Discounts, offers, and free downloads are the new way to generate traffic to your website. Sounds fun, right? Well, this is exactly what has pushed some artistes like Radiohead band to start selling their songs through file-sharing. And the shocking discovery is that they made more money on that album as compared to all their previous albums combined. Every artiste puts in hours of commitment and hard work hoping that their efforts will be rewarded in the end. However, these days, artistes are facing many challenges in getting rewards for their efforts; and the monster among them is online piracy.

What are the numbers in online piracy?

Online piracy is a worldwide disaster, and it is killing the morale of many artistes. For example in the US alone, over 700,000 jobs are lost every year as a result of this catastrophe. Let’s look closely at the numbers; one episode of Game of Thrones costs about $6,000,000 to produce. This means that if you go and download it for free, the company will incur losses in millions just for one season of the series. There are no substantial statistics and numbers that have been released to show the exact extent of the effect. However, we can all agree that the entertainment industry is taking a toll due to online piracy.

How do free downloads pay?

You may be asking yourself: “If I download the movies and songs for free, then how does that benefit the site?” This is how; by providing free downloads to audiences, these sites generate traffic to their pages. It is the dream of every online business owner to gain traffic to their websites and so various companies use this to their advantage. Some sites like Torrents are famous for providing free downloads of movies and songs. They are approached by some companies who give them lump sums of cash for online advertisements. So the deal is for them to generate traffic to their site so that the companies may reach a wider audience through online ads on their sites. What other way to generate traffic than to give out free stuff?

What can we do to resolve online piracy?

Most people turn to free and counterfeit downloads due to the high cost of the original downloads. If only the same services could be offered at a lower and more affordable price, then the fans might consider promoting their favorite bands. In this era where we have smartphones, free downloads are at our disposal. Google has put out a statement to try and help track these non-compliant sites. It monitors all the sites in which their Microsoft ads appear. However, these rogue sites still have a way of manipulating the Google ads that appear on their sites.

Online piracy is a bug in the entertainment industry that is slowly but surely killing the hard work and efforts of the artistes. We cannot dispute the fact that the entertainment industry is lying on balance since the future of the industry is on the online platform. We know that things are bad when we realize that most of us find nothing wrong with online piracy. Online piracy is an epidemic that must be dealt with by all the stakeholders involved. Till then, we have to keep buying our favorite Radiohead albums directly from the band and who knows to what extreme things could go?