The good folks at Torrent Freak caught my attention this morning with news of the possible resurrection of Demonoid, of one my favorite BitTorrent trackers, for stats. They have been tracking the fate of Demonoid since it was taken offline last year. The site seems to have gained a new host in the Ukraine and its torrents are working again. Ernesto of Torrent Freak speculates that it could come back online in the next few weeks. In other BitTorrent news the fall of Torernt.is, an Icelandic BitTorrent tracker which accounted for 50% of Icelands internet traffic seems to be nearly complete. I really do love that 10% of the population and 50% of the Internet traffic on the island nation was accounted for on one site.
The good folks at Mashable have picked-up the story on what has to be the best set-up for a prank ever. It appears that the domain IFPI.com has fallen into the hands of the merry swashbuckling crew at The Pirate Bay. The domain IFPI.org still goes to the older IFPI site, belonging to International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. However now the domain IFPI.com takes you to the International Federation of Pirates Interest. Now that sounds like an interesting organization. I wonder what their membership dues are. For those that dont know, the IFPI is the international version of the RIAA and has been trying to shutdown the Pirate Bay for years.
Yesterday Big JG, the soup eater, posted a note about Universals Music’s mad dash to ends its tortured existence as the worlds largest purveyor of little plastics discs. In an act of classic Seppuku, Universal Music is reported to have told Apple that it was not going to renew its contract to sell music through iTunes. The move comes as a bit of a shock given that the Universal is reported to net somewhere in the $200 million dollar range through iTunes sales. Apple’s steadfast refusal to allow the labels to “wet their beaks” from iPod sales is widely believe to be the main reason behind the move by Universal.
There are two huge problems with Universal’s withdrawal from iTunes. First, they are the only ones doing it. Both Sony/BMG and EMI are on board with Apple and Warner Music is bleeding money and employees so fast it wouldnt dare walk away from any source of income. Second, by refusing to sell its music through iTunes, universal will not effect the consumption of its music, iPod sales or iTunes popularity. People will just get the content that isnt on iTunes they way they get 70-80% of the content on their iPod, from CD’s and P2P networks. The big loser therefore can only be Universal Music, which stands to loose a couple hundred million dollars along with a couple million paying customers. In these lean times for the music industry turning away either is the fastest way to quick death I can think of.
Here is a simple law of survival economics that all digital entertainment business MUST LEARN! “A little money is better then NO money.”
Amazin’ Phasin’ hipped me to a very interesting video put on YouTube by the folks at the Italian consultancy Casaleggio Associati. The video is a look back at the media landscape from the year 2051. Its interesting for a couple of reasons: 1) its definitely wrong on the details 2) it seems directionally correct 3) its got really cool. Take look at the video and see if it convinces you that the future of big media will be spelled Google.
Trolling SSRN I came across another academic report destroying much of the FUD put out by the RIAA in their attempt to criminalize digital downloads. Like all good academic studies it has a cumbersome and wordy title, The Analog Hole and the Price of Music: An Empirical Study, which belies the rather simple text contained within.
The report starts off with an exploration of the analog hole , which frankly isnt that interesting but then goes into how the analog hole will effect the pricing of digital music. They set off to answer two questions: Do consumers perceive a difference between analog hole copies and the originals? Kinda. At what price would they be willing to sacrifice some quality? Twenty-five cents. The sample size is pretty small for the survey, only 66 respondents, but the findings are really interesting. Read the full report here and check out the abstract here:
Last week, I mentioned the survey from P2Pnet.net, that AllofMP3.com was promoting on their homepage. Well the good folks at P2Pnet have released some initial data and say they will release the entire data-set on Monday. So far they have over 750 respondents and what looks like some really good directional information on the thinking of at least a segment of the file sharing community. Watch for the full data, including answers to open-ended questions, to go live later this week and I’ll try to keep track of anyone that crunches the numbers and makes interesting connections.
A central tenet of the RIAA/IFPI terror campaign against file downloading has been that file downloading causes the industry to loose billion of dollars a year. This point is hotly debated by many who point out that downloading is more like sampling then buying and has probably resulted in net growth for the industry. However, the
myopic, luddite brain-dead response of the music industry has been to ignore the mounting evidence of the negligible impact of file-sharing on music sales. Instead they prefer to sue old ladies and children and further poison their relationship with their customers.
Needless to say these arent the brightest folks in business. Fortunately, our good friends in the Ivory covered halls of academia have been busy crunching numbers and running models to see just what is what. Well the latest in a string of reports from some well lettered individuals is in and the numbers show that file-sharing is likely to have negatively impacted just .7% of CD sales. Ars Technica has the full story and its not good for the labels. You cant argue with science man.