The power of judo is using an opponent's own power to your advantage. The music industry has an extraordinary opportunity with Napster ("The Industry Responds To Napster," Billboard, April 15) to use judo to turn it from being a threat into the single most effective marketing tool of all time.
The key to Napster's power and its threat is it enables consumers to quickly and easily search a virtual library and to download and play songs on their computers.
But this is also the opportunity.
What if the industry fed the virtual library system a greater number of half-songs that didn't give the listener the whole experience but only the feel of the experience? What if the industry went so far as to turn these mini-songs into little ads that helped the listener locate where on the Internet to purchase the whole album?
This would have the effect of turning Napster into an enormous virtual sampling booth. It would also disarm the threat the industry perceives, because every search for a Santana song would result in a larger number of promotional versions.
A Napster user would either become frustrated and go away or would use the system to listen to music before buying. And check this out: A Napster distributor would become a marketing agent.
What's more, the cost of such an effort would be dwarfed by increased sales and would be nothing compared to what the industry is now facing in legal fees and public humiliation.
For any executive or musician who desires to pull this move, here are the complete instructions:
1. Buy 50 machines with lots of hard disc space.
2. Put them all on the Net.
3. Load them up with Napster and a gazillion song samples (be sure to select "publish").
4. There is no step four.
It's a simple plan that will effectively disarm the threat and either kill the system or turn it into an extraordinarily viral marketing program.
"LETTERS.(Brief Article)." Billboard 6 May 2000: 5. Academic OneFile. Web. 21 Nov. 2009.
Gale Document Number:A62711475
United States Judo Association - USJA
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