Datz Music: Downloader’s Dream, Artist’s Nightmare
A new flat rate unlimited music download serivce, Datz Music Lounge , offers unlimited mp3 catalog downloads with no strings attached. EMI, WMG, Beggars and The Orchard are all playing ball with the UK based company offering full catalog without the current hits for £99.99 ($165)
In the rest run, 100,000 special USB keys will be sold in the UK that enable unlimited DRM free downloads for a year. Unlike similarlly priced music subscription services, Datz allows users to keep the tracks for life with no strings attached. Nokia’s Comes With Music makes similar claims, but in reality the tracks are DRM heavy and tethered to a limited number of devices.
COMMENTARY: Datz is a music downloaders dream and offer labels a new way to monetize catalog, but it devalues an artists music to the commodity level. To use a food anaolgy, what once was created as chicken cordon blue is now sold as a pile of wings on the all you can eat buffet.
Catalog should often be discounted and bundled. Sometimes it should even be given away free. These strategies have a place and a purpose. But to offer it in an ulimited bundle delivered in a package that screams "grab as much as you can as fast as you can whether you care about it or not" is a mistake. Next we’ll be giving consumers digital shopping charts and holding contests to see who can shove the most in them.