As a frequent blog reader, and supporter of open software and entertainment, I came across a great post over at The Pirate Bay’s blog. You may know about The Pirate Bay and all of its Bit Torrent seeding. Well, TPB is now fighting a court case in Sweden that pins them at the center of the piracy world, and labels them ‘enablers for illegal downloading’. Many opinions fly about this topic, and in my opinion, if legislators and officials spent less time fighting an un-stoppable mechanism, and more time figuring out ways to make new revenue, it can all work out for all parties involved.
Take the music industry. Previously, a band would gig, cut a record, and find a distributor for actual, physical items to be bought. Now, the internet has allowed files of any type to be easily shared quickly and free, including digital audio files. In addition, the methods of sharing such files have become even more accessible, and thus, un-stoppable. So easy, your web novice parents could probably do it.
On one hand, you could say that piracy was stunted for a brief moment when iTunes was released. A legitimate method of music purchase yes, but not free. Software like iTunes enabled people to have more convenient access to music, thus taking a bite out of piracy. But it could not, nor did it expect to stop the pirate world.
On the other hand, the amount of users that utilize The Pirate Bay and other sites for downloading is astronomical, and indeed could be considered the biggest “digital distributor” for music, movies and software. But where does that leave the bands, movie studios, and software engineers? Broke? Unless your band or company is willing to adapt and evolve with nature of the business, broke you will be.
The solution? Give it away for free, and find other ways to generate revenue. Be creative. Be innovative. Apple has already forgone its Digital Rights Management on downloaded music with its iTunes plus program. A little brainstorming and creative marketing and advertising strategy can go a long way. Some methods for revenue stream could be:
- Pay per click methods
- Commercial Interruptions
- Deals like “Buy one get one”
- New and improved Hardware (one industry that will always thrive)
- PR events
- Online marketing and viral campaigns
The moral of the story is, more money is being spent on trying to fight a losing battle. This quote from a faithful pirate bay user says a lot.
“Tpb [The Pirate Bay] is the biggest PR machine in the world for artists!…Tpb also [does] not charge you anything for publish you stuff! So let the trial go on and it will end up as once it did about free broadcasting many years ago.Today we have free Broadcasting and tomorrow we will have free sharing. No corrupt Society will ever be able to stop evolution…” – http://thepiratebay.org/blog/161
Ask us how to make you new revenue by using the web.