Pandji Pragiwaksono is launching his own digital download store called WSYDNshop.com to sell his own work free of DRM. Yep, that means you can copy it wherever you want, in any device you have, copy it away to a friend or upload it via torrent. You’re free do to whatever you want with it. But the question is, do you want to?
Pandji told me that the whole premise of this project is that people are willing to pay if they love the product and want the artist to keep creating the next product that they will love. It’s plain and simple. If you don’t pay then the artist cannot continue the work and so the cycle will abruptly stop.
Louis C.K did the same thing and this is from his own words:
To those who might wish to “torrent” these shows: Look, I don’t really get the whole “torrent” thing. I don’t know enough about it to judge either way. But I’d just like you to consider this: I made these files extremely easy to use against well-informed advice. I was told that it would be easier to torrent the way I made it, but I chose to do it this way anyway, because I want it to be easy for people to watch and enjoy this video in any way they want without “corporate” restrictions.
Please bear in mind that I am not a company or a corporation. I’m just some guy. I paid for the production and posting of this video with my own money. I would like to be able to post more material to the fans in this way, which makes it cheaper for the buyer and more pleasant for me. So, please help me keep this being a good idea. I can’t stop you from torrenting; all I can do is politely ask you to pay your five little dollars, enjoy the show, and let other people find it in the same way.
Those words touch me and I ended up buying Louis C.K’s video and it was awesome. Now Pandji is doing pretty much the same thing and I am super curious on how things will end up on his part. Is Indonesia ready for a totally unrestricted digital download?
As far as prediction goes, here’s what I think would happen:
- This will be very popular to people outside of Jakarta, areas with less access but high buying power. These areas are growing more and more and they want what we have here in Jakarta and they’re willing to pay for it.
- The lifetime of the product will very short, kinda like the movie business where you would enjoy the highest profit in the first week of opening and it will go straight downhill from there. So attract as many eyes as possible in the first month and make it big.
- This will be interesting to upgrade entry-level fans to a more devoted fans, the fanatics will come to see Pandji live and have the box-set standup video with his signature on it. Fanatics spend a lot of money because they’re fanatics. The entry-level fans would watch his video clip-by-clip for free on youtube, follow @pandji on twitter and read his blog but they won’t put a dime on his work. With this digital format offering, they can get the product for cheap.
Pandji is very optimistic about this and if this works, it can be applied to other people with similar interest group. Will this be a start of a revolution or a disaster waiting to happen? Time will tell.