Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Selling Digital Files?

With 30 years in this business full time, and I guess being an old fart, I dread the thought of selling digital files. But to survive 30 years in any business you have to look for trends.

Here is what I see. After 48 years Conde Nast closes Gourmet Magazine and 3 other upscale "paper" magazines. Canwest (Canada's largest newspaper publisher with 37) has filed for bankruptcy protection. Some of the US major newspapers are running into financial difficulties now that people prefer getting news on-line.

iTunes, and their multi billion dollar sales of music files. No need to buy CD's anymore (yes, CD sales are way down). They have also added down-loadable movies and TV shows you can watch on your computer, TV, iPod.

Huge sales in downloadable eBooks and Audiobooks, no need to buy a real book anymore. The Sony Reader Digital Book, or Amazon's Kindle made to hold over 1500 downloadable digital books. No need to buy bookshelves anymore.

So for me the thought of selling digital files is scary based on years of hearing "Never sell your negatives". But the fact is everything is going digital, people want to buy files, more convenient? for safe storage?, for sharing? and it's a multi billion dollar industry you can take part in or not.

And No. At this point I don't offer them for sale but I think soon they will be added to my product mix, maybe I'll add preloaded Digital Photo Frames.

I am haunted by the lyrics of Bob Dylan "You'd better start swimming, or you'll sink like a stone. For the times they are a chang'n".