I'm not sure why it's happening now, but BigChampagne is in the news. The company was in Wire earlier this year and now they're back on Associated Press: every so often someone trips over what they're up to and thinks it's worth writing up. Not that they've been trying to hide it -- they monitor the peer-to-peer music-swapping world, and report back to the record companies what are the most popular files by the most popular artists.
I suppose it's the irony that makes it newsworthy, as if gun makers made a point of analysing murder autopsy reports in order to make their products work better. After all, how can the record companies see the Kazaa kids as a hive of evildoers one minute and "the most vast and scaleable sample audience the world has ever seen" the next, without some semblance of a clue sinking in?
What's most interesting is the way the data's being used -- if an album track starts peaking, then it's an easy matter to get the word out to radio stations and make the MP3 available as a single from a paid-for service such as iTunes. Could it be that the value to the record companies of having file-trading going on will finally become apparent?
Ah well. It's not as if any music I'm interested in will show up on anyone's radar any time soon -- after a week of hunting, I finally managed to track down the Monsoon Bassoon EP track that had quite perversely grabbed my imagination (it's OK, the band's long since died, and having heard the track I can see why. They've reincarnated as Stars In Battledress. Like you care).
And before you ask, no, I've no idea what our American parent company CNET is planning to do with the MP3.com brand it bought last week. I imagine it'll have something to do with music. Which will be cool -- I always wanted to work in the music industry. Wonder when I'll get the spangly suit and big car?