Album Leaks Continued

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Continued from Album leaks force music industry to think on its toes

Annette Schaefer | Culture Co-Editor

According to Robert G. Hammond the implications are actually good, if you are already a successful artist that is.
In his study he concluded that “an album that became available in file-sharing networks one month earlier would sell 60 additional units.” This is later followed by his stating that this really only helps the mainstream, more established artists not small-time, indie label artists.

The best an indie band can hope for in an album leak is a grander array of exposure. On the negative side, these increased and consistent problems of albums leaking anywhere from days to even months early has caused a bit of paranoia in the music industry. Record labels and publicists hold tight grips on their yet to be released albums, often keeping them out of the hands of album reviewers and music journalists as a whole. Their fear is understandable when bloggers, reviewers and even certain retailers have given them plenty of reasons to distrust them.

But this can complicate and even remove an artist’s much needed pre-album press. All of these circumstances have artists finding new ways to halt the leakers and to still get that album review.

Also mentioned in Rheenen’s article, a recent program called “Haulix” has worked with watermarking technology to help musicians protect their music from leaking or be able to quickly and effectively identify a perpetrator. He explains that the program works like this: “With Haulix, labels and publicists can set a download limit for albums, or only allow records to be streamed.” Artists are attempting to take control over these leaks and beat the leakers at their own game by streaming albums in full days to weeks before an album release or even moving up the release date itself.

This year both Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco were found with their new albums available for free streaming approximately a week or two before the street date. Fall Out Boy’s album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and Panic! at the Disco peaked at number two. While it is pretty clear that this is an issue not likely to go away anytime soon, it seems that there is still some hope for music consumers yet.

In a poll issued by, as explained in the blog post “Anatomy of an Album Leak – How They Happen, the Impacts, and What Should Be Done About Leaks” on the blog “Pete Hates Music,” it showed that 80 percent of readers, when asked “How likely are you to buy music after it has been leaked?” responded, “It depends- I have to really like the artist.”

Only 20 percent felt it was a waste to spend money on music they could find for free.

From Print | The Legacy