It is no secret that I like digital distribution over the Internet. I do not have any need to gather hundreds of CD, DVD and game covers which only occupy space and gather dust. To get rid of this problem I have started to digitalize my music and movie collection. I will probably write more about this later and provide an open-source-tutorial to ripping and organizing CDs and DVDs.
The day before yesterday, Metallica released their new album Death Magnetic and I had to get my hands on it. I could have bought just a digital copy but as a long time fan of Metallica I opted for the CD. The CD was delivered actually the day before the release date but I was rather disappointed when this was what I found in a thin envelope in our mailbox. The cover was broken, beat and well perhaps not scarred.
When that is said, I think Metallica has succeed here on two fronts with their new album. They have made very good record but they have also created a successful distribution model. Through Mission Metallica I have been able to see a couple of hours of video from the recording of the record, and download about 10 live concerts and four singles. All this before the record was released. I think this is the way to go to stop or at least to reduce piracy. Provide something extra to the ones who pay. When providing something extra, they also make more money. The record was a bit more expensive than a normal CD (30 Euros as compared to a normal price of 18-25 for a new record) and by releasing material over the Internet, Metallica has managed to create a buzz around the album. However the extra 10 Euros were well worth it. In particular the live material is priceless.
For the future I think I will go for digitally distributed movies, games and music. If the provider offers backup I do not have to fear broken CDs and covers, and I do not have to reserve several meters of dusty shelf space to the covers.