Comparing File Sharing To Payola: Could Have Had That Promotion For Free
from the failure-to-engage dept
BullJustin points us to a short NPR piece about four massive failures by the recording industry. If we skip over number 3 (Kevin Federline), the other three are pretty relevant to what we talk about here on a regular basis: the Sony BMG rootkit fiasco that opened up security holes on computers without letting anyone know, the RIAA’s lawsuit strategy of suing fans and the record labels’ ongoing efforts at payola to get songs played on the radio.
However, BullJustin makes an amusing point in the submission concerning that last one:
It cost the industry untold millions in actual payola, independent promoter fees, and then more than $25 million in settlements, not to mention lawyer fees. If they would have just let people share the music online, the marketing they were looking for could have been free.”
It really does make you wonder what goes through the minds of record label strategists. They tossed away millions paying people to get music heard, when they could have just embraced file sharing and made it cheaper and easier to get music heard without running into the legal problems of payola as well. Of course, the problem with that plan is that the labels also lose “control.” They’ve paid to get songs on the radio because they wanted to just focus on a small group of artists who they could squeeze for as much profit as possible, dumping all the rest. File sharing makes it harder and raises the possibility that other artists might also get heard.