Chicago (IL) - For years the music industry has been making great strides and taking extreme measures to prevent pirates from illegally copying and downloading its content.
Illegal file-sharing services are responsible for billions of dollars in lost sales, according to claims by major labels.
Now, music industry executives are stating that websites and mobile service which offer listeners access to an unlimited number songs at no cost will begin to increase in number in the near future (see our coverage). These services aren’t truly free; you pay for the songs when you purchase a new cell phone, or for signing a contract for broadband intern. What this does is hides the cost from the consumer.
Services such as these provide revenue to the music companies, unlike sites that simply pirate music.
In the past, the music industry has made the broad demand that sites legally selling downloads should sell them by the track, much like Apple’s iTunes, or Napster.
And over the year, many people in the music business have become skeptical, claiming that offering music in this manner will not be able to replace quickly diminishing CD sales. Last year worldwide music sales fell by almost seven percent.
"Comes With Music" via Nokia is one of the most popular services that offers unlimited downloads. The site allows users to download any songs they wish from a catalog which contains over four million tracks. This service is free when an individual purchases a specific Nokia phone or service plan.
ISPs are starting to introduce more programs which allow users unlimited downloads. It is services such as these that the music industry feels will help to save it and stop some of the pirating.
The government of the Isle of Man announced plans for a system where consumers who have broadband subscriptions would be forced to pay a small monthly license fee. At that point, an individual is free to download music from any source, even those peer to peer services that are currently considered illegal.
The music industry is beginning to realize that they must adopt the "If you can’t beat 'em, join 'em" mentality when it comes to dealing with pirates.
From a personal standpoint I would be willing to pay a small monthly fee for unlimited download access and the ability to continue using BitTorrent websites - as I prefer that method of downloading. I also prefer putting my music directly on an MP3 player, rather than having to import it from a CD. But that’s just me.