on the popularity of DRM free downloads and building a business model to make it theoretically viable.
His new project - We7 - uses a 'patent pending MediaGraft engine' to attach a ten-second advertisement to the start of each track. The We7 team plan to charge advertisers between 30p and 60p to subsidise music that they'll effectively give away. After four weeks, users will be able to download ad-free versions.
So, they are not really free downloads - well free to the likes of you and me perhaps but Mr Gabriel is still profitting through advertising (yes that is the Mr Gabriel who has also been involved in various humanitarian efforts [Wikipedia]). You won't find any adverts on Janis Ian's downloads and you will probably find her music a lot more enjoyable. So who do you think is acting in the best interest of their fans? Now go and download some of her music and then go and buy some of her CD's - you won't regret it.