Pretty Lights and BitTorrent Bundles
This case describes the innovative strategy implemented by musician Derek. V. Smith (aka Pretty Lights), to penetrate the electronic music market. In 2014, his latest album was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Dance/Electronic Album category, and he now heads a label that produces not only his own creations but also those of other world-renowned artists in that musical genre. A key component of this success was the decision to make digital files of Smith's tracks available free of charge using BitTorrent software. The music could be downloaded using bundles composed of a number of music tracks and a video clip of one of Smith's performances. Although the download was free, part of it was locked. To unlock this part, users had to provide their e-mail address, enabling Pretty Lights to develop a database that could be used to promote his concerts through direct marketing. Pretty Lights pioneered the use of the BitTorrent platform to distribute his creations, but this strategy has since been adopted by music industry stars Madonna, Moby, and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. The case serves as a springboard for exploring issues related to the monetization of music, copyright, and the marketing of cultural offerings.