Tuesday, June 13, 2006

 

The CD is NOT dead

My iPod is chock-full of thousands of songs, all arranged in various song lists of various sizes. There's the metal-head music I listen to when I work out, there's the classical I listen to when working late at night, etc. I've bought way too much music on iTunes, like many iPod users.

But that doesn't mean I've forgotten about CDs. I buy more CDs now than I did before the iPod. Not to mention the hundreds of CDs still in the back of my closet.

So now there's lala.com, a fantastic new CD exchange service that serves the best of many words. First, lala recognizes that most music fans still have dozens if not hundreds of CDs on hand, most of which rarely get listened to anymore. They also realize that there's an incredible second-hand market for these CDs, especially among other music fans that are interested in discovering new music.

For just $1 dollar per disc, plus 49 cents for shipping & handling (lala provides the shipping materials), lala members can exchange their CDs with each other. Buy a new CD that didn't meet your expectations? Trade it on lala, and ask for something else you wanted instead.

Even better, lala is giving 20% of the sale from each CD exchanged back to performing artists, and founder Bill Nguyen has a goal of getting that percentage much higher.

It's a win for consumers, a win for the recording industry, and a fantastic realization that "old media" doesn't just fade away. It just requires a new idea to make it both more relevant and more valuable.

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