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« Digital Music Becomes (more) Rhizomatic: Evolutionary Traits of The Music Industry | Main | practicing with limitations - material and how to deal with it, part I »
Friday
Mar132009

Remember the mullet? File sharers are next.

Can you say stuck in the past? According to the news, the new U2 album has been downloaded illegally over 400,000 times since it was released. While this isn’t a number to sneeze at, it reminds me of the mulletheads that put hood scoops and air blowers over their carbureted engines in the early 1980s. When the rest of the world switched over to fuel injection, the mullet-powered Camaro became a thing of the past.

Someone click over to Torrent Freak and tell darkshare, labeldeath and redfilephantom to garage the Camaro and trim the mullet; fuel injection has arrived. Sorry angry dudes, the cost of acquiring a music collection is approaching zero, while the cost of listening to whatever you want is no more than a 30 second ad spot for every sixty minutes of music. Look at the Google search trends for Free Music, Free MP3s and File Sharing. Sharing volume may be up, but the four-year search trend is down. Smart people are finding better ways to consume music.



I agree with Rhodri, songwriters that don’t want to perform are taking it on the chin for now, but what about the poor file sharers that tossed a semester of college to amass a terabyte of music? I guess they could always collect Hummels…

Reader Comments (42)

Thanks, that’s an interesting point of view. I leave now to compose some music that goes well with the insurance ad focus group.

March 13 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian

I'm not sure it's that filesharing is going the way of the mullet so much as filesharers have organized into members-only filesharing communities and smartened their searches. People don't search for "free music" and "free mp3s" as much anymore because all those queries don't come up with many sites for actual free mp3s anymore. They get shady-looking sites like beemp3.com (and people would rather spend their money at, say, iTunes if they're going to spend their money on mp3s). Then, there's the fact that people haven't had to abandon limewire for a new p2p filesharing program because the RIAA stopped trying to shut p2p programs down after Kazaa. So if they've already got limewire, they've got no new reason to get a new p2p program.

I would say there is no correlation between the searches going down and filesharing going down - I think people just know where to find them. People have their music blogs or message boards and don't need Google as much. This is actually worse for the industry, better for consumers.

March 13 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

The point of the post - there's not much need for file sharing any more.

BTW - searches on Google for 'Limewire' peaked in 2006.

March 13 | Registered CommenterBruce Warila

I would reaffirm Daniel's points here – file-sharers don't need to search for 'free mp3's' and in fact doing so is not the most effective search string to obtain an illegally hosted album.

Do you have an equivalent plot tracking searches for 'torrent'?

March 13 | Unregistered CommenterDave Carter

Actually I just did it – in the same period that searches for free mp3, free music and file sharing declined searches for 'torrent' increased by a factor of ten.

March 13 | Unregistered CommenterDave Carter

Also, search Rapidshare. That's gone up too. File sharing certainly is not a thing of the past, nor will it be any time soon.

March 13 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

Also, another point: There are a lot of albums coming out these days where the top search for it is a link to a blog sharing a zip of the album. Take Mono's new album, "Hymn to the Immortal Wind". In the first page is a link to an Livejournal community hosting a rip of the album on Rapidshare. A few weeks ago, this was the #1 search result for that album on Google. I run into this constantly. People are just sharing differently, it is definitely not a dying trend.

March 13 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

This is really poor analysis - you have to ask the right questions of any data to get meaningful results. Ridiculing file-sharers as outmoded bogans (Aussie slang for mullet adorned gentlemen or women) while the sophisticates move onto ad-revenue streaming services seems idealistic and unrealistic - unless you've got the metrics to back it up?

Bottom line here is that the price point for recorded music for many music fans is close to zero already (with money flowing to ISP's) so the question is, how do we compete?

