Mobile applications might provide a new business model for some artists, according to one of my students who has been researching the music industry this quarter. Last month, for example, the Presidents of the United States of America released an iPhone application containing four of their albums, plus rarities, live tracks and demos. The cost? $3.
Because the songs are streamed from the application, this distribution method should not cut into MP3 sales. That’s an important observation. At Gnomedex three years ago, Dave Dederer described how the band made as much as 80 percent of their revenue from the iTunes store.
Today I read in Fierce Mobile Content that Matt Groening’s long-running (22 years) comic Life In Hell will soon vanish from the pages of the LA Weekly. Jason Ankeny goes on to argue … you guessed it … that Life In Hell and other comics would be “natural on a Kindle or on an iPhone.” And it’s not just because these two devices offer a revenue model that the open web does not: