According to a recent report from MultiMedia Intelligence Research, the value of
unlicensed (in some cases known as pirated)
music trafficked on P2P networks in 2007 was US$69 billion. For those keeping score, that is nearly 3.5x the value of advertising spent on broadcast radio.
Now, I am an ardent believer in compensation for those who have the talent, drive and ability to create art, especially music where my passions lay. That being said, with all of the efforts spent to stifle P2P, a new approach is necessary to transform some of that unofficial, estimated value into real value for the creators.
We have been experimenting with protection and marketing in the P2P space and it is an amazing group of networks and communities. That $69 billion figure represents interaction and discovery that is not going away, but should be leveraged. The key is to work within the system, use its strenghts and the voracious appetite of the consumers, not fight against it.
The combination of ad-supported, premium content, streams, podcasts and other vehicles can generate real $ value within the space if the content owners decide to use it. It is "search on steroids" and we all know what that has done in the traditional Web.
As an advocate of radio, still the leader in music discovery and music-centric advertising I highly recommend that those in the industry look at this space and dip their toe in the water. For targeted, trackable advertising and music research, the breadth of user input is unparalleled.