March 13 | Unregistered CommenterDave Carter

Actually I should add - in the interest of rigor - that google searches for 'torrent' don't equate to illegal music; lot's of other files out there, some of which are legal. However, as has been mentioned file sharing of recorded music doesn't equate to searches for 'free mp3's'. Also thinking that ad-revenue services such as spotify are really competing with radio's market share, not recorded music downloads.

March 13 | Unregistered CommenterDave Carter

IMO you're looking at the wrong keywords,
check
Google Trends for Torrent
Google Trends for Torrent Mp3
Google Trends for Torrent Album

Be careful with graphs and stats, you can use them to say anything and the contrary.

March 14 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

No I have the right keywords. Across a cross section of four billion people 'free music' and 'free MP3' are the natural and logical keywords.

Across the cross section of committed sharers, 'torrent' may be the natural and logical choice.

I have doubts, but I will look into it, that 'torrent' is the first word uttered by everyone (worldwide and in general) that contemplates free music.

BTW - if the Czech Republic is the top country in the 'torrent' trends you identified, shouldn't that tell you something?

March 14 | Registered CommenterBruce Warila

Since 'Torrent MP3' was only typed into Google 1,300 times during the month of February ('file sharing' was typed in 823,000 times during the same time period), I would hardly call the 'Torrent' keyword trend - a trend that could be considered when weighing in on this debate.

Use Google's Keyword tool (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal), then take any keyword that has substantial numbers (torrent does not), then plot the trend. No matter how you slice it, the trend to find 'free music' is down.

Personally, I think file sharing has never been easier. It isn't like the file sharer has to invest some huge amount of time looking for music. With Google Reader, I subscribe to a series of music review blogs, say, Pitchfork, Brainwashed, etc. When I read an album I like, I tab to Soulseek, type in the album. If it appears, I queue up a few copies of it, delete the ones that don't finish. If it isn't available, I add it to the "wish list", a perpetual search that alerts me when someone signs on. Even the most obscure of obscure titles show up on or just after their release date.

Now, all this is assuming one of the other MP3 blogs I have subscribed in Google Reader doesn't post the album rip before that. This is more often than not the case. All of this is assuming someone doesn't use Torrent, which is hugely popular these days. Anything can be found on The Pirate Bay in an instant, but I'm rarely forced to go there for music. Seriously, I can learn about an album and be listening to a 320kbps MP3 full rip of it in less than five minutes. With bandwidth speed and a wider variety of options than has ever been available, it has never been easier.

Your camaro comparision doesn't work primarily for this reason: titles downloaded via the internet are more often than not higher quality, totally lack DRM and can be played anytime, anywhere I want. These files are vastly superior to almost all legal obtained music, even stuff grabbed from Amazon MP3 the one place I will buy music from. Music legally obtained is either too expensive, has DRM and/or cannot be played anytime, anywhere I want or is burdened with ads. So legal music is the camaro that doesn't perform as well. These days, if you want, you can download any album you want in WAV or FLAC format as easy as it is to pluck an apple from a tree. It has never been easier to file share. And believe me, I've been doing this since the days of grabbing Ultima from the local BBS, or swapping Warcraft 2 on private FTP servers. Your Google statistics are interesting and I am sure you can discern something from them, but I assure you, file sharing is not becoming more obscure by any stretch. It is absurd to even suggest it.

March 14 | Unregistered CommenterFileSharer

@filesharer

You are not the average person. Take RSS for example. RSS is used by 56% (Razorfish stat) of the Internet population; that cuts the measurable world...almost in half. Now take the terms WAV and FLAC... Most people can't tell the difference (take the test - http://mp3ornot.com/), and most people don't even know their is a difference.

I will say, you penned a great comment. However how would you explain the trends that clearly show otherwise? You did say they were interesting... :) This post covers the trends generally and worldwide (English-speaking world). I have no doubt that people such as yourself are still slurping up all the free music you want. However, for whatever the reason: convenience, guilt, honesty, fear, community, intelligence and etc, the rest of the world is beginning to behave differently.

-Bruce

March 14 | Registered CommenterBruce Warila

“The point of the post - there's not much need for file sharing any more.”

