Skype is selling ringtones via agreements with several leading music publishers, but Skype is not selling the actual songs themselves.
Just heard from a Skype p.r. representative who clarified: "Skype is not selling full songs nor plans to be an online music store."
Well OK then, because I have a far better idea that would involve Skype-owner eBay, eBay-owned PayPal and Skype.
Here's how it would work:
eBay members could make their used digital content available for sale. We're talking music, books, videos, anything that could be broken down into "1's" and "0's."
While this service would work well for user-generated content, eBay members would be required pay a digital rights fee for retransmission of this content. Book publishers, music labels and publishers, would be recruited by eBay to join this alliance.
Fee administration, collection and redistribution to digital rights content partners could be handled by PayPal.
The digital information in these files could be securely transmitted to eBay, where they or a third party could digitize the content if it hasn't already been. It would need to be digitized for one-time only copying.
If the eBay member selling the goods is a Skype user, they could obtain an authentication key from PayPal that would allow them to show or play a sample from the digital content they are selling over their Skype connection. Prospective bidders who are also Skype users could then hear the music track, read a book page, even glimpse a sampling of the video for sale within their Skype softphone interface- much like Skype Video enables now.
Buyers and sellers could also use Skype's built-in IM functionality to chat about the digital content they are considering bidding for.
If the seller and prospective purchaser decide to go thru with the deal, that could then be handled via PayPal, thru the Skype interface.
Do you think I am on to something here, or have I been drinking too much coffee?