Jun 222011
 

I’ve probably covered the formula for hit maximization here before, but to restate the model:

1. Employ outrageous headline which, if true, would totally change the way the reader thought about entity x

2. Write topic sentence to echo the scandalous sentiment of the headline and alert the reader that he needs to buckle up for a damning piece of Pultizer-grade shit.

3. Use the body of the article to explain why the outrageous claim may or may not be true.

4. Close with “guess we’ll have to wait and see”.

5. Profit

This week’s asshat puts a spin on the tried and true TechCrunch/Gizmodo/Engadget monetization model. In “Is Apple’s iCloud Music Match a Possible Honeypot?”, which is also a nominee for the Titular Irony Award, Daniel Nolte not only hits the gas after stating the premise obviated in the title, he dismisses the logical counterargument. The premise: that Apple’s iTunes Match service is the perfect way for the RIAA to know you’re pirating music. What everyone thought for a millisecond when Jobs announced iTunes Match is now a feature-length article picked up by Slashdot and dumped into my inbox. Here’s Nolte’s logic, for the two people reading this who don’t know how song metadata works:

-music has a digital fingerprint which, if not outright damning, can circumstantially prove whether or not you were the person who purchased that music

-Apple’s iTunes Match uses some of this information to determine which of the songs in your possession it needs to provide to you on other Apple devices you own

-Apple could hand this information over to the RIAA

So why was it left to the dude from “48 Hours” to articulate what the rest of us knew was a possibility? I’d like to think that it’s because people in general aren’t retarded. Nolte acknowledges this:

“Some people I have mentioned this concern to have essentially accused me of heresy and paranoia because “there is no way Apple would do that to their users”.  Apple would not have to.  They would simply have to comply with an information demand from the RIAA, who has had no problem with being seen as the bad guy in hardball enforcement against file sharing.”

Leave aside the gratuitous heresy jab (it’s a requirement of shitty Apple-trolling blogs to make one religious reference when mentioning people who enjoy using Apple products) because the answer to the question of “why wouldn’t Apple do – or be a party to doing – this?” is right there in quotes. There is no way Apple would do that to their users. To other companies, this sentence is invoked only by people naive about profit margins and quarterly earnings. Everyone knows companies will throw their customers under the bus to further themselves, right? Not if the business model of the company is based in large part on the trust the users feel in the brand. If you think Apple’s history of negotiating deals with music labels to help them monetize music and providing the best-in-class portable media experience was constructed just so they could hand users who pirated music over to the RIAA, you’re trolling or stupid.

I’m assuming by the mostly-proper spelling and grammar (also known as the “Thurrott Test”) that this isn’t the case with Nolte.

“Moreover consider this:

  1. Apple is the largest music retailer on the planet.
  2. Apple believes, possibly justifiably, that it loses billions of dollars annually to illegal music file sharing.
  3. The easiest way out of the legal jam over challenged content in your iCloud storage would be to convert the suspected iCloud music by buying it from Apple.  Apple becomes almost like a white knight in the process.”

OK: I take it back. He’s both.

 Posted by at 8:45 am

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