Once more trying to find ways to beat music piracy, two of Britain’s biggest record labels have announced a new initiative that makes so much sense, it’s almost doomed to failure: Songs will be made available digitally at the same time as they debut on television or radio.
Songs used to be made available to air weeks before release, but the internet has changed everything, according to Universal Music chief executive David Joseph:
What we were finding under the old system was the searches for songs on Google or iTunes were peaking two weeks before they actually became available to buy, meaning that the public was bored of – or had already pirated – new singles.
As a result, Universal and Sony will both begin “on air, on sale” programs next month. Both labels have already informed the British Minister of Culture and Creative Industries of their intent, and hope that the plan will halt the 6% fall in music purchases over the last year. As Joseph says,
Wait is not a word in the vocabulary of the current generation. It’s out of date to think that you can build up demand for a song by playing for for several weeks on radio in advance.
Is it too much to hope that this catches on with other labels, and on this side of the Atlantic? Why can’t we have everything we want already, after all?
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