Skrillex: If You’re Broke, Please Pirate My Album

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So, what happens when you tell your fans that piracy is okay?

Even when your major label says it’s definitely not okay? You may just end up with more purchases in the end, and much stronger fan relationships.

The latest pro-piracy message comes from Skrillex (Big Beat/Atlantic/Warner Music Group), who just told his fans to pirate his latest album if they can’t afford to buy it.  “Happy holidays just like I promised,” Skrillex posted on his Facebook page.  “Just like i always say, go pirate it if you don’t have money… i just want you to have it… either way I’ll love you.”

It’s a very different game of psychology.  And, here’s how Facebook fans reacted:

> Peter Barbosa: “This is why you’ll be way more successful than other artists!  Props bro! Just torrented by copy, like what I hear, and am buying from Beatport now.”

> Kevin Wing: “You’re the best.  But I’ll buy just for what you said about pirating.  Ha ha!

> Dallas Wiebelhaus: “Thanks dude.  I got three kids and an elderly parent I care for, I’ll pay but your sentiment means a lot to me. Thanks dude.”

Skrillex later pointed to the paid versions as being more reliable and higher-quality, especially for fellow DJs.  The Bangarang EP was posted just ahead of Christmas, and was initially being sold exclusively on Beatport (here).  And, in classic Beatport fashion, tracks were being positioned for the elevated price of $2.49, with the total 7-song set going for $17.43 (now $1.99/$13.93).  Other stores got the album on the 27th (Tuesday), and that includes Spotify.

Skrillex fans are in for a rich, complex release, and if you’ve been to a Skrillex show, you may even recognize a track or three.  But this EP – and Skrillex’s stance on piracy – also invites some very complex issues involving other artists, publishers, and labels.  For example, ‘Breakn’ a Sweat,’ a collaboration with the remaining members of the Doors, is a lead-up to Re:Generation, a documentary slated for release in February.

Incidentally, the track also includes an excerpt from an old Jim Morrison interview, which contains some very forward-thinking thoughts on electronic music (take a listen).  And, other guests including Ellie Goulding and Wolfgang Gartner.

Skrillex is inked to Big Beat Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records and Warner Music Group.  And, if that wasn’t complex enough, Skrillex was just bestowed with huge Grammy nomination accolades, a huge endorsement from an oftentimes old-school, