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The paradox of digital content management

First you buy stuff that the provider doesn’t allow you to download again from the same service if you lose what you have bought.

Then there are services that enable you to backup that same data in the cloud for later access (see e.g. Google Music), partly because of the above.

Wouldn’t it be better if services like iTunes kept a tiny tab on each purchase, so that you could download the content again?

Apple obviously already do this for revenue and demographics statistics reasons, and to provide recommendations to other would-be buyers, so this is obviously not an effort in any shape or form.

So why not do it?

  • Because Apple doesn’t care about its customers?
  • Because it would put an extra responsibility on Apple that they don’t want (read the previous question once again)?
  • Because providing cloud storage increases revenue even more, provided you offer both the e-shop and the cloud storage? Apple might have such plans with iCloud.

I wonder if it’s all of the above.

Remember that storing information in the cloud takes much more space than remembering what people have bought, together with the other meta data involved in a purchase (date, price, purchased together with, etc). It’s just an entry in the database.

The actual content is of course only available in one copy for all customers, so that takes very little space compared to what it would take in a cloud storage service, unless they do identical-content-counting.