Friday, March 07, 2008

New Business Models & the Library

OK, OK, so everyone is talking up NIN Ghosts. Yeah, yeah, yeah a Radiohead repeat with a better business model. Get the 1st 9 of 36 tracks free.

Wait a minute...let's go back to that business model. As I understand it, Trent Reznor gets to keep his rights to his music by not going through a record label. Moreover, his net profit from the sales are higher because he doesn't have to pay the record label's cost for promotion, etc. It seems like he's doing pretty well. Checking the site this morning, I saw that he completely sold out of his limited edition. That edition was limited to 2500 copies @ $300 a pop. That means just the sales of his limited edition grossed $750,000. I know, it's nothing like your album [funny we still use this word] going gold, but that's pretty good.

So, anyway, folks in the businesses world have finally learned that giving away a little can net you a lot. Starting in the early 20th century, libraries and other "public" institutions began sharing their collections for the greater good (OK, that could be debated). We give a little in the form of taxes while our net as a community far outweighs our upfront cost. Libraries can be the poor man's (or women's) university. They can be a fulcrum of intellectual freedom. And they can be a gathering place for a diverse population. They help individuals, groups, and business alike. The notion of the library as repository is dying. However, libraries are far from dead. They are transforming to meet the diverse needs of a diverse population.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Neil Gaiman put the entire text of American Gods up as a promotional tool for The Graveyard Book.