Anti-Piracy Company Explores New Ways to Convert Pirates

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While many anti-companies are consumed with simply taking down content or even suing end users, others are also exploring ways to be a little more creative. To that end London-based MUSO has just launched Retune, a platform which aims to engage potential customers during their efforts to obtain unauthorized content.

muso-logoThis week anti-piracy outfit MUSO announced the launch of a new component to its portfolio of content protection solutions. Titled ‘Retune’ the package aims to enable rights holders to directly market and sell their content to piracy-engaged audiences.

In a world dominated by companies specializing in simply taking down content, shutting down sites and even suing end users, the possibility of a more creative approach to piracy issues piqued our interest. TorrentFreak caught up with MUSO to find out more.

“Retune is an automated direct-to-fan platform delivering a positive on-brand message directly from the rights owner to audience. It’s about giving fans a better, more compelling offer, right at the moment they’re engaged to seek it out via piracy networks,” Chief Commercial Officer Christopher Elkins informs TF.

But of course, getting the attention of pirates and potential pirates on their home turf can be notoriously tricky and certainly more easily said than done. So how does MUSO aim to connect with these potential customers?

“However that audience is behaving within the piracy system, via search engine results, streaming or direct download piracy websites, social media or P2P, Retune aims to engage them – using piracy as the delivery system to re-direct attention to pre-sale, previews, streaming, local listings or live events,” Elkins explains.

The company isn’t revealing everything at this stage but there are certainly opportunities to capture ‘pirate’ eyes in search results via Google ads, for example. Equally, it’s also possible to inject ads into streaming and direct download sites. Some might even be persuaded to replace links to pirate content with those pointing to official sites, a technique that has been tried before.

In any event, it appears MUSO is happy to seek attention wherever it can.

“Retune is designed to interact anywhere in that journey, from the initial specific keyword searches, and directly on piracy-focused websites, rights owner-controlled Retune pages, blogs and within message board forums directly,” Elkins says.

By treating pirates as fans more than foes, MUSO says it hopes to direct these potential customers to licensed channels such as Spotify and iTunes. Equally, its Retune platform will help rightsholders update users about new content, promotional material, and the availability of additional products such as concert tickets. Ultimately, however, rightsholders will have the choice of which direction to go.

“An incredibly exciting challenge for rights holders is in exploring how best to serve this audience at that moment of engagement, to give them a better and more compelling experience for the long-term,” the company says.

Once MUSO has the interest of these new customers it appears to want to engage them more deeply over time through what it describes as an ‘optional remarketing advertisement system’.

“The [Retune] platform allows rights owners to integrate their own 3rd party remarketing services to collect and retain cookies anonymously for future marketing possibilities,” Elkins explains.

Finally, it will come as no surprise that regular DMCA-style takedowns are part of the Retune package. MUSO not only sees these as a mechanism enabling customers to compete with piracy but also one crucial for increasing visibility of the various components within its Retune package.

“Anti-piracy has become an essential first step for any rights owner or creative individual in ensuring their content is seen and appreciated by the widest possible audience in the right way, so that they’re able to build and foster a direct relationship with that audience,” Elkins says.

“Takedowns enable rights owners to compete with and devalue the piracy market, so removing infringing content and search results is hugely important for Retune content to gain maximum exposure in supporting and complementing the rights owner’s existing websites and portals.”

More information on Retune can be found here and if readers encounter the platform in the wild, please feel free to relay your experiences.

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