The music business has traditionally taken a hard-line approach to online music pirates.Once upon a time, of course, it sued them directly – but that didn’t work out too well for anyone, reports Tim Ingham in Music Business Worldwide today.
These days, the general consensus at rights-holders is that a stern but educative series of warnings from a user’s ISP is the best route to stopping individual infringers – whilst simultaneously forcing broadband providers to block torrent sites in the courts.
But could there be another, kinder approach? Is the music business missing out on revenues by trying to warn, rather than directly convert, torrent site users online? Content protection and data-analytics solutions specialist MUSO believes so. The UK-based company has developed a new platform, Retune, to ‘help rights-owners market their content directly to piracy audiences, and enable those audiences to reconnect to licensed content’.
Interestingly, the below graph represents the relative popularity of the search term ‘torrent’ on Google over the past 10 years.
“Retune is revolutionising the way rights-holders think about piracy. Essentially Retune re-directs pro-active fans who are using piracy channels to access content to legal and licensed channels like Spotify or iTunes, or direct to fan pages and reconnects these audiences that are lost to piracy. Combined with MUSO’s strategic anti-piracy system, Retune is changing the face of piracy forever.” – Andy Chatterley (MUSO CEO)
In a nutshell, the service continually pushes legal and high-quality content towards pirates, in addition to new promotional material, concert ticket offers and more. For rights-holders, it also collects these individual’s cookie behaviour to provide ongoing remarketing opportunities for future promotions, maximising future online ad spend.
‘It is easy to forget that piracy users are very often fervent fans,’ points out the Retune website, noting that 24% of all internet bandwith is piracy-related. It adds: ‘The motivating factors for online piracy are as much about lack of availability as they are about getting something for free.’
MUSO says that Retune can ‘generate highly targeted, large-scale click-through traffic with a sympathetic, on-brand approach that reflects the attitude and ethos of each individual rights holder’. The platform’s stated aim is to ‘create a clear step-change across the content industry by viewing potential fans using piracy websites as an opportunity’.
“We think audiences deserve a better, more positive experience, and Retune delivers that, at the optimal moment online. Having the privilege to already work with over 1,000 rights owners globally, we understand they want the same thing; a closer, better engagement with their audiences. With Retune, we’ve really managed to deliver what rights owners have been asking us for, a platform that enables them to fight piracy on their own terms, with their own message, in a data-led, scalable way that delivers outstanding cost-effectiveness when compared with other click-marketing platforms.” – Christopher Elkins (MUSO CCO)