Wall Street Journal – Pirated Music Helps Radio Develop Playlists:
Earlier this year, Clear Channel Communications Inc.’s Premiere Radio Networks unit began marketing data on the most popular downloads from illegal file-sharing networks to help radio stations shape their playlists. The theory is that the songs attracting the most downloads online will also win the most listeners on the radio, helping stations sell more advertising. In turn, the service may even help the record labels, because radio airplay is still the biggest factor influencing record sales. […]
Universal Music Group, the record company that distributes Shop Boyz, also looks at file-sharing data, largely for help figuring out which songs are working best or what to pitch to radio. But executives have mixed feelings about the information. “It’s troubling that there is so much activity [that] it’s useful” for research, says Larry Kenswil, executive vice president for business strategy.
So wait a minute. The music industry is acknowledging that there are some non-infringing uses for p2p networks? That’s a switch. Will this lead to an all-out villain vs. villain battle between Clear Channel and the RIAA? Godzilla vs. Mothra!