Bruce, on that point you are right, because now most people’s computers are always connected to the Internet and there is no reason to worry about access to music offline. Thus alternative methods that allow listening to music online do outweigh the trouble that goes into downloading music for computer listening.

However, making assumptions about individuals based upon Google search trends greatly ignores the subtle sophistications about how file sharing spread in the first place. I’d argue that the reason those search words are in steady decline is because Google can’t deliver an intelligent answer and people realize that. The way people find out about free music and file sharing is through MSN and other instant messages to their friends.

Pirates are common enough that everyone knows one, therefore, why ask Google where free music ‘might be?’ Obviously a real person knows exactly where to get it, so you ask them. It takes a conversation to understand p2p file sharing. Most, young people know how to get alcohol if they are underage and get music without paying for it, but it takes a conversation not a Google Search.

March 14 | Unregistered CommenterDan

@ dan

You make a good point. I thought about it for a bit, so I went back to Google Trends and started looking at other things that would fit into your box..

- Fake ID (still desired by the average 19 year old?)
- Beyonce (just a thought I had)
- Bong (everyone has a pot smoker on their IM list right?)
- Pregnancy test (well it does happen, and everyone has someone on IM that knows the score)
- Hangover cures (everyone has a friend that knows a cure)
- etc..

Check to see if you still believe that chat conversations (the IM conversations) distort trends that would otherwise be measurable through Google searches.

I don't assume the world is like me, but I will say that I know a lot of smart experts that cover a lot of bases. Personally, I check Google first (so I know what I am talking about), then I ask the expert (second). The Google search bar usually yields instant gratification, while IM is hit or miss. I think most people know this?

Thanks for your thoughts. Interesting debate.

BTW - I was just having some fun with the mullet thing. I am not a filesharer hater. I have said on my blog and probably here on MTT that every artist would be so lucky to have his/her songs shared by 1,000,000 people.

Cheers,

Bruce

March 14 | Registered CommenterBruce Warila

When it becomes easier to buy than steal, then it will go away. That's coming, but not yet.

Back in the say, I made this thing called a "red box" (look it up) to call my girlfriend, who lived about an hour away. These days, it's much easier to talk via something like Skype, or the "all your can eat" mobile service, etc.

Music will get around to that...eventually.

There is a big convention on this in Nashville in about a week called Digital Summit. Check out those guys to see where things are headed. Very exciting.

March 14 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Hooper

Bruce-

I don't see why you're getting such static on this post. I think it's totally spot-on.

Few things to think about:

- What % of people that were/are 'file sharers' were big purchasers of music beforehand? I don't know the answer to that question. But I think iTunes captured a far greater percentage of the actual music-paying public than file sharing ever got to. But I could be wrong. Just something I think about.

- I think we're seeing (and will see over the next 12-18 months) the establishment of streaming services trump file-sharing, exactly to your point. I don't own an iPhone but I've heard that the big problem right now is the battery drain when you stream music through a place like Pandora.

- What if Spotify added built-in decay ads that let you download a bulk of tunes and then the ad dissolved after three plays or something?

Have a look at the following free music services on Google Trends:

1) Pandora

2) last.fm

3) spotify

As you all probably know, these do not let you download but still allow you to listen on demand. This doesn't necessarily mean that people aren't downloading though, or that it will stop.

It might mean people download less because they can audition stuff easily - this is probably enough for a lot of people. However, a look at the trends for "torrent" shows that people are still searching for places to download.

Certainly I think a lot of people my age and younger learn of most online services through word of mouth. I wouldn't search google for places to hear free music but I would search the name of a service. Yes, using the "torrent" trend goes against this, but I believe that torrents are not quite as simple as most other services and this would partly account for the growth here.

For me, then, an interesting idea but I believe that downloaders are becoming more intelligent and learning more methods of downloading rather than becoming a dying breed. As long as there are people who can't afford to buy all the music they want to hear (i.e. most 13-25-year olds) there will be people downloading for free. At least until streaming becomes the norm that is.

