The partnership is all about advertising. Sprint has bought the rights to have their name and logo embedded into tracks from the Atlantic Records hip-hop artist Plies.
It appears that Atlantic will supply Media Defender with a small number of Plies tracks, which will then be embedded with the Sprint logo which will appear on PC screens and digital devices playing the tracks. In return for a reported six-figure investment shared between the anti-piracy outfit, Atlantic Records and Plies, Media Defender will then flood P2P networks with the tracks over a 3 month period. Previously, Media Defender worked with Suretone Records to spam P2P networks with partial songs and videos in an attempt to generate traffic to their client’s website.
ArtistDirect’s CEO Jon Diamond said the project has a three-pronged approach of generating advertising revenue for record labels, linking brands to a particular artist to reach a certain demographic and in the process, limiting piracy.
However, most file-sharers want a plain MP3 track with nothing added and are unlikely to want tracks which cause advertising pop-ups or similar on their PC. As ‘vanilla’ MP3′s of tracks from the same artist will be widely available on the same P2P networks, it’s likely that file-sharers will be drawn towards those downloads instead of the ‘infected’ versions offered by Media Defender. So, this strategy will most likely NOT limit piracy.