Sony and Universal look to kill piracy with 'on air, on sale' policy

Music labels change tack. Finally
Music labels change tack. Finally

Two of the world's biggest music labels are looking to completely change their marketing models in a bid to combat online piracy.

Sony and Universal are in talks to quash the hype building of singles through radio play and allow consumers to download songs from the first day they hear them on the airwaves.

This is something that Sony BMG trialled through the X Factor, where viewers of the programme could download music from the show the same night it aired – which lead to thousands of adoring fans downloading Matt Cardle's Xmas single 'When We Collide' and sending it straight to number one.

This model is a tad different from the current one, which allows (up to) six weeks of radio build up before songs are available to purchase.

Music on demand

The 'on air, on sale' policy is backed by Sony and Universal and according to David Joseph, the chief executive of Universal Music, it will begin next month in the UK.

"Wait is not a word in the vocabulary of the current generation. It's out of date to think that you can build up demand for a song by playing it for several weeks on radio in advance," said Joseph.

"What we were finding under the old system was the searches for songs on Google or iTunes were peaking two weeks before they actually became available to buy, meaning that the public was bored of – or had already pirated – new singles."

Er, anybody who lived in the era of tapes and recorded the top 40 religiously on a Sunday could have told him that.

Via the Guardian

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.