Is This The First Commercial for the “Celestial Jukebox” ?

I saw this on my TeeVee last night:

The spot ran during Tuesday’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (which of course I was watching via TiVo two days later – that’s how I manage to be both ahead of the curve AND behind it at the same time…)

Unfortunately, it’s a really dumb ad. Maybe the copywriters need to find a new profession. At the very least, they seem to have only a dim view of what they’re actually advertising here, which in my humble opinion is a complete revolution in how music is distributed and “consumed” (I put that word in quotes because once it’s all stored in the cloud, the term will no longer be pertinent but we’ll probably keep using it anyway because old verbal habits die hard…)

Even though I could have skipped it like I do most commercials (lately I only stop to watch iPad and iPhone ‘there’s an app for that…” commercials), I stopped and watched this one. The irony is that since announced that it will be shutting down at the end of the month, I have been seriously contemplating subscribing to Rhapsody — which, as the ad does manage to demonstrate, is available on the iPhone (also available for Android).

Clearly, Rhapsody sees the future and recognizes the gaping hole in what is currently available. With ads like this they are making the effort necessary to fill that gap. In the meantime, the tech pundits continue to speculate about when Spotify will be available in the US (Netherlands is supposed to get it later this month), is gaining traction, and iEverybody is wondering if Steve Jobs will finally unveil Apple’s plans for iTunes-in-the-cloud at next month’s World Wide Developer’s Conference.

In the meantime, there is Rhaspody making the case for “All the music you want for just $10 a month.” And there is surely some measurable fraction of the audience seeing these commercials who will give it a try – and another fraction who will stick with it. And then the purveyors of music will no longer be selling tracks for a buck, they’ll have to settle for whatever fraction of $10 their content and delivery entitles them to.

I am curious about one thing in this ad, the part where the woman with the iPhone says “…so I’m downloading tons of stuff…” I wonder if they’re misusing the term, because my understanding of Rhapsody is that it’s a streaming service. I don’t think you actually get to “download” your own copies of “stuff.” But I do think you get to listen to all the stuff you want to (up to the limit of the Rhapsody library, which is something on the order of 8-million tracks, which is something like 45 years worth of continuous music…).

But the point is made, and it’s good that the young-and-hip Daily Show audience (does that include me?) is getting the message: “with Rhapsody you don’t pay per song, we can listen to all we want…” This may well be the first time that a large audience is hearing such a message, and it will certainly give them pause.

What remains to be seen is if the commercial is misusing the word “download.” I may have to subscribe to Rhapsody to find out.