TMF, a popular Dutch music channel which is part of MTV said it will use data from BitTorrent and other file-sharing networks as a resource for their playlist selection. The data from these sources gives a more accurate picture of what people actually listen to, rather than counting single sales alone.
TMF recently subscribed to a service from the P2P tracking company GfK. Based on a list of music titles, GfK will gather data from BitTorrent and other filesharing networks and report this back to the music channel.
TMF said it will use the information to signal trends and target their audience.
Initially, TMF announced that it would count downloads from file-sharing networks for their new Superchart, as more people download music than buy it. However, they canceled this plan last week after protests from the music industry, who said it would send out the wrong message.
TMF, however, now say that they will use data from filesharing services as one of the sources for their playlist selection.
Wouter Rutten, the spokesman for the Dutch IFPI said he doesn’t see the use of P2P data as problematic as long as they don’t explicitly use it for their music charts or advertise it in any other way.
The negative reaction from the music industry on the pirate chart was to be expected, but also a little hypocrital. Last year we reported that Interscope Records, and probably other record companies, use P2P data as a marketing tool. They determine which tracks they will release as their next single, based on what people are downloading.