How Piracy Will Save the Music Industry in a nutshell… sort of.
Jason Schwartz of Angelsoft records.
He described a clandestine Fight Club type group called “The Scene” who are responsible for the best quality and first released pirated content.
These are people who are deeply embedded within the entertainment system.
According to Schwarts, the Scene is comprised of multiple release groups that focus on specific media and genres. Each release group is five people who don’t know each other. Very secret. Assembly line type systems.
First person- content; steals the original physical or digital content
The ultimate goal is to work faster than the other groups.
They encode NFO files.
These include info about the release and “brand” of the release group.
Why? It’s a game
1. who can release first among the groups
2. beat the record companies
3. prestige- geek prestige
4. access to top sites
The pirated material disseminates like this:
The scene> to top sites (holy grail of content)>private bit torrent sites (invite only)>public bit torrent>peer to peer networks.
What Schwartz proposes, is that record companies willing release their material into the piracy loop. He says they should release just as high quality material as The Scene.
He then states that the record companies should add a “ChipIn” file to take donations. He referenced Radiohead’s pay what you want experiment.
He said that the ID3 tags should be well taken care of. In the comments section of the ID3 tag add the donation info.
He also suggest labels should spend time on the album art and embed the album art in the mp3s and add the donation info to album art.
Labels should then:
Upload to torrent sites
Speed the torrent
Strip out the IPs from the tag
Map out the IPs.
From the mapped out IPs the labels can plan more strategic tours and then when booking venues, labels can point to local area listener data.
Randy Saaf is the CEO of MediaDefender Inc.
He was not very popular.
His group is trying to reach the people who will not buy records. His approach is to push advertising on the Peer to Peer networks. He does this by substituting the album art with a brand logo.
He says that to advertisers, downloaders are a great demographic: young and tech savvy.
“It’s a win-win situation.” Downloader gets content- record company gets paid- advertiser gets demographic exposure.
His group is also responsible for pushing out the fake files. They flood the networks with these fake file and then allow the advertiser backed files to get to the top.
“Advertising in album art and flooding fake files” was not popular among the audience.
People were much more responsive to Schwartz’s idea of forward thinking in piracy.
Saaf- $.99 is a fair price point
Schwartz- “I don’t think $.99 is a fair price point
The Q&A got a bit tense as lawyers and over zealous reporters hit Saaf hard and heavy.
Schwartz went into a “piracy as boycott” theory. He suggested solving this by involving a monthly fee for downloading and applying an Economy of Attention model for revenue dispersement in which the artists/labels would get a percentage of revenue based on their downloads.
Schwartz also encouraged the idea of labels providing music blogs with free MP3s and permission to post for download on the sites.
The panel ended on a downer as an artists’ lawyer “from D.C.” who showed much annoyance while waiting in line, attempted to hijack the panel, tout her own opinions, plug her music panel for Wednesday and to the panelists’ annoyance, never ask a question.