The Promo Bay Asks Artists: Would You Rather Fight Piracy… Or Have A Billion People Know You Exist

from the questions-questions dept

Tim O’Reilly coined the famous saying that obscurity is a much bigger problem than piracy — and it seems that the folks over at The Pirate Bay have constructed a simple experiment to test this aphorism out. It’s called The Promo Bay, and it’s a system for letting content creators promote their works on the front page of The Pirate Bay in up to three countries of their choosing (for free, of course). Remember, The Pirate Bay gets a tone of traffic — over 1.8 billion pageviews per month, apparently. If you’re an up-and-coming artist who no one’s heard of, at some point it has to be pretty tempting to turn that firehose in your direction… even if it means having works distributed for free. In fact, it seems like artists should be lining up for such a program just to get that kind of traffic. Of course, we’ve seen some artists do deals with The Pirate Bay before — to great success. The new program just seems like a way of making that easier for artists… and doing it more often. But it really does seem to be a quick way of asking the obscurity vs. piracy question in a much more direct and very, very real manner.

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Companies: the pirate bay

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Comments on “The Promo Bay Asks Artists: Would You Rather Fight Piracy… Or Have A Billion People Know You Exist”

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Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Competition

I so hope so. They shut down MegaUpload, and pissed off 150 million people. If they shut down TPB, we have another 100 million (#=?) plus pissed off people. It will increase the size of the Pirate party and shine an even bigger spotlight on the issue. Something the content types clearly do not want, and IMHO can not handle.

Loki says:

Re: Competition

Hmmm I suggested just a few days ago (a week maybe?) they should do something almost exactly like this.

Clearly the Pirate Bay stole my idea. I demand a million dollars (or whatever their current operating budget is, which is likely to be considerable less).

I then intend to donate this money to the Pirate Bay so they can give the RIAA/MPAA another kick in the teeth.

Eh, that’s too much paperwork. They can keep the money (I was going to give them anyways) if they do what I ask (which is what they intend to do anyways).

Damn Pirates, that’ll teach them to infringe other people’s ideas.

Steve says:

Re: Money?

At what point did he say there is paid advertising on TPB? He just said they can put their name up to be promoted. In fact, he explicitly said that The Promo Bay is free.

He said there is currently no money in hosting a pirate’s site, then posts an article that alludes to the thought that there could be money if it is utilized properly. There is nothing contradictory there.

Tim says:

Re: Re: Money?

Actually he said there is not much money to be made in hosting, pointing to the mere $30 million for Megaupload, one of the top sites on the internet. But you are correct, there is no contradiction, because he never said there was no money in it, and never said they don’t charge for advertising. In this case the pirate bay is promoting for free, but that’s not saying they are giving ad space for your standard ads away for free.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Trollobbyists...

It saddens me to say this, but it’s true. You were being kind in comparison. The thing is, if Mike responds in any way putting this AC (the one you replied to, not you yourself) in his place, he’ll spazz out and then say Mike is violating his right to post as an AC and telling everyone who he is (even when Mike is doing nothing of the sort).

It’s getting quite ridiculous/annoying.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Trollobbyists...

Honestly, this is the last time I’m replying to that troll. He’s got some serious psychological problems, the only reason he posts here is because he knows he’ll get attention. He’s got some wired stalkerish obsession with Mike, and then he’ll deliberately post a weird flame post, then when you reply to him, his psychosis shows up and flames the whole thread with the most vile, weird, and fucked-up shit I’ve seen. I’m tired of his shit. He should get a psychologist before he hurts someone in real life, if he hasn’t already.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Trollobbyists...

just a guy. nothing more. Can’t handle the truth? Too busy looking for a personal attack rather than considering the points?

Mike says “there is no money in piracy”, yet… this will make a bunch of people money – and most importantly, will allow TPB to sell this ad space to the company to resell or give away depending on how they see fit.

Money is made. Mike sniffs at 30 million a year for megaupload like it’s pocket lint. Fuck me, give me 30 million a year, and I will be happy.

Mike’s just a two faced jackass when it comes to this stuff, and you guys are idiots for buying into it. You don’t need my name and address to figure out Mike is selling you a bill of goods.

btrussell (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Trollobbyists...

