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Why, or perhaps, how radio might work: 1) Audio drama-as-a-service and 2) The rise of the producer-networks January 23, 2008

Posted by William Spear in >> News, >> Out Basket.

A blog entry from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland described Salesforce.com as “Software as a Service”. Salesforce.com provides Customer Relationship Management tools through its website.

IBM defines Software as a Service (SaaS) as an application whose “functionality is delivered through a subscription model over the Internet. The customer does not take ownership of the software, but instead rents a total solution that is delivered remotely.”

Founded in 1999, Salesforce.com’s Chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff, is expecting to reach $1 billion in sales in 2008. Not bad for collecting rental fees.

What if a producer were to co-opt the Salesforce.com model and offer its catalog as “Audio Drama-as-a-Service (ADaaS)? A listener plugs into the day’s schedule and the producer’s website delivers the show.

Even a live show might be offered the web. Log on at the date and time of the performance and enjoy.

The consequences of this approach is that audio producers should be strategizing on how to deliver programming rather than sell CDs. Audio streams would be the unit of monetization rather than tracks. Collect payments for the stream when and how it is used rather than sell an entire CD. Ask iTunes how many songs it sells compared to CDs.

Further, producers could develop web-based networks for distributing content through internet, satellite, and broadcast operators onto larger audiences. This week’s Lit Between the Ears programming, produced by parent company Two Plus Plus Productions LLC, could be picked up by other outlets at varying times and on different days.

Live events would still be viable. A virtual network of partners might present the Lit Players Theatre every Monday at 7:30 pm and again at 9:30 pm for the west coast.

This model would encourage the websites of producers such as Two Plus Plus to showcase their own work and schedule offerings from others. Hence, the producer-network.

Radio rocks. The internet turns up the volume.

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