Let’s get physical: in music, bits take on appearance of atoms

From Paid Content:

Two developments this weekend point to how competing interests are trying to increase the value of their intangible digital content by re-imagining it as though it were ye olde packaged goods…

Singer Ellie Goulding is holding “the world’s first digital album signing” to promote her latest release, Halcyon – the latest high-profile celebrity chat facilitated by Google’s increasingly media-savvy Google+ Hangout team.

That, of course, is an anachronism. A digital album can no more be “signed” than thin air be coloured green.

But album sales are plummeting, displaced by the success of digital track download stores. For artists who still attach importance to the album, could “signing” digital content draw fans to buy the whole digital collection, not just individual favoured tracks? That remains to be seen from Monday’s event, when meeting Goulding in a video chat will likely be the bigger draw. The takeaway is this – buyers value an experiential piece of the creator.

While Universal’s Polydor, to which Goulding is signed, re-images the virtual as physical, EMI is suing a retailer doing just the same.

Boston startup ReDigi lets customers list their used, legally-bought MP3s and, soon, ebooks for re-sale to peers as “second-hand” files. But the record label has taken the outfit to court in New York and: “The company is demanding that the one-year-old start-up pay a $150,000 penalty charge for each song it has sold on” (via Telegraph).

The case may centre on the apparent reality many retailers do not sell customers actual digital content but merely license to use that content – licenses which often prohibit re-sale.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Paid Content