In a survey of over 200 record label managers, PR agents, producers, artists and promo companies, UK website, DanceTrasmission.co.uk reports that 74.3% of all respondents surveyed cited downloading as having a negative affect on their business. While this is expected, this report uncovers sentiments from a segment of the industry that is rarely polled.
77.6% of respondents said that piracy is hurting dance music more today than it was 5-years ago, with 18% responding that they are not sending out promos in the hopes to stem piracy of their releases. 17.4% and 16.1% use methods like voice overs and low bit rate promos to limit the effects of file sharing and only 18% employ secondary companies to issue take down notices.
Over 65.8% generally take action against sites by issuing take down notices, with 65.5% reporting those efforts are effective some of the time. 65% of respondents surveyed believe that Google should block torrent and pirate sites, but 61.4% said they don’t know how to file a copyright infringement claim with the company. Google’s copyright infringement policy is listed on their web site here: http://www.google.co.uk/dmca.html. Google also owns YouTube, which has a different infringement policy page listed on their web site here: http://www.youtube.com/t/dmca_policy. Both websites state that you must send a written communication of your infringement claim. For legal and process reasons, they don’t offer web forms. If they did, it would be easier for some to make false infringement claims or duplicate claims. At the end of the day, issuing take down notices is labor intensive and only effective half the time. How effective is difficult to measure, because once you issue a take down that to a site, your music can pop up somewhere else. 34% said they take no action, which implies that they either don’t have the resources to deal with the issue or they let it go with the knowledge they are getting some promotional value out of piracy.
62.8% think the UK government should target ISP’s and download sites in an attempt to limit piracty, while only 5.1% think they should target users. But, users are not off the hook. 50.6% think that the UK government should implement a “3-strikes” rule for those who are caught file sharing. What that would look like, we can’t say. The question is then, how much file sharing constitutes one strike? Is it 10 files on one-day or 100 files an hour? It is very difficult to define a law prohibiting file sharing by users, because it’s hard to agree on when to take action.
Sending out promos to blogs and music journalists has always been an important tool to get the word out about new releases. 65.6% say they allow blogs to post their files, but 49.3% report it’s harder to get reviews from links to downloads than from physical copies. 37.5% report it made no difference, but the fact that a majority find it harder can possibly be attributed to the level of email spam. It’s much harder to differentiate spam than it is a physical CD which arrives at your door. At Netmix, we get a ton of digital promos via email, but rarely open or listen to them, mainly because some PR companies and labels send promos through services like MediaFire, which ask you to pay for faster download speeds, or YouSendIt.com, who’s links expire after a few days.. While those services are excellent for tracking open rates, journalists can’t subscribe to all of them for obvious reasons. SoundCloud.com provides a much better solution, and we see the industry moving in that direction.
57.4% saying the no longer send out CD promos. For most independents, it’s not cost effective to invest in CD promos. It’s much easier to use SoundCloud and forward links, but what we see lacking is aggressive follow up. We get a ton of email, but rarely do we get anyone following up with us to see if we posted their music. The reports states that 37.8% of respondents in the survey cited expense as the underlying factor in not using promotion services. In this era of do-it-yourself (DIY), many label upstarts don’t see the benefit if independent dance promotion services. But, it could mean the difference between a hit record or something that falls on deaf ears.