When news broke earlier this month that Spotify, a music service that has become incredibly popular in Europe, would become available in America I instantly became eager to try the service. Finally I would have the opportunity to use the service that I had envied my European friends over. So on Friday of last week when I had a chance to get online during my vacation I signed up for a Spotify Premium account.
Asides from development and overhead, marketing and audience targeting is one of the biggest things that companies invest time and effort in. And with the amount of effort that we see companies invest in marketing, it’s actually sad to see how some organizations simply never master this art and ultimately fail to do themselves justice.
In the past I have discussed the very real possibility that we will see significant declines in the amount of software (as well as movies, music, and other electronic media) that is “pirated”, a term used to describe media that is downloaded illegally on the Internet. While I admitted that this was a very bold statement to make, I attributed my theory to a handful of changes in how we as consumers have been buying and downloading software and media through mechanisms such as Valve’s “Steam” distribution network and Apple’s Mac OS X App Store. This is because, you see, these methods allow for end-users to download software in a much more convenient fashion; often times with a reduced price because bandwidth is, after all, cheaper than packing mechanisms.
But even with these improvements, there is still one big issue that I believe is preventing software piracy from declining as much as we’d like it to see. You guessed it. Price. Now, I’m not saying that software developers should flat-out drop their prices, because I honestly do respect the amount of work that has to be put into developing, testing, and distributing a quality piece of software. But with prices for many “popular” software titles going well into the hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, I can easily see where a consumer would be a bit discouraged to shell out big bucks for a piece of software.