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Spotify Movie

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Why do aliens always have long fingers? wonders Micael Dahlén. More than anyone else right now the marketing professor has his finger on the pulse of today's digital world. His book Nextopia is due out in English soon. Don't miss it.

Dahlén speaks often of how people of today have long fingers - they can get at things a lot faster than ever before. They can download and enjoy things that would be hard to find and take a long time to procure only a few years ago.

Odds are if the good professor isn't in class right now or out on another lecture tour - or in the kitchen making another batch of his fiery chili con carne - he's sitting in his office or in his study at home working.

And listening to Spotify.

A dilemma hit one of the authors of this article recently. Namely the quest to get a new copy of a rather obscure track from Divinyls - an absolutely brilliant track sung of course by Chrissy Amphlett, Australia's biggest female music export ever.

At least one copy of the track is in storage somewhere. Where it does no one any good. A cursory look at Amazon reveals the album from which the track comes is no longer available. But resellers are offering it for about $120.

Spotify has a lot of Divinyls tracks - but not this one. It's in torrent downloads but said downloads comprise up to 1,000 songs and no one wants the other 999.

And for the record it's not available at iTunes either.

Money isn't an object - unless of course it's going to be $120 for a four minute song. Availability is the object.

For what are the chances of finding any one given track in a (physical) record store? Pretty slim. To get that track to the store - and to the potential customer - any number of steps have to be taken.

  1. Record company has to get out the digital master.
  2. Record company has to contact a CD manufacturer and make a deal.
  3. CD manufacturer is hardly going to want to press a single copy.
  4. Thus there are considerable overhead costs record company must keep in mind.
  5. CD manufacturer prints copies and sends them to record company.
  6. Record company begins distributing copies to record stores.
  7. Customer walks into record store and finally gets a copy.

How are things done today on Spotify?

  1. Record company has to get out the digital master.
  2. Record company contacts Spotify and sends over a copy.
  3. Spotify put the copy online.

Fewer steps - and the process doesn't take months. It's almost instantaneous.

This isn't about rights. Or piracy. This is about access. And waste. Anybody who's searched for obscure titles at Spotify knows the deal. Daniel Ek's express goal is to make Spotify the biggest 'library' of music in the world. Spotify already has as many tracks as iTunes and they're adding tens of thousands each week.

Search for anything. By artist, by track, by album, by genre, by possible years of release. Watch the spinner for a few seconds. Then get a boatload of possible matches along with suggestions for even better searches.

Long fingers.

The war going on between the mafiAA on the one hand and everyone else on the other is not about copyright and 'piracy'. Today's long fingers actually demand better than The Pirate Bay anyway. It takes too long to download a torrent with 1,000 songs. But it takes but perhaps five seconds to find a track with Spotify and start playing it.

There's a technology gap causing the current conflicts. Conflicts between people with short fingers and people with long fingers. The people with the short fingers are hopelessly out of touch - so out of touch that after three years of intensive study they still didn't understand TPB's torrent files don't house any copyrighted materials.

The prosecution and the plaintiffs in the TPB trial had to throw out half their case on day one because none of them grasped such an elementary thing.

That's a wide gap.

Coming Soon?

Spotify Movie is right around the corner. Believe it. You'll have the ability to stream movies to your home the way you stream music today. You'll be able to watch for free but with adverts or you'll pay a monthly or per-view fee and be able to watch without them.

Will people stop going to cinemas? Does it matter?

But get this: when Spotify Movie comes - when such a film library is put online - you'll be able to watch any movie you want whenever you want - no matter how obscure, no matter your Blockbuster couldn't get a copy for you. A few mouse clicks and it's yours. Once in the cloud, forever in the cloud.

And you won't want to own it either. You certainly won't want to waste time downloading and burning a copy. You can connect anytime to the cloud and view it again 'just like that'. You won't want your own copies.

For DVDs - as CDs have already become - just get in the way. They're yesterday's technology. And nobody really wants them.

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