I have written about microchunks before. It’s a term I have adopted from Fred Wilson.
Today, Fred posts about the size of these microchunks, bringing to debate, if, as the song (on iTunes) is replacing the album format, the ring tone will replace the song.
I disagree with Fred because I don’t think a ring-tone is a microchunk of the song. The song is art at an atomic level. You can not take a part of a song, a note, etc., and treat it as art. I think a ring tone is a piece of content, in and of itself, related to the song. It is not the same relationship that an SNL skit on Youtube has with the full show on TV.
Fred goes on to wonder, "How is it that a five second sample of a song is worth $1.99 and the
entire song is worth $0.99? How is it that these five second samples
are getting more and more popular as the sales of the songs themselves
stagnate and may actually be in decline?"
The answer is that songs and ringtones address very different consumption needs. Songs are about entertainment. People listen to and enjoy them. Ringtones are about personalization. They are a means of expression.