Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Record Industry and MP3 downloads

I have had the occasional rant on this blog about the stupidity of the music industry (see for example these posts). It seems they adopt either a head in the sand or a headless chicken approach whenever online music distribution is mentioned. Apparently they still don't understand music fans or how to make money from online distribution (make it easy to access and cheap to buy - at least that's what I think). It may be though that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The article, Universal and Sony to change singles release policy, from the BBC website says that two major UK labels are going to end the practice of releasing music for radio airplay long before it is available for purchase. I don't know if this will really make much of an impact on illegal downloading (it could be too little to late - the bad downloading habits may be too firmly entrenched) but it seems an emminately sensible idea anyway and I hope it catches on.

Of course, it is not really a new idea, it a return to old practice because it's the way it used to work when I was a lad. The policy of building up interest and pre-orders by playing a tune on the radio for a long time before release has led to the phenomenon of records appearing high in the chart one week and then dropping like a stone the next. Hopefully, simultaneous release will allow records to build slowly and climb the charts over a period of time like they used to. It could even make the charts more interesting than the have been of late.

So, I think it's a good idea even if it doesn't impact on piracy. But if they announce next that they are dropping the price of legal downloads, I'll start looking for flying pigs.

What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? And do you think it will impact on piracy?

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