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[Article] Please release me... 'On Air, On Sale' method used to cut radio rips piracy


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'On Air, On Sale' method used to cut radio rips piracy

 

Coldplay and Kaiser Chiefs both release records today, at the same time as they get their first radio play - but is the on air / on sale system working?

 

Coldplay and Kaiser Chiefs release records today, at the same time as they get their first radio play.

 

The system, known as "On Air, On Sale", was introduced by two of the major record labels - Universal and Sony - in February. The idea was to tackle piracy - if a song was available instantly, it would stop the trade of so-called "radio rips" and pirated promotional CDs online.

 

At the time, Universal Music UK chairman, David Joseph, said the changes were necessary becase "we live in an immediate world".

 

"On Air, On Sale is good news for any music fan and exciting for our artists who can now go into the studio knowing they don't have to wait weeks, or sometimes months, to see the music they have created go on sale."

 

The system has benefitted some artists - R&B singer Jessie J saw her first two singles jump straight into the top 10. But, with sales spread over a longer period of time, it has also led to a few anomalies. Acts like Arctic Monkeys, Beyonce and even Lady Gaga have seen singles peak much lower than expected.

 

It's led to a schism in the music industry. Some artists have called for an end to On Air, On Sale, while others argue that the system needs time to settle in... and for all the major labels to sign up to it.

 

Elizabeth Alker finds out more:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/news/20110603_onair.shtml (audio)

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