Direct Assessment of a Method for Digital Music Distribution Supporting Revenue Generation and Sharing

Lead Research Organisation: London Metropolitan University
Department Name: Business School

Abstract

We propose a project to carry out a trial, live on the Web, of a novel method for pricing and distributing digital music. This method has been developed by the Imperial College Internet Centre and was implemented and tested in a recent Digital Economy Feasibility Study. This trial will address the critical issue of whether this method will be adopted and used, for real, by music communities on the Web. If proven successful this method would offer a radical and far-reaching solution to the problem of illegal file sharing, currently so prevalent on the Internet.The method combines an innovative pricing model developed by Drs Rayna and Striukova, which allows users to download any music they want but only pay for what they enjoy (assessed by their listening patterns), with a novel peer-to-peer music discovery and dissemination process that allows revenue generated to be shared between the originating artist and the community. It is hoped that these incentives will be sufficient to persuade users to pay for content and avoid the need to attempt to curb illegal filesharing with draconian legal measures.The trial will be conducted in collaboration with artists and groups and music softare companies. The trial will comprise two stages; the first a live but contained trial involving Imperial College students the second a live open trial on the Web.The trial will also feature exploring the use of advanced machine learning software to enable artists better understand their communities' behaviour and the distribution of other music material including impromptu live concerts.If these trials are successful they would not only provide a means of solving the problem of Digital Piracy but also open the way for a thriving Internet music community and other Internet businesses..

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