p2pnet news | Music:- Online music rules.
The trouble is, Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG aren’t making any money out of it, least wise, not enough to make them happy.
So when the ‘news’ hit that the deal had been struck between corporate ‘p2p file sharing’ application Qtrax and the members of the Big 4 organised music gang, at the same time ringing the death knell for CDs, it generated a mind boggling amount of attention .
Free ‘legal’ music !?!?
Like it isn’t free already. That’s the trouble, say the Big 4. And legal? Still very much a matter of debate, the mult-imillion dollar Big 4 PR blitz that it isn’t notwithstanding.
DRM-loaded Qtrax was supposed to generate enough hard cash from advertising associated with downloads to pay the Big 4 because according to Allan Klepfisz (right), the man who runs it, the major labels were on stream.
The trouble was, they weren’t.
Was this a cold and calculated lie on the part of Klepfisz; a con designed to stoke them into making a commitment? Was it shady trickery calculated to get people to the site and suck in the ever gullible (as far as the Big 4 are concerned) mainstream media into providing priceless free online advertising? Certainly, Qtrax tried a cheap trick, looking for free advance promo from p2pnet by posting tacky comments supposedly from readers in advance of the launch. It didn’t work with us, but perhaps the company had more success with others.
Or was it all acceptable hooplah —- Klepfisz jumping the gun a little, no big deal and no harm done?
Whichever it was, today the headlines aren’t nearly so rapturous as they were yesterday.
Says Times Online:
A website which promised to give music lovers the world’s first legal file-sharing service was forced into a humiliating climbdown today after it emerged that the company had not secured the backing of the record industry.
Qtrax, a New York firm, unveiled its service with a glitzy £500,000 launch in Cannes at the weekend, hiring stars including James Blunt, LL Cool J.
Today it emerged that none of the four major labels had done deals with the site, putting a large dent in the promised catalogue of 25 million songs and prompting allegations that the site’s founders had misled fans.
And, “The company had claimed it would have up to 30 million tracks available upon launch,” says news.com.au. But, “There are currently over 9 million tracks listed on the network, none of which can apparently be downloaded.
“Within hours of launch the number of Qtrax users online had passed 8000, not quite reflecting the ‘massive response’ claimed by the company.”
Now, “All of this points to signs of trouble for Qtrax, whose business model changed sometime last year from being an ad-supported way to encourage users to pay for music, to being an ad-supported way to deliver totally free music,” says Ars Technica, adding:
“Originally, Qtrax’s DRM would have only given users so many ad-supported plays before a song would need to be purchased (think Zune sharing). We can only speculate, but the move to providing totally free downloadable music without ticking timebombs likely gave the labels pause.
“If Qtrax could pull it off, it’d be quite a coup. Getting the Big Four labels to agree that any music downloaded from the Gnutella P2P network is legit if it’s wrapped in DRM for the purposes of pushing ads would mark quite a change.
“It would, in effect, legitimize P2P for the labels, who would begin making money directly off of P2P activity.”
However, “Given the current climate about ISP filtering, bandwidth caps, and the like, perhaps this idea is trying to gain traction at the wrong time.”
they weren’t - Sony BMG: No Qtrax deal, January 28, 2008
ringing the death knell – Qtrax – ‘death knell’ for CDs, January 28, 2008
Times Online – Music file-share site Qtrax forced into humiliating U-turn, January 28, 2008
news.com.au – Qtrax ‘free music’ launch a dud, January 29, 2008
Ars Technica – Qtrax’s free, legal P2P scheme is vaporware for now, January 28, 2008
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