Recording Industry Outdone by Pornographers

Thanks to Todd for pointing out an article in the Chronicle, about how the porn industry is finding ways to profit from file swapping. A few delicious quotes:

“The lesson I suggest (the recording industry) learn from the porn industry is: How do you use free to promote paid?”

“The adult industry is leading the way in peer-to-peer and begining to monetize it instead of fighting customers,” Hunter said. “Any smart merchant can’t look at a mall filled with 200 million people and not look at the opportunities to set up a kiosk.”

“It’s the sharing philosophy that the adult industry has had for a long time,” Hymes said. “It’s a fascinating industry, so rampantly and relentlessly capitalistic.”

I think it is interesting from a sociological point of view. The pornographers are ruthless capitalists always eager to innovate and find new ways to make a buck. I think they have to have this mentality because they’re taking a product that isn’t very difficult to produce, and marketing it in a culture that tends to frown on the marketing of said product. So they have to put all the more thought in to innovating ways to capture customers’ attention and make money.

The recording industry, on the other hand, knows they’ve got a sweet deal, that is socially acceptable, so instead of rampant opportunistic capitalism, they opt for consolidation into large, stable oligarchies. Innovation is a threat to an industry that is quite satisfied with the status quo, and is really freaked out about the implication that their entire industry may be made redundant by new technology.

Which may even be the case. If small-time pornographers can earn business by giving away teasers in order to attract sales, why shouldn’t the music industry devolve in to small-time content producers and promoters who give away some tunes in order to attract sales? Something interesting to watch, from a distance.

Meanwhile, Jon points out a New York Times Headline that sounds like something from The Onion.

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