The music industry has long blamed illegal file sharing for the slump in music sales–U.S. music sales were down 7% last year after a 3% drop the year before, according to the London-based music trade group IFPI. But now, a key part of the industry is trying to harness file sharing to boost its own bottom line.
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.
[via The Wall Street Journal (paid sub. req.)]