Business News Digital Media

Byta puts the spotlight on file-sharing within the industry

By | Published on Friday 10 December 2021


Music sharing platform Byta has published a white paper all about file-sharing in music. But not the piracy kind of file-sharing, rather how artists, songwriters, producers and music industry people go about sharing digital files as they compose, produce, release, market, promote and pitch new music – ie the kind of sharing Byta is set up to facilitate.

The white paper is based on a survey of music-makers and music industry professionals which looked at what platforms people use to share files – both generic file-transfer set-ups, like Dropbox and WeTransfer, and those specifically focused on audio or music, like SoundCloud and Byta – as well as how they are using those services, and what they like and dislike about all the various options.

Commenting on the study, Byta founder Marc Brown tells CMU: “We wanted to highlight not only the challenges those in the music industry face but also emphasise that those same problems are not limited to a select group. These problems are experienced by everyone across the music ecosystem, from the smallest of artists to the largest record companies in the world”.

As for key findings, he adds: “Loyalty to a single file-sharing platform is impossible, particularly when most users are both sending and receiving files on a regular basis. User behaviour is highly personalised and context driven. In the absence of standard practices, users are piecing together workflows that fit their specific preferences, using a combination of platforms with the exact functionalities they need”.

With that in mind, he goes on, “when it comes to file-sharing, the most logical course of action would be to make as many formats available as possible for recipients”. Although, when picking platforms, he adds, you should remember that, while “flexibility is important, functionality is an even bigger priority. Faced with a complex and ever-changing file-sharing landscape, simplicity is what users crave most”.

The survey also asked respondents whether they preferred being given access to files as downloads or streams. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer to that question is basically “it depends”. Brown explains: “In the streaming v downloads debate, there is no correct answer. Although preferences may be shifting, entrenched camps specifically need either streams or downloads”.

As for things that unite most of the people using these services, Brown concludes: “Security and metadata rank high on the list of user priorities. Frustrations regarding metadata tend to rile up more emotional responses than nearly every other issue”.

You can access the full report here.