This company thinks it can turn music pirates into paying customers


The music business has traditionally taken a hard-line approach to online music pirates.

Once upon a time, of course, it sued them directly – but that didn’t work out too well for anyone.

These days, the general consensus at rights-holders is that a stern but educative series of warnings from a user’s ISP is the best route to stopping individual infringers – whilst simultaneously forcing broadband providers to block torrent sites in the courts.

But could there be another, kinder approach? Is the music business missing out on revenues by trying to warn, rather than directly convert, torrent site users online?

Content protection and data-analytics solutions specialist MUSO  believes so.

The UK-based company has developed a new platform, Retune, to ‘help rights-owners market their content directly to piracy audiences, and enable those audiences to reconnect to licensed content’.

“Retune is revolutionising the way rights-holders  think about piracy,” said Andy Chatterley, MUSO CEO.

He explained: “Essentially Retune re-directs pro-active fans who are using piracy channels to access content to legal and licensed channels like Spotify or iTunes, or direct to fan pages and reconnects these audiences that are lost to piracy.

“Combined with MUSO’s strategic anti-piracy system, Retune is changing the face of piracy forever.“

“Retune is changing the face of piracy forever.”

Andy ChatterlEy, MUSO (pictured)

In a nutshell, the service continually pushes legal and high-quality content towards pirates, in addition to new promotional material, concert ticket offers and more.

For rights-holders, it also collects these individual’s cookie behaviour to provide ongoing remarketing opportunities for future promotions, maximising future online ad spend.

‘It is easy to forget that piracy users are very often fervent fans,’ points out the Retune website, noting that 24% of all internet bandwith is piracy-related.

It adds: ‘The motivating factors for online piracy are as much about lack of availability as they are about getting something for free.’

MUSO says that Retune can ‘generate highly targeted, large-scale click-through traffic with a sympathetic, on-brand approach that reflects the attitude and ethos of each individual rights holder’.

The platform’s stated aim is to ‘create a clear step-change across the content industry by viewing potential fans using piracy websites as an opportunity’.

“We think audiences deserve a better, more positive experience, and Retune delivers that, at the optimal moment online” added MUSO’s Chief Commercial Officer Christopher Elkins.

“Having the privilege to already work  with over 1,000 rights owners globally, we understand they want the same thing; a closer, better engagement with their audiences.

“With Retune, we’ve really managed to deliver what rights owners have been asking us for, a platform that enables them to fight piracy on their own terms, with their own message, in a data-led, scalable way that delivers outstanding cost-effectiveness when compared with other click-marketing platforms.”

Interestingly, the below graph represents the relative popularity of the search term ‘torrent’ on Google over the past 10 years.

Google TorrentMusic Business Worldwide

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  • stevenbennett

    have to disagree to a large extent with what this is saying. Availability of legal content? So pirates don’t know what iTunes is? Yeah right! People aren’t using the term ‘Torrent’ as much because it’s a given – piracy has become that prevalent! Anyone using pirate sites is highly unlikely to be a true fan – ok, so maybe they love live music and go to lots of gigs, but apart from that, they’re not fans as they’re denying income that could keep a proper musical artist or band going. Finding a way of limiting the amount of piracy is a better option, or failing that, trying to monetise online file sharing, even if it’s done on an ability to pay basis.

  • Sounds like they’re going to pay pirate sites to advertise on them?

  • TuneUp & TuneIn to ReTune & isten to WALKIN THRU THE PARK by MR. MELODY TM