…. of scarcity and abundance (and the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince)

You’ll remember that Prince famously gave away his last album as a cover mount with the Mail On Sunday and, whilst the music bigwigs threw their hands up in horror, a few of us contemplated that the purple one really understood the new economics of scarcity and abundance – particularly after seeing him live.

Last week Prince announced that his 3 new albums – LOtUSFLOW3R, MPLSoUND and Elixer – will be sold as a triple disc set and will probably retail for less than £10 in the UK. Value indeed (even though he only sings on the first two). However consider this … according to the Guardian, Princes other release in 2009 will be … 21 Nights :The Prince Opus, comprising a limited edition book and iPod, has been announced with a price-tag of £1,500″.

Now £1,500 should buy you a one hell of a book and indeed the report claims “its a massive 280 pages, almost two feet wide, and weighing 17kg”. The book documents Prince’s 21-night stand at the O2 arena in 2007, interspersed with lyrics, poetry and photographs by Randee St Nicholas. A engraved iPod, pre-loaded with Prince’s Indigo Nights live album and a special 40 minute film “made by Prince”, documenting the O2 residency is also included in the package. Only 950 sets will be made available and one lucky “buyer” will win a flight to LA for a private Prince gig.

That’s a smell over £1.4m just on the “special offer” and before any album sales

…. of scarcity and abundance or what ?

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The ultimate try before you buy..

People who view my ‘non CIO’ blog – RockandRoll Football – will know that I stumbled across spotify earlier this year and love it.

So I was excited to hear today that a deal has been struck between Spotify and 7 Digital that will see a ‘Buy From 7Digital’ option added to the right click menu inside Spotify and will cover a six million strong catalogue of tracks. Now for the iTune haters amongst us – and there are many – this is just fantastic news as 7Digital also delivers its content at ear embracing 320kbps bitrates.

But is this the ultimate try before you buy experience ??  In the past you were only able to hear a few seconds of poor quality audio before making a purchase decision on a particular track. Now you get the whole track, superb quality, arguably better performance than on your local device (see my comment on iTunes performance vs Spotify) and all this before hitting the buy button. Is this the future for other consumer items ?? What d’ya think ??

In related news, I also heard that Spotify are finalising an iPhone / iTouch solution that will be available from the app store. Will Apple really let this go out unencumbered and embarrass their belover iTunes ?  Indeed, if you can get Spotify quality streamed to your device and the buy from 7Digital – why would you use the iTunes store at all ? This one will be interesting to watch.

Learning from your kids …. cont

I’ve no idea how long I’m gonna continue this topic – I guess until my kids stop surprising me so it’ll probably run forever …..

Anyway, I always said I’d never be like my parents when it came to music. If I had £1 for every time my father came upstairs to tell me to “turn that bl**dy racket down” when the Marshall was cranked up and I was practising along to something suitably heavy, I’d be a wealthy man right now.

I’m sure his comments were more often than not directed at the songs rather than my skills as a guitarist (I hope) but recently I have caught myself doing the same thing and its quite a frightening experience. So imagine my surprise when my 19 year old daughter gives me a CD and says “just put this in the car and drive”.

We’ll I’m 9 tracks in, haven’t heard a duffer yet and I’m suitably surprised. The band are Fall Out Boy and I’m sure lots of people know them. Now this doesn’t make me ‘down wiv da kids’ or increase my cool / street cred one iota but hey – it made me smile