March 17 | Unregistered CommenterCharo

Thanks Charo. Check the comments above..

'Torrent MP3' (for example) was only typed into Google 1,300 times during the month of February.
File sharing' was typed in 823,000 times during the same time period.

I personally tell everyone I know who is stupid about their file sharing to go to the source, and I know I'm not the only one. Utorrent will directly search several torrent sites from within the application. The G1 will soon have an app that queues up downloads on piratebay over the cell network. Looking at google trends and thinking it represents the whole internet is sooooo 2006.

March 20 | Unregistered CommenterThat guy

Agreed, trends on Google don't explain everything, but how do you explain this trend?

I believe you have to think globally, and not just consider the behavior of a subset of people.

March 20 | Registered CommenterBruce Warila

Hey Bruce,
I'm liking the discussion topic, but confused about a statement you made in your claim:
"Sharing volume may be up, but the four-year search trend is down."

Are you claiming that the search trend for file sharing (as represented by this particular set of search terms) is a leading indicator of future file sharing behavior? If so, it seems to have at least a 4-year lag, based on your analysis. Do you have a hypothesis for why this would be the case? Any thoughts on how long the total lag might be (i.e. when the actual file sharing volume might start to decrease)?

It seems to me that the fundamental relationship between search trend and consumer behavior has not yet been sufficiently proven in this case. Perhaps we could look at other examples where search trend foreshadowed behavioral changes or maybe examine the rise of the file sharing search trends in relation to the rise of the file sharing activity? Either one of these might shed some light on the lag times involved here.

Anyway, after reading this post and all of the comments, I kept asking myself "do Artists and Rights Holders care about search trends, or piracy?" Obviously the latter, which seems, by your own analysis to be 'up'.

The billion dollar question is when will the behavior actually start to decline?

March 23 | Unregistered CommenterJed Carlson

Jed,

4-year lag. Look at the graphs closely. Check the spikes on every graph. December/January, it's Christmas time, new ipods, kids are home from school, the network in my neighborhood slows to a crawl, etc.. If that doesn't demonstrate consumer behavior, I don't know what does? I don't know how anyone could look at that and say "right, I can see that", and then turn around and say that the overall trend - across humanity - using those search terms "is NOT down"? Sharing volume continues to grow according to Big Champagne, but it seems as though less and less people are searching for the keywords listed above, and as I just demonstrated, those keywords seem to typify some sort of consumer behavior...

March 23 | Registered CommenterBruce Warila

Bruce, I am not at all suggesting that the search trends are not down. Clearly they are, and you have the data to support it.

I am simply pointing out the that your statement:
"Sharing volume may be up, but the four-year search trend is down."
creates a logical next question, which is: "Why are search trends down, but file sharing up?"

I think your claim here is that search trends are a predictor of future consumer behavior (search trends are down and there will therefore be less file sharing in the future). The only problem I have with the article, therefore, is that no time has been spent proving that relationship. How do you KNOW that searches trending down portends a future of reduced file sharing?

Many comments to this article posit rational hypotheses for why these search trends MAY NOT be predictive of a future decline in file sharing. The key here is to prove that:

today's search trend = tomorrow's file sharing reality

That was my only issue with it. Like most people, my knee-jerk reaction to seeing declining search trends would be to assume that file sharing is, or will be, on the decline. But that's an assumption that has not proven out so far in 4 year's of search downtrend. I think that assumption is worth challenging.

March 23 | Unregistered CommenterJed Carlson

Jed, once again, I think the trends speak for themselves. Combine the trends with the knowledge of where music prices are going, with the knowledge of the new technologies/applications that are rapidly gaining in popularity (Pandora, Spotify, iPhone Apps, LaLa, 3G wireless apps in general, and etc). It doesn't take an oracle to see that amassing huge collections of music (legally or illegally) will probably be a thing of the past..

