Hardware coupling.

I’m ‘intuating’ that the most likely successful business model for Ambisonia will involve some kind of hardware coupling of the site. This is based on the postulation that people will only really ever bother to start purchasing tunes on Ambisonia if it is very very easy.

iTunes works because it is easier to purchase a tune on iTunes than it is to rip a CD, or download via Peer to Peer. This is actually a very nice natural order for Ambisonia, because it means that if you really really want to, you can still download the tunes via bittorrent. But if you cant be bothered to do the whole computer/bittorrent thing, then all you need to do is click on ‘purchase’ and the piece will automagically land on your Ambisonic Player Harddrive.

So what is this Ambisonic Player Harddrive? … is it an independent device? (independent from the AV Receiver?) or is it integrated with an AV Receiver? Exactly what does it allow you to do?

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7 Responses to Hardware coupling.

  1. Nick says:

    There are many arguments against this idea of “hardware coupling”, and more against iTunes. If you can withstand the rant style of delivery (tho it is often amusing), you should read some of what Bob Lefsetz has to say on it…

    some links:

    – on 160 GB ipods:
    – (tho this one does suggest the idea of pre-loaded ipods at a much much lower price per song)
    What kind of crazy fucked up world do we live in where you can keep 40,000 songs IN YOUR POCKET and the labels think a reasonable price for each and every one of them is a buck, IF NOT A $1.29 IF YOU WANT THEM SANS DRM!…..

    blog posts on apple:

    blog posts re online delivery – free or paid:

    someone else’s comments on lefsetz:

    and there’s much more a quick search away…

  2. Nick says:

    … also, with the in-browser delivery, didn’t you just show how easy it can be to access surround-decoded ambisonic material? why not just stick with that? does anyone really want such a specific hardware device as an ambisonic hard drive? for the decreasing market that can’t deal with online delivery details, wouldn’t it just be much much simpler to subscribe to receive regular DVDs of the ambisonia content?

  3. Nick,

    Ambisonia is reaching a stage where if it cant pull some money in soon, it will have to shut down. Its that simple.

    I have been a proponent of free music, Creative Commons delivery etc. on this very blog in the past. I understand _exactly_ what the arguments are for that. .. I haved ‘lived’ those arguments (and argued them myself).

    But I have now also lived the other side of the argument.

    Who is paying for Ambisonia.com? I have put in over 200,000.00 AUS in time and money into Ambisonia… and I cant keep doing that (mortgage, babies, sanity etc.).

    Lefsetz’s concept of ‘Sweat equity’ lasts about 2 years, I reckon. Then there is the realisation that you have to pay the bills, have to earn money somehow.

    Does Lefsetz run a succesful, financially viable music distribution website? no. Does Apple? yes.

    Does Lefsetz produce music on sweat equity? no.

    Would you rather have lots of ambisonic content available for a small fee (or free but a bit of a bother to get) . Or have no ambisonia.com?

    If I stream directly from the browser, then I am paying around $3 per 1000 listens (via Amazon S3). that could easily add up to $100/week. Will sweat equity pay for that?

  4. Sustainability… its all about sustainability.

    Sustainability is not possible without finances. That’s the real-world reality. And it isn’t

  5. Ryan Turner says:

    The notion of “free software” from the likes of Richard Stallman, is crap! 🙂 (and so are software patents particularly US patents).

    Open source – yes… but not “free” (as in beer). Sure, the software may/can be free, but the company and contributors still have to make money (from some source) for it to succeed.

    A business has to make decisions with the consideration of sustainability… without it, all other decisions and plans are pointless.

  6. peter lennox says:

    hi all
    Because of pressures at work (blah, blah) I haven’t actually been able to visit this site before, astonishingly!
    Nevertheless, I want it to keep going, and I can see how difficult that is. the problems seem to be the same as those faced by the music industry as a whole: “where does the necessary revenue come from?” In addition to the hard thinking that’s already being done, I wonder if I can chip in?
    Does it have to be a ‘business’ as such? – could it, for instance, be a club, or a charity? (or at least, supported by some kind of donation that is not directly tied to commerce)

  7. Hi Peter,

    It could certainly be a charity. But I’m not convinced that that will bring in enough money (maybe I’m not good at rallying people to donate money).

    There is already a ‘donate to ambisonia’ functionality … for which I have received around $150 in 1 year (from 12 donators). Look under the ‘support ambisonia’ link on the right. I’m sure there is an art to rallying people to donate (which I havn’t tried exercising).

    Ideally, I’d like to be able to generate enough money to pay for things such as a good, easy to use, cross-platform Ambisonic player. etc. etc.

    It would also be good to financially reward those people who produce and publish their work. It is really these people who are making ambisonics more popular.

    Have you seen this post?:


    … it describes the current concept for geberating revenue.

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