After nearly a decade losing out to Internet piracy, the music industry has finally worked out that users will not do what they are told. .
According to the Guardian for years the music industry had a technique called “setting up the record” – this involved giving the single to the radio stations up to six weeks before releasing it.
The idea was that it would be brilliant advertising and drive a desire to own the single. That was all well and good until the internet came along.
It meant that people who wanted the single would just download it from a torrent site from a place where the music had already been released.
Now Universal and Sony Music have given up and will release singles at the same time as they give the music to the radio stations.
David Joseph, the chief executive of Universal Music, said that wait was 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 “It’s out of date to think that you can build up demand for a song by playing it for several weeks on radio in advance.”
One advantage is that it will mean that Top of the Pops style charts will be quite interesting again. At the moment, heavy pre-release marketing had tended to mean a new single crash-landed at its peak position on its first week of release. Now it will be possible for records to climb the charts as excitement about a new song builds up.