Read the NPD survey from last year (the new one is due out soon)..
http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_080130b.html
Most kids are not sharing.. Volume is up because the sharing tools are better. But, I will take the trends to the bank that the number of people that engage in sharing will drop. It's not going to continue to be a worthwhile pursuit.

March 23 | Registered CommenterBruce Warila

@ site admin re: "I would hardly call the 'Torrent' keyword trend - a trend that could be considered when weighing in on this debate . . . take any keyword that has substantial numbers (torrent does not), then plot the trend"

Google keywords reveal 'torrent' was searched for 24,900,000 times in February 2009 compared to 'free music' 16,600,000 times and 'file sharing' 2,224,000 times. This correlates with the Google trend plot here. Based on Googles data 'torrent' has substantial numbers.

Also regarding the relevance of torrents to this debate -

"measurement on Internet backbones indicated that BitTorrent has evolved into one of the most popular networks. In fact, BitTorrent traffic made up 53% of all P2P traffic in June 2004" (Epema et al, 2005, pdf here)

Similarly "Cachelogic back in 2006 claimed that more than 60% of web traffic was P2P related and that Bittorrent alone accounted for 30% (Cachelogic P2P in 2005 cited in "The Evolution of the Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Industry and the Security Risks for Users "Johnson, McGuire, Willey, 2008, p. 5)

Obviously not all searchers for torrents are looking for 'free music' however, as mentioned above, accurate numbers for file sharing across p2p networks is difficult to obtain.

Searches for illegally shared music probably won't as they often make use of p2p networks such as Limewire which operate off-the-grid in terms of google.

Unlike other p2p networks some (not all) searches for torrents are more likely to show up on Google search trends due to their use of trackers such as The Pirate Bay.

Consequently I think there is some merit in including 'torren't in a discussion of google trends that claim to demonstrate over the decline of illegal file sharing of recorded music in favour of ad-based revenue services.

But the real issue here is not that 'torrent' or another keyword wasn't tracked in Bruce's post - the issue is that file-sharers don't (just) look for stuff through google; Bruce made no mention of p2p network metrics despite referencing "Torrentfreak" and; there was no discussion as to how Bruce arrived at the keywords he used to plot the trends that are claimed to support his assertion that "the four-year search trend [for illegal music] is down".

On the last point Bruce later stated "Across a cross section of four billion people 'free music' and 'free MP3' are the natural and logical keywords" - so I assume you have some references / data to back this up and would love to have seen it included in the article.

Because of this I respectfully suggest that Bruce's argument doesn't hold water and isn't in keeping with his (and other) generally high-quality content on MTT.

March 23 | Unregistered CommenterDave Carter

Google Trends can't be used for comparisons like these. There are literally thousands, if not millions of keywords that produce downward sloping trendlines. It has nothing at all to do with consumer behaviour and everything to do with google's algorithms combined with refinements in the actual search terms being used. "Free Music" is highly unlikely to give you the anticipated search result, and usesr are now sophisticated enough to search with better, more specific terms.

Search for "Tropical Fish" or "Car Parts" and you get the same kind of downward trends. There are no conclusions that can be drawn from that kind of superficial data.

March 23 | Unregistered CommenterDave

@dave c,

- as discussed above in the comments, torrents are used for more things than music. While 'torrent' was typed into Google 24,900,000 times, music was typed into Google during February 338,000,000 times. What does that tell you? IF torrent for music constituted 100% of the 'torrent' keyword searching, does that tell us that only 7.36% of the people that searched for 'music' looked for 'torrent'? I realize this is shaky logic, but anyone that has read this far realizes how numbers can be twisted to tell any story you or I desire..

- as far as torrent traffic consuming a big chunk of Internet traffic - no shit (smile here). Moving HD movies around the internet sucks up a boatload of bandwidth. what does the MIT study tell us about music consumption patterns / trends - nothing really.

