Recording Industry Addresses Music Downloading

NEW YORK The Recording Academy yesterday launched a campaign that seeks to educate consumers about illegal music downloading.

At the heart of the effort is, a “downloading 101” resource that informs people about the history of music downloading, the impact of the practice on the music industry and what’s legal and what’s not.

The site also offers links to legal music downloading sites, such as Napster and Apple’s iTunes, and the opinions of musicians, like Dido and Jason Mraz, on file swapping.

The campaign kicked off last night at the 46th annual Grammy Awards, during which Recording Academy president Neil Portnow introduced a public service announcement that directed viewers to the Web site. The TV spot shows a young girl downloading a top-20 hit, while a group of club-goers simultaneously dances to the song. Once the download is complete, the music in the club stops, leaving the dancers in silence. The tagline: “There’s more to music than meets the ear.”

“As the recording industry looks forward to a digital future, it becomes even more important to ensure that music fans have the tools needed to fully understand and appreciate the value of music,” Portnow said during the CBS telecast. “This campaign celebrates the options digital technology offers both music makers and consumers, while also tackling the confusion surrounding downloading and file-swapping. We want to empower consumers to make thoughtful, ethical and respectful decisions when getting their music while understanding the part they play in the future of music.”

Agencies owned by Daniel J. Edelman are behind the push, including Blue for advertising, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide for PR, Strategy One for research and Edelman Interactive Solutions for the Web site.