Less is More (continued)
I’ve posted on this topic a bunch, sometimes under the related Small Is The New Big theme.
I come back to it with an angle on the music business. I don’t know the exact numbers but it’s pretty clear that ringtones are generating close to half the total online music revenue of major record companies.
How is it that a five second sample of a song is worth $1.99 and the entire song is worth $0.99? How is it that these five second samples are getting more and more popular as the sales of the songs themselves stagnate and may actually be in decline?
It’s a lesson in microchunking and probably a whole lot more. I have friends who bemoan the end of the album format. But what will they say when the single format gives way to the ringtone or its kin? It could happen. I know that many artists are recording ringtones these days when they go into the studio. And Jackson told me this weekend about a new rap format whose name escapes me right now. This new format is a short track designed for play in clubs.
To me this makes perfect sense. In the digital world where it is easy to re-aggregate on the fly, the microchunk is the better format.
Blog posts versus books.
Youtube SNL skits verus the entire SNL show.
Ring tones versus LPs.
It’s the future. We better get used to it and start creating content that can be microchunked.