Just a quick note. This is exactly the angle that I have, in the past, suggested.
Offer consumers a quality service (no DRM and guaranteed quality) and they will pay something for the convenience factor
The concept is that the value can be generated by offering convenience to the customer. I’ve argued this in this blog post called “People dont buy the content, they buy easy access to the content”. That post is inspired by some of Apple’s strategy.
One way in which I argue that it is possible to do this, is to couple a hardware device with Ambisonia. Ofcourse, this is what Apple does with iTunes and iPods. I wouldn’t need to have such closed environments that Apple has, but the point is that it would be possible to have a 1 click delivery of Ambisonic tunes to some kind of hardware device via ethernet.
The challenge is that you have to make it very easy for people to access content within an e-commerce framework WITHOUT actively making it difficult to access that content outside of the framework. And with architectures like podcasts that contain torrents, it is so easy to distribute content for free, that it makes it really very difficult to get a paying ‘ease of use’ factor in there. Which is why I really think that some kind of hardware coupling is the solution.