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Monday, February 21, 2011

Is There A Market For Used MP3s?

Hypebot had a post recently about ReDigi, who've announced that "the world's first online marketplace to legally recycle, buy and sell, used digital music files" will go online later this year. OK, listen to these words as you read them - "used digital music files."

The way I see it, there are so many things wrong with this business model that I'd be shocked if it ever got off the ground.
  • When you upload one of your tracks, you get a coupon that you use to to discount the next song that you buy from, guess who, Redigi. This is virtual cash. Unlike CDs or LPs of old, you can't sell them for real dollars that you can use on anything else later.
  • If people would rather steal new digital music files, why do they think that they'll buy used ones instead?
  • The rights owners have to get paid. The overhead required for the virtual paperwork seems overwhelming, although ReDigi states that they have some proprietary software that will take care of it.
  • They'll still have to get license agreements from the labels, if the labels have anything to say about it. This will go to court before it's settled, I bet, which may sink the company before it gets out of the gate.
I can foresee a scenario when there might be a market for used digital files, so that makes ReDigi is worth watching. I just don't think we're there yet.

Go to the ReDigi site to watch their intro movie.

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2 comments:

Craig said...

Would they have some sort of burden of proof of ownership?

What would prevent someone from illegally downloading lots of music they don't even like or care about and then trading it on ReDigi for legal versions of what they do want?

I'm with you that they likely won't get things off the ground, at least soon.

Bobby Owsinski said...

Yes, that's an issue, although ReDigi somewhat addresses it at http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2011/02/mp3-reseller-redigi-responds-to-legality-questions.html#more

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