david touve

The verdict is in… Media Pirates are undeniably and economically irrational, just like the rest of us.

Posted by in economy, internet, media, music

A seemingly endless stream of statistics are in play these day suggesting (or proving, in the minds of some) that so-called pirates also buy music, movies, and other forms of digital media. What few if any of these authors discuss openly, however, is the fact that this strange behavior—buying some files and downloading others through unlicensed venues—is, for lack of a better phrase, undeniably and economically irrational. Two of these recent findings would be: Where do music collections come from?, from the American Assembly Downloaden neemt niet af ondanks bestrijding,…read more


How the first subscription-based music service was built online, and why it’s time to move on.

Posted by in entrepreneurship, internet, media, music

Nearly fifteen years ago I began hashing the plans for what would become, as far as I can tell, the first subscription-based music service online. What we built was pretty straightforward and, as a result, the initial business model was nearly identical to that model later adopted by services such as Spotify. (Aside: True old-timers will remember that Patronet would also launch, but it offered music from only one artist, Todd Rundgren—who built Patronet). Importantly, neither technology nor copyright law were ever really the roadblock to opportunity, even back in the…read more


The ‘Lather, Rinse, Repeat’ model for understanding the copyright licensing paradox

Posted by in internet, media, music

Since the season of “he said she said” in copyright licensing is now in full bloom, I thought it wise to reveal a model I have developed for understanding the copyright licensing paradox. To be clear, the paradox is not that the parties involved don’t understand this model.  The paradox leads to confusion over the right wrench to throw into the machine to make the model stop. The model: Note: The following steps can be performed in any order.  In particular, steps One and Two are often performed in reverse…read more


It may take 35,000,000 active users in the USA for the yearly royalties paid by Spotify to equal those paid by iTunes?

Posted by in internet, media

Recently at SXSW, Sean Parker apparently predicted that Spotify will overtake iTunes within the next two years—given the former’s present growth rate.  I am going to assume the active measure for comparison here is royalties paid during a year period, or revenue earned, not total number of active users or user accounts. Let’s check the math, using some of the inputs from Glenn Peoples over at Billboard. For the moment, we will limit this little discussion to the US only. And we will hold iTunes growth at nil, essentially seeing how…read more


Offering the obvious: Google adds downloads to Google Music (locker)

Posted by in internet, media

Google tends to refer to a wide variety of music-related products as “Google Music.” When the bits hit the hard drive, however, you buy tracks from the Android Market, upload tracks to Google Music (locker), watch music videos on YouTube, and… you get the picture. And so, even though Google Music is one of the few products launched by the Mountain View behemoth that shifted out of beta within moments, this whole music thing on Google is clearly a work-in-progress. Recently, Google announced two changes to its products that directly…read more