“The only problem I have is that Mike is being a two faced shit about things, and you guys are too stupid to catch it.”

All I see is personal attack. What points are you making?

Mike has never sold me anything. Nor do I always agree with him. But I certainly respect his opinion. He doesn’t call me stupid or an idiot when I don’t agree with him.

I’ve never had an intelligent person call me an idiot. Especially when trying to get me to see their opinion on a subject.

I can only conclude that you are not that intelligent.

Machin Shin (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Hmm, where to start. Well for one the pirate bay is obviously getting paid for the banner adds on the site. This probably pays their server bills and that is about all. It is not cheep to run that big a site.

This post is talking about free advertising on the front page of pirate bay, not a small banner ad. This would be great promotion for an unheard of band. It would not help pirate bay out in any way at all. So the actual web site owners are still not making any real money of this “piracy”.

Some Other AC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Hell, you could purchase a batch of off lease desktop/laptops from a resale vendor for about 200-300 a pop, use free open source server OS(Ubuntu Server comes to mind) and build a web farm for about $2000 or so and get a lot more bang for your buck. There are also sites that sell 2-4 yr old servers that would do the trick for about the same cost.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Alrite, I’m going to do this as a service to everyone, forgive me in advance AC.

So, didn’t you promise to leave awhile back?

I mean, come on. You can’t expect me to not shine a light on your particular comment. Especially when you do so with your own words. There’s only one idiot who goes right for the “chubby” ad hom.

Now that I’ve outed you and completely thrown respecting anonymity to the wind, will you rant and throw your hands in the air in a manner that looks like you’re spazzing out and then leave?

Also, he didn’t say there’s no money in piracy, he merely posted an article showing there is very little money in it. What they do get, tends to go right back into the cost of operating the site. So, there is nothing wrong with “The Promo Bay”. It is in effect, another way for unknown artists to make themselves known. By promoting themselves on the front page of a well known site. I.e. attracting more attention to themselves, by all the people who visit said site regularly.

As for “how much does it cost to advertise on the pirate bay”, well… if you read the article, you’d see they’re being asked if they’d like to give it a go. Free.

Reading comprehension is not your strong suit is it, not so anonymous AC (now that I’ve shined a light on you)?

gorehound (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Does not cost me a dime to promote my Art over Public Trackers.Now go back to supporting the ripoff RIAA & buy yourself an Artist who sold his soul for a dollar.
My Art is freely available and I am sharing more than one LP on TPB & Other sites.
And I had already signed up with the promo pirate bay.
Big Meat Hammer
The Lynn Rebels
The GoreHounds
The Transplants (1976-79 Boston Punk Rock)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

>There is no money in running a pirate site. They don’t sell advertising, and they don’t make tons of money.

And yet somehow people benefit from this.

>Mike, you are a fucking jerk when it comes to this stuff. You post contradictory posts, and then ignore it.

And yet you won’t leave. I thought you had intended to leave after you magically became unanonymous, “chubby”?

bob (profile) says:

Ah, but only 6 artists a month can get this royal treatment

IF we put 3 artists on the page and there are 1.8b page views a month– and we assume that each page view is a separate person– then we can only make stars of 6 people a month. Yet every other artist is supposed to give their work a way for free in the hopes that the wonderful people at Pirate Bay will smile upon them and choose them from the slushpile in the Pirate Bay Lotto of Fame.

And this assumes that these 1.8 billion page views will go to people without ad blockers running. If there’s one crowd running ad blockers, it’s the kind hearted patrons of Pirate Bay.

And let’s say you get known by 1 billion Pirate Bay patrons, you get the fun of trying to sell something to people who are too cheap to pay $.99 for a legal download. Good luck.

Wow. What a deal if you’re willing to suspend disbelief and assume every outrageous assumption I’ve made.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Ah, but only 6 artists a month can get this royal treatment

bob, where the f*ck are you getting your info?

The only THREE (3) in the article is that EACH artists will be able to choose THREE countries where they can be advertised to.

That’s it.

Nothing at all about how many artists on the page, not even on the Promo site’s page (I just checked). Nothing about 6 people per month. Etc.

