Music Piracy: A Win-Win Situation?

Here’s the scoop…

I recently read this article on CoS (Consequence of Sound), Iron Maiden Flips Music Piracy on Its Head, Plots Dates Using BitTorrent Data; it talks about how the metal band, Iron Maiden is using music piracy to their advantage. In a nutshell, Iron Maiden used data mining tactics to pinpoint the locations of the people who were illegally downloading their music. Instead of sending the record execs after them, trying to get money from them, or even telling them to stop, they used that information to figure out where to play more shows. The result, SELL OUT shows! Now in my opinion, I think this is an ingenious idea. I wonder if any other artist(s) have tried this tactic before – either way it looks like a win-win situation to me.

So What’s the Problem?

Musicians and Labels have been fighting the music piracy battle for years with no avail. Thanks to Sean Parker (Napster) he pretty much revolutionized file sharing. Even with the threat of lawsuits and new piracy laws popping up, I’m not sure the rate of file sharing has slowed, my guess, it probably has gotten worse (I haven’t checked the statistics on this one). People are continuing to find ways around these laws, and new sites and apps are popping up every day; quicker than they can be taken down.  So let’s say the artists and labels are like, “okay, let’s let bygones be bygones…”well, then you may have people popping up feeling some kinda way about the invasion of privacy that comes from data mining. Shyt, real talk, there is NO PRIVACY on the internet, absolutely NONE! If this tactic catches on, and you are able to LEGALLY download your music for free, consider that invasion of privacy payment for the music.

Street-Level Promoting – Back to the Basics

With this tactic, it’s almost like an artist giving out their promo tapes from of the trunk of the car in hopes of acquiring a new fan. It’s street-level promo tactics – back to the basics. I know some people and artists may unite on the fact that mixtapes are free and that is their gift to their fans. As well as the people (or artists) that may agree that an established artist does not need to use street-level promo tactics because they’re ALREADY ESTABLISHED! However, with the promise of sell out shows and the option to add more dates to a tour, do you think that will suffice? I don’t know either… All-in-all, this article was a good read; however, it left me with a lot of questions. Questions like:

  • Do you think this tactic will keep artists and labels from going after the fans?
  • If they do stop pursing fans, do you think the gov’t will still go after people for downloading music for free?
  • Do you think this tactic will help an artist ensure they have more sell out shows?
  • Do you feel differently depending on the type of artist (well-known vs newly emerging/underground/indie)?

Voice your opinion…ideally, it’d be nice to hear from both artists and consumers.

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