The continued story of how the new on-demand media landscape is changing not only the relationship between suppliers and consumers and also suppliers and, in turn, their suppliers. Amazon have today turned off pre-orders for all Warner Bros. DVDs in what is expected to be a brinkmanship challenge to hammer a new contract into place. This follows on from similar issues with Hatchette publishers.
This highlights the limited number of places that most people are now getting their ‘purchased’ media from – Amazon, iTunes, Audible, etc – the increasing control they have over the marketplace and how they can use that to act unethically to their own suppliers.
Of course things like iTunes and Kindle downloads aren’t ‘real’ purchases as you’re technically only having loan of the media in question which enables the true owners to remove items from your device at their control.
The next step on from this is Spotify, Netflix and, I’m sure, whatever service soon comes into being that allows reading of all published books for a fixed monthly cost. These services are incredibly convenient but they extend the notion of lack of true ownership even further. Lending a iTunes kindle book is impossible but ‘lending’ a song from Spotify doesn’t even make conceptual sense.
All of which reminds me of the story by Richard Stallman called The Right to Read.
Of course while saying this I continue to be a kindle, Spotify and Audible user. Convenience trumps worries about the future again…