Music industry should "embrace illegal file-sharing websites"

5 Aug 2008

In Rainbows
" width=

Huge numbers of people illegally downloaded Radiohead's last album, In Rainbows, despite the fact that the band allowed fans to pay little or nothing for it on their official website.

The release of In Rainbows on a pay-what-you-want basis last October generated huge traffic to the band's own website and intense speculation about how much fans had paid. Industry sources say Radiohead took £4m in the first week the album went on sale.

However, the huge number of illegal downloads has led to calls that the music industry should embrace illegal file-sharing websites, according to a report on The Financial Times website.

A study by the MCPS-PRS Alliance, which represents music rights holders, and Big Champagne, an online media measurement company, found that illegal downloads of In Rainbows far exceeded legal downloads of the album.

"Rights-holders should be aware that these non-traditional venues are stubbornly entrenched, incredibly popular and will never go away," says Eric Garland, co-author of the study, which concluded there was strong brand loyalty to torrent and peer-to-peer services.

Almost 400,000 illegal downloads were made on the first day of In Rainbows' release and 2.3 million in the following 25 days.

Garland urged record companies to study the outcome and accept that file-sharing sites are here to stay. "It's time to stop swimming against the tide of what people want," he says.

  • Digg

Comments

Haider wrote:

The music industry is on a hiding to nothing. Musicians will simply have to tolerate having to work harder on their promotion, but perhape it will become a more level palying field for all music. In teh ld days an artist had to be signed to have any hope and even then teh hope was small. Now you just have to make your own waves. The big boys will still hold most of teh cards for a while yet, but the tide is changing fast and for the better.

I fully agree. We sometimes tend to forget the music industry acts as an intermediate between the musician and the buying public. They represent just one form of getting yourself known.

Times have changed with the arrival of the computer and especially the internet. Buying from itunes, I think, is just the beginning.

Fewer white lines at meetings would help!

I may have said this before, but surely bands could offer downloads on their own sites? Or we could just have a bigger better itunes with all labels and bands represented/available (anyone remember the likes of HMV, where you could get it even if it was'nt in at the time - but it usually was?).

I think some industry brainstorming sessions have taken things a little too far outside the box in an effort for the industry to be seen to be thinking about it! It's really all very simple. I know there's all the legal red tape, contracts etc...but if the will, and clarity of purpose, were really there...

The music industry is on a hiding to nothing. Musicians will simply have to tolerate having to work harder on their promotion, but perhape it will become a more level palying field for all music. In teh ld days an artist had to be signed to have any hope and even then teh hope was small. Now you just have to make your own waves. The big boys will still hold most of teh cards for a while yet, but the tide is changing fast and for the better.

Even the PRS(blessum) will have less reason to be one day, may be.