The Pirate Bay launches new service to promote indie artists
Dating back to Napster, online piracy has been the scapegoat for declining sales in the music industry. But now one BitTorrent site wants to help promote and popularize the work of obscure artists.
Pirate Bay just launched a new platform called “The Promo Bay,” which invites musicians, filmmakers, cartoonists, and comedians to submit clips to the site. If the company’s de facto A&R reps like what they see or hear, they’ll add a link to the artist’s work on the Pirate Bay homepage where the logo usually sits.
According to TorrentFreak, Pirate Bay has received over 5,000 submissions, with 90 percent of entries coming from musicians and 95 percent from men. (Calling all female filmmakers!)
And while none of the featured performers have achieved the kind of stardom promised by major record labels yet, artists like George Bennett, a singer/songwriter from the U.K., have enjoyed a nice bump in popularity since being featured on Pirate Bay’s front page. Bennett attracted 4,000 new Facebook fans and 85,000 YouTube views.
“The future will show what the impact of the Pirate Bay promotions is,” Pirate Bay’s Winston told Torrentfreak. “I’m absolutely certain that at least 2 or 3 of them have become superstars by then.”
Pirate Bay has never been known been known as a discovery engine. Users generally know what they’re looking for when they arrive at the site. But The Promo Bay hopes to show users some of the great artists and content they might be missing.
“We do this for fun and for the love of culture,” Winston said, “so we’re everything the major labels are not.”
So far, Pirate Bay’s selections have been solid. Bennett certainly has the sound of an artist capable of achieving success through traditional means. He comes off like a British Maroon 5, which isn’t really my thing, but hey it’s free. And it’s impressive that he played nearly every instrument on the record.
Meanwhile, the current featured artist is a bedroom singer/producer from Sweden named Soso, who combines the creepy low-key electronic beats of the Knife with the R&B strut of Janelle Monáe. Judging by her modest Soundcloud hit counts, however, she’s not enjoying quite the same surge that Bennett has.
Want to be featured on Pirate Bay’s homepage? You can submit your work along with a brief bio here.
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