Nor does it say, every artist is supposed to give their work away for free in the hopes that they’ll get smiled upon blah blah blah.

If you go to the Promo page and read the rules, they’ll select bands/filmmakers randomly. They won’t host their content at all on the pirate bay (unless of course the band puts it there). What they will do is link to the bands/filmmakers page from the promo page. At which point people can go to their own page and find out more about them. They ask that in keeping with the rules on how to apply they host something somewhere (doesn’t even matter where) that people can download, so they can check them out. It can be a song. It can be 10 songs. It can be a short film. It can be a feature length film. DOES NOT MATTER. Just put something you want the people to freely have out there.

Wow. What a deal!

Another great deal is LEARNING HOW TO READ.

Looking at the headline, then commenting without having read anything else, makes you look like a fool. Stop doing it.

All your calculations and numbers are completely pulled out of your own a$$. They’re not even remotely relevant.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Ah, but only 6 artists a month can get this royal treatment

Damn, someone’s stupidity seems to be contagious. In my annoyed state, I wrote something in error.

You don’t even have to let people download whatever it is on your page. It can be a song that they can listen to (that is streamed on your site), or a link to your short film on Youtube. Etc. If you want to let people download something, that’s fine. That’s not necessary, but hey more power to you.

This seems like a great opportunity. If you have your own band or are a filmmaker and aren’t known at all. You can apply, if chosen, you may get more attention. If you don’t, no loss. You continue on as you have been.

And all, without having to be forced to sign away your artistic rights or without having to give up anything at all.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Ah, but only 6 artists a month can get this royal treatment

You’re an idiot.

Bandcamp does this each and every day, to help bands grow thier brand: promo for free or charge, so long as you are giving it to the band.

The work should be given away for free: it’s on the Internet, and once it’s there, it stays there. You can then leverage that into selling other things, such as face-time with the band backstage, or selling signed colletor’s editions, or selling tees. Time is a scarcity. 0s and 1s aren’t.

Piracy is equivalent to cloning: theft is equivalent to kidnap.

Benjo (profile) says:

Re: Ah, but only 6 artists a month can get this royal treatment

In general I feel like your missing the whole point of the article, but specifically in response to:

“And let’s say you get known by 1 billion Pirate Bay patrons, you get the fun of trying to sell something to people who are too cheap to pay $.99 for a legal download. Good luck.”

IIRC there have been many studies showing that a large percentage of consumers who download media through torrents and what not are more likely to pay for albums/dvds/content than people who don’t.

Also, there are business models used by bands that make plenty of money that involve giving away their music for free. This article just points out a way an artist could potentially get a lot of publicity at very little – to arguably no – cost.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth?

MediaRocks (user link) says:

Money is not in album sales much any more.. but there is tons of money to be made in touring and merchandising still.. Go on a 100 venue tour and you’ll see your pockets pretty full..

Besides.. Record companies are the only ones that profit from the sale of almbums now adays anyways.. Go independent, put your album out, dont worry if it gets pirated.. You’ll still have radio play, and concert venues.. no one can pirate what you perform live..

ahow628 (profile) says:

Expand on this...

When I first learned about TPB, I went to the front page and went, “Now what?”

If I went there and they had a landing page reminiscent of the Spotify app’s launch page, that would be awesome. I usually click around there to check out new and different stuff before getting to my regular playlists. To be an artist on that page would be great.

A couple hundred million people hear about you and suddenly I have a feeling, you could book some decent concert venues out of that, not to mention other scarce goods (t-shirts, books, etc).

hurricane head says:

This is just a shallow PR stunt. You can only pick three countries to be promoted in and they want you to pick “small countries”… seriously? Ya, promote me in Nigeria… thanks.

If the pirate bay really wants to help artists, how about helping them pay their rent? Why does the pirate bay get to make money from an artists work, but not the artist themselves? Even record labels pay artists and negotiate contracts, not so with the pirate bay.

Artists have about as good a chance at meaningful promotion as they do getting a review in Rolling Stone… so now it’s The Pirate Bay who are the Elitist Gate Keepers… how the mighty have fallen what a cheap and worthless stunt…

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