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Labels To Combat Music Piracy

by Tom Moccia | January 21, 2011January 21, 2011 8:00 am PDT

The record labels think they have figured out a way to stop music piracy, but will earlier sales really help all that much?

Ten years ago music pirates started to pillage the music industry and record labels have been trying to remedy the problem ever since. They have spent million of dollars shutting down file sharing sites and the likes of Napster, but have yet to stop pirating of their music. All sorts of

solutions have been attempted, even offering music a la carte in digital music stores like Apple’s iTunes and the Amazon Music store for as little as 69 cents a song.

Sony Music and Universal are embarking on the most aggressive anti-pirating campaign to date. These two music conglomerates announced they will put digital singles on sale, the same day the music hits radio airwaves. According to record label executives, the strategy is meant to combat what The Guardian calls the “impatient X factor generation”. This generation is so conditioned to instant gratification that it’s against their nature to wait the four to six weeks between the time a song airs on the radio and when it is released to the public.

The hopes are that listeners will be more apt to purchase the single if it were available for sale immediately upon being released to radio stations, as opposed to downloading illegal copies or recording the single from streaming media services.

“What we were finding under the old system was the search for songs on Google or iTunes were peaking two weeks before they actually became available to buy,” says David Joseph, the chief executive of Universal Music, “meaning that the public was bored of – or had already pirated – new singles.”

Sony and Universal will implement the pilot program in the United Kingdom. It’s not clear if other record labels, or labels in other countries, will follow suite.

It comes down to the fact that we are a generation living on instant gratification. We want things now, whether it be cash out of the ATM, information from our smartphones or music the day it hits the radio. I’m not sure if this will be the solution the record labels are looking for, but at least they’re giving the consumer opportunities to acquire music more quickly and legally.

TechnoBuffalo readers, would you be willing to pay for your music the day it hits the airwaves or would you still find a way to get it free?

Tom Moccia

Tom Moccia is a native of Stamford, Connecticut and moved his family west in 2000 and now calls Stockton, California home with his wife and two...