Using File Sharers As Beta Testers

from the embrace-the-technology... dept

A good opinion piece from Jimmy Guterman admitting that file sharing isn’t going away and music bands should learn to embrace the technology. That’s nothing new. What he suggests, though, is that they start to think more like the software industry, and view early releases of songs as “beta releases” that allow them to get useful feedback before a final release. He points out that, for true fans, it’s not like any of the songs are a “surprise”. Most of them will have heard the songs at live shows previously. Instead, the bands can benefit from getting early feedback from the fans willing to download the music – and make any necessary changes before releasing a “final” release. I like this concept, though, I wonder how many “changes” are really necessary. It’s a bit different than software where there will be hundreds of bugs to deal with. Music won’t have the same level of quality “defects”, and even if it does, correcting them often means re-recording from scratch.

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Comments on “Using File Sharers As Beta Testers”

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Chris says:

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I think the record companies are missing another opportunity too. Release a finished song (prior to general release) to the file sharing networks and watch what happens. If downloads of a new song from a major artist tail off rapidly over the first week or two, its a huge hint about how sales might go too. You would think knowing that up front, before final decisions about which single to release to radio first, etc are made, would be very valuable.

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