- Limewire (search trend) peaked in 2006.

- If you can think of a more natural keyword choice other than 'free music' to use in the English-speaking world to look for 'free music', I am all ears. I don't think it takes a lot of research to back this one up.


@dave,

- I am not convinced with your arguments. the average (underline) human is going to input 'free music' when he or she is looking for free music.

- as a matter of fact, the trend on 'car parts' has been down. I know that for a fact!


@everyone else

- until a study comes out that clearly demonstrates that Google keyword searching cannot typify general trends across the span of humanity, then I will take the fact that access to these trends via Google constitutes a reasonably reliable decision-making tool.

- I also want to restate, that it does not take a statistician to realize that ubiquitous access to music in the cloud will probably make collecting music (illegal or legal), a thing of the past.

- finally, this post was written to be provocative. thanks for all your input and debate. cheers.

March 24 | Registered CommenterBruce Warila

Seems to make sense to me
- It is an index, rather than absolute figures, so as the internet becomes more ubiquitous it is populated by people with less interest in music than the earlier adopters
- I don't search for free music every time I want free music. For general enquiries I will bookmark my favourite page - I will only search when I can't find what I'm looking for and then the search them will me more specific
- I don't have the stat to hand but I've read searches ARE becoming more specific - average no. of words per search is increasing
- As mentioned above; filesharing, torrent etc aren't specific to music - music might represent the majority but I reckon video (film/tv)'s share is increasing
- Well known providers of free music are on the rise

March 25 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

@Bruce

Sorry mate but you still haven't addressed the central criticisms of your post

1) file sharing activity doesn't rely on Google to find files and where Google is used specific, rather than general, search strings are likely to be used.

2) you make no mention of the metrics for file sharing of music through P2P networks including Bittorrent, Limewire etc.

3) you give no justification for your choice of trend keywords outside of (it appears) you chose them based on what you believe an 'average' net user would type into Google if they wanted to illegally obtain recorded music

Re your retorts:

a) I agree this is shaky logic - your site mod suggested 'torrent' wasn't a valid trend as it didn't have large enough numbers and had no bearing on this debate so I was responding to him. Key criticisms are laid out above.

b) If music is only a small part of torrent traffic (I think the Cachelogic study suggested around 7%) it is likely that consumption of music torrents follows a similar upward trend. The problem here is that there isn't much real research done here by non-vested interests. Anyone want to fund some?

c) Limewire (and other P2P networks) already have a significant user base that don't need to Google search to update their clients plus the names of the clients have changed. Even if the number of new users has been declining you still have a very large existing user base who's P2P activity isn't being tracked by Google.

d) if it doesn't take much research to back up 'free music' as a search string then please do it and show us.

You commented "ubiquitous access to music in the cloud will probably make collecting music (illegal or legal), a thing of the past" - this is a great point that is getting lost because it doesn't really have much to do with metrics or mullets but changing patterns of consumption and connectivity. Does listening in the cloud really represent a shift away from physical ownership or just a trend towards Radio 2.0?

How about a post that actually addresses this?

;-)

March 26 | Unregistered CommenterDave Carter

After reading this post and all comments (as with at least 90% over the past 20 months or more - literally), I am left with the following observations:

1. While I resolutely do NOT steal music (hey, let's just say it, I mean file SHARING, uh, right), out of respect for those who work hard to create and distribute it, most people I know DO...and NONE of them search for "free music or anything else - they just clik the link on their desktop for Limewire (can you picture yourself working there, much less creating the company, maybe counting over drinks how much you took out of artists pockets that day - oops, sorry, but really, until it becomes socially UNacceptable, I think we'll keep sliding down the steep slope, and THAT will take speaking OUT, folks, even among friends), or other really cool well known piracy sites.

2. Bruce CONSISTENTLY creates (the most?), massive discussion/debate (so forgiveness for perhaps a bit of un/subconscious self-interest bias?)

