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It recently came to light that the RIAA has paid $64 million dollars to go after copyright violators from 2006 to 2009. Yes, $64 million in 3 years. This huge expenditure only resulted in $391,000 in damages, but likely some huge but completely incalculable value in peoples opinion…

Oh no, wait, according to the IFPI global music revenue was down 7% in 2009, with 80% of that coming from the US and Japan. I wont even approach the problems with those numbers (especially since it shows Canada down 7.4% while Soundscan say’s they’re up 2%) but instead, lets just say that the RIAA has done a bad, bad job convincing people to buy their music.

But what could an internet marketing company do with $64 million dollars?

  • Design and develop a top of the line online music sales service: $10,000,000 (I have no idea if this is even remotely accurate)
  • Hire a top design firm to develop 8 microsites focused on various genres of popular and emerging music, including:
    • Popular music
    • Modern Folk
    • Hip Hop
    • Dance
    • House
    • Groove/ambient
    • IDM/Experimental
    • Country

    Then use these microsites to promote new and emerging music, advertise trends occurring in the scene, use it as a means of introducing people to new and interesting music, and link it all back to their music sales site, which would let users immediately download the music they are listening to to their MP3 players.
    $8 million

  • Hire a team of 10 SEOs, SEMs, analysts, and social media marketers at $100,000 a year: $3,000,000
  • Buy a boatload of links (they sue children, they can buy links): $1,000,000
  • Spend $30,000 a day on PPC advertising to drive targeted traffic to their sites: $32,850,000
  • Misc expenses: $5 million

Best of all, all of this would be completely trackable (using real numbers), and would allow them to watch exactly how well their efforts are performing. Imagine, a multi million dollar music fandom program organized by a conglomeration of labels and coupled with an affordable music purchasing system that provides labels with even more information on trends, sales, and promotional opportunities, while providing trackable performance?

Alas, such Utopia is a place not meant to be.

Oh, and that still leaves them with $4 million to hire hitmen to kill everyone one involved in iTunes and the Amazon stores!