ANTOIN O LACHTNAIN asks a few questions about the music industry and online behaviour worth considering here.
- What concrete steps can the music industry take to stop, or at least slow down piracy? I think the industry should attempt to monetise the channels seen to be piracy channels. What looks like piracy to a music executive is a sratch-and-sniff marketing tactic to podcasters. It means setting up large libraries of 96 kbps free MP3 samples and 192 kbps tracks of the same material. Let anyone download and distribute the 96 kbps samples. Make it easy to find the links to the high-quality stuff. I buy my tracks from Yahoo! Music, the Podsafe Music Network and iTunes. I think others would too.
- How can the music industry make money from peer-to-peer and music downloads? Make it easy to hear the samples and make it legal to download an entire track at 96 kbps. The industry won't make its margins when selling tracks one-by-one. However, there are all sorts of eye candy that encourage people to buy the whole album or to take time to get the album, the album art and the hard copy CD in a shop.
- How could they trial this? Tell everyone they can download and pass along the low-quality MP3 tracks. Set up sales relationships with the major online distributors listed above. Let podcasters know they're free to use music from signed acts at sample rates of 96 kbps or below.
It's legal to listen and share an MP3 sample. Isn't it?