We all know at this point something about music companies. We all know at least a little about the RIAA. If you've read the news on the BoobTube or the InterTube you've certainly come across it. People share music and take music because they like music. There are still people who buy CDs, lots of people actually. There are also people who buy music online, more and more.

Music enjoyment and our relative interaction with music and the monetary attachment we give music - I think entertainment in general - is really skewed and depends mostly on distribution. The idea that you can see a blockbuster movie for $8 or a major stand up performer for $40 doesn't go by without notice. "Sure," you may say, "But the movie is in 2,000 theaters. The single performer may only got to 20 venues on a tour."

Let's look at that. If you have a movie costs $200 million dollars to make, and on average, people buy movie tickets for $8, you have to have 25 million people go see your show to break even. That's a rough estimate because theaters take some out, distribution companies take some out, etc. The number of patrons is probably higher.

If you're Jerry Seinfeld and your show is $60 a person and each theater seats let's say 300 people, and you do 30 cities, three shows a city, you just made 1.6 million dollars on ticket sales. Yes, 10% goes to your agent and then the venue gets some and the ticket sellers and then you have travel costs.

The point is, even if Seinfeld charged $8, a stand of thirty cities (which you could do in what 3 months?) would gross you over 200,000 dollars. That's not too shabby. Plus movie, TV, speaking gigs, commercials, etc. I don't think these guys are hurting.

So would you rather spend $8 for two hours of entertainment in a theater or $40-100 on two hours of entertainment in a theater?

I went on a bit of a tangent with that, and there is no means a good answer for the question because some would view the value of the entertainment from a celebrity performer bigger than just a movie, to which I would answer, would you pay $100 to watch Johnny Depp talk about stuff for two hours or go see him perform in a blockbuster movie for $8? Just saying.

Any crap, with the idea that we assign interesting values to entertainment, why does this shock me so much? For those linkophobes, the White Stripes have a new album out and you can get this album on a custom USB drive for $99. That's right, $1 short of a cool hundo. No, you don't get 150 songs. No, as far as I can tell you don't get any special content for your PC like videos or interviews. You get thirteen songs on basically a key chain.

These are limited, 3,333 of Jack and 3,333 of the Meg figures. Total that up, that's almost $660,000, which isn't a lot for a musician of the White Stripes stature, considering they could sell the album itself into the millions. But what shocks me is the audacity that they think people would pay $99 for something so inauspicious. You're basically paying for the limited availability, not the music, not the craftsmanship of the unit, but the fact that out of 6 billion people, only 0.000001% of those will have this. I guess that's worth $100 to some people. I guess that's why we pay $100 to see Seinfeld or Cosby.

I tell you what, though. If you really wanted it, but maybe only had $50, I'd buy the album for you, and a nice USB keychain/thumb drive with 2GB of space (4x that of the one mentioned) AND I'd custom paint ANYthing you'd want onto it. I'd put the music on it for you and then give you the CD as well. Plus I'd throw in a comic book and maybe a robot, pirate, zombie, faerie, hobo, super hero drawing. YOU CAN'T BEAT THAT! I don't have any doubt that this blog is so small that no one would even care if I did a single one of these. Would you?

Carry on.

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