3. Given the level of cerebral jousting here (typical of MTT - thanks especially to the regulars - you know who you are - MONSTERS - dang, kinda like top mixed martial arts of the music mind, ya know? And aren't we in the ring, as an industry!!!), it occurs to me that the future of music IS being created here, and related blogs - for REAL - isn't that freakin' EXCITING?!? I mean, NOBODY knows what trends, Google or otherwise, really mean, but maybe, just maybe, WE can actually influence where we all end up with respect to the music BUSINESS...

Yeah, I digress, but just sayin'...

March 26 | Unregistered CommenterDg.

Ps. Uh, meant to echo Dave Carter's conclusion:

"Does listening in the cloud really represent a shift away from physical ownership or just a trend toward Radio 2.0?"

C'mon Bruce - it seems a post on this would be welcomed by MANY...the world is waiting...

March 26 | Unregistered CommenterDg.

Ok, I'll do it myself...

http://is.gd/peyG

March 28 | Unregistered CommenterDave Carter

I haven't read through all of these comments but re the U2 downloads number did anyone point out that it was apparently a member of U2s record company in Australia that leaked the album? The watermarks in the file were apparently tracked by to a DJ who had been given the album.

On another note, I just returned from hearing Rio Caraeffe, VP of Universal's eLABS division give a keynote speech. One of his startling phrases was "We no longer believe there is a future for selling recorded music." He went on to point out that the experiential response is missing from a digital file however well you include artwork and other meta data around the file. He shows that video games not only make a lot of money for Universal but there is a continuing payment from them - the subscription fee that is required to play online with other gamers. I will try and find a copy of his speech and post it here.

BTW, he also said the "browser is the new iPod..."

Also, for those of you who still want to make money selling physical product such as CDs - this works - Pay What You Want for My CD

March 28 | Unregistered CommenterDave Allen

I haven't read through all the posts, but I just wanted to say that anyone with half a brain could see that those stats are completely meaningless. I don't think anyone who familiar with the concept of a search engine, would use terms as vague as 'free music' and 'free mp3s'. This is the equivalent of searching for a novel by typing in the word 'books'.

This article is complete nonsense and nothing more than another astoundingly cheap shot at 'file sharers'. Who are these phantom 'file sharers' exactly? They are your children and your friends! I'm astounded that ten years on the music industry (ie. the big 4) is still trying to punish the general public for its own mistakes. It should have embraced this technology a long time ago. Besides, anyone with a pair of ears knows that the big record labels have done more damage to music than 'file sharers' ever will.

Get a f**king grip!

March 30 | Unregistered CommenterDave

@dave (directly above). I guess the 120,000,000 people that searched for "free music" last year are all idiots. And, what about all those advertisers that show up when you type "free music" into Google - idiots also.. Oh wait I get it. When you are searching for Hannah Montana and Britney Spears you type the name in directly.. "Free Hannah Montana Songs" (now watch our traffic spike). Hey Dave, maybe you should read the comments next time. You wouldn't sound like such a meatball.


On another note... For those that think 'everyone' just opens up their sharing client and types in a song / artist name, and that explains the downward trends, then tell me why 20,000,000 people a month are looking for "free movies", and the trend is up; exactly the opposite of "free music". Shouldn't the trends be similar? After all, 'everyone' uses a file sharing client...don't they?

March 30 | Registered CommenterBruce Warila

38 comments = proof that posting a Profoundly Wrong argument is a great platform to start a thriving conversation.

March 30 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Boland

I'm sorry for being so rude. Sincere apologies.

March 30 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Thought I'd post a link to this video. A well thought out and well researched presentation. Suggests flat fees as the most likely answer for music (already on trial in the isle of man) and also looks at the bigger picture. Collaboration, not control.

March 31 | Unregistered CommenterDave

http://www.mediafuturist.com/2009/03/21st-century-telecom-content-ecology-new-video-with-narrated-slideshow.html

March 31 | Unregistered CommenterDave

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