A new study says what we’ve been saying for God knows how long: [music] piracy is here to stay. It’s now up to the industry to figure out how to move forward.
The study, by the MCPS-PRS Alliance (the record companies) and Big Champagne (they measure stuff online!), looked at piracy through the lens of Radiohead’s In Rainbows, the album that was released last fall as a digital download, priced at whatever you wanted to pay. The numbers show that illegal downloads via torrent sites “far exceeded” legal downloads. Some 400,000 torrent downloads occurred the first day it was available.
The study also concludes that there’s a strong brand loyalty toward torrents sites, like OiNK back in the day, and What.cd and Waffles.fm now. It makes sense, seeing as though I can grab a FLAC copy of more or less every album I’d be looking for, complete with PDF/JPG liner notes, in a few minutes. Seconds if it’s a particularly popular album, like Viva la Vida.
In conclusion, the record companies are urged to add value to their music-buying experience if they want to remain relevant.
It’s not even about getting music for free anymore. It’s that the entire BitTorrent experience—I’m a What.cd fan—, from A to Z, is so unrivaled in its quality, why would I even bother with an iTunes or Rhapsody or whatever?