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Counting Crows says file-sharing is 'the new radio station,' releases BitTorrent promo

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California-based band Counting Crows has released a selection of tracks free on BitTorrent, saying that the file-sharing system is a new and important publicity tool and a "conduit" for fans.

Counting Crows
Counting Crows

Content creators have expressed mixed feelings towards peer-to-peer file-sharing, from vehement opposition to resignation to outright celebration. California-based band Counting Crows is firmly in the latter camp: it's released a selection of four songs for free in a partnership with BitTorrent, asking listeners to buy the full album if they want to hear more. Adam Duritz, the band's lead singer, compared file-sharing to more traditional promotional methods or album bootlegging. "If you got 150 million people on BitTorrent, then that’s the new radio station," he said. "That’s a better radio station in fact, because people have the choice to play it as much as they want and stop when they get sick of it."

Duritz admits that bands that rely on the internet rather than record companies may not become "megastars," but he also cites problems with the traditional label system, where bands often traded autonomy and revenue for publicity (Counting Crows left its label, Geffen Records, in 2009.) The internet, he says, has been great for artists, especially those who use it to connect to fans. "File-sharing is no different from the rest of the internet; it is a tool that connects the entire world."