2008 will be remembered as the year when BitTorrent went mainstream, with an increasing number of artists discovering that it is an excellent tool to promote music. Today, in a sign of the times, Open Your Eyes Records and the popular music tracker What.cd have announced an exclusive partnership.
Founded just three years ago, Open Your Eyes Records is a small US based record label. Unlike the large labels, it doesn’t shy away from BitTorrent. On the contrary, it recognizes the power of these massive filesharing communities, and has started a collaboration with the largest music tracker, What.cd.
“Open Your Eyes Records and What.cd are collaborating to revolutionize the industry landscape by making it clear that P2P technology and record labels can work hand-in-hand to accomplish their ultimate goals: getting artists heard and growing their fan bases,” reads the announcement at the BitTorrent tracker.
Open Your Eyes Records will exclusively distribute new releases on the BitTorrent tracker, and it will keep the filesharing community up to date on the latest news. With only one signed artist at the label, the collaboration wont add much to the existing library of nearly 100,000 artists available via the What.cd tracker. However, it sends out a strong message that confirms the current trend that BitTorrent is much more than just a tool for pirates.
There is a whole new generation of music enthusiasts that have grown up with file-sharing. It is part of the music industry now, and it exposes people to more music than they would ever hear on mainstream radio. This is probably not what the RIAA wants to hear, or will ever admit, but music is more popular than ever, with notable thanks to file-sharing. BitTorrent has the power to promote artists based on their music, not on the strength and scope of their advertising budget.
This year, thousands of artists have realized that giving away their music for free can actually help them to create a larger fanbase, but it is difficult to deny that filesharing makes it harder for record labels to hype mediocre content. However, music itself is more alive than ever before.