Allison M. Shapira

Friday, November 09, 2007

Yoav and iTunes

My husband and I recently had a fascinating conversation about iTunes.

We were walking on the beach in Florida, and I was complaining about how I couldn't purchase songs on iTunes Italia with an American credit card.

I said, "Why can't they just allow Americans to purchase Italian songs? It's not like the technology is different."

So Yoav said, "Well, let's work backward. What would you have to do in order to let Americans purchase Italian songs?"

In doing this backward thinking, I realized that the issue was not so much one of technology as it was one of copyright. For iTunes Italia to give Italians access to Italian songs, they need to purchase the copyright for those songs from the record label. They purchase the songs for a particular audience, knowing that they will be widely popular to the audience.

In order to purchase the copyright for an American audience, you have to pay a lot more to have access to a much larger audience (US iTunes users vs. Italian iTunes users), but only a small fraction of that audience will actually purchase those songs. Since the market for Italian music in the US is not so high, it would be very hard to recoup the cost of making music available to such a large audience.

After going through this exercise, on the beach in Florida, I found myself much more appreciative of iTunes' challenge. But I still want to download Italian songs...

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree Alli!
It makes me mad not to be able to purchase french songs form itunes.

Just wanted to let you know thta you are not alone!
Bisous :)

4:38 PM  
Blogger Alli said...

Thanks for your sympathy! One day our international music wishes will be fulfilled... :)

5:32 PM  

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