January 28, 2008

QTrax - What's Up With This?

In the early morning hour, our friends from blog Down By The Hipster sent OTCS this link, asking "whats up with this?"

Why, it's QTRAX, who on their website boast "free and legal music downloads". But, all is not as it seems over at this "authorized" P2P network. Rolling Stone reports that supposed deals between QTrax and the major labels has been "greatly exaggerated."

Nonetheless, QTrax represents the music industry's recognition that ad-supported, free, on-demand downloads are the next wave. The problem, though, is monetization. A distribution model like QTrax is similar to traditional radio: user's get their music for free in exchange for listening to advertisements. But unlike radio, a service like QTrax is on-demand and permanent. The incentive of having your song on the radio -- creating buzz and/or demand for listeners to purchasers to PURCHASE their own copy for later on-demand and permanent enjoyment -- is simply not present.

Perhaps that is why the labels pulled out?

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