When do they compete on value?

This quote from the IHT hits the point: One angry “customer reviewer” of Van Zant’s album put it another way on Amazon.com: “Boycott Sony!” he wrote. “It looks like it’s now safer to download pirated copies than to buy CDs!!” The music labels are …

This quote from the IHT hits the point: One angry “customer reviewer” of Van Zant’s album put it another way on Amazon.com: “Boycott Sony!” he wrote. “It looks like it’s now safer to download pirated copies than to buy CDs!!”The music labels are on an expensive quest to reduce the value that they offer for the money they are paid. Music that you can’t copy on (or off) your ipod. CDs that don’t work in your car. Costly mobile content that expires together with this year’s mobile device. CDs that hack or damage your computer.The competition between labels and black market downloads is no longer just about price: It’s about the value offered. When downloads are universally useful (by just being MP3s), safer than CDs bought in the shop, and less of a hassle than walking to a shop or using a legal download service — where’s the value proposition that should drive customers to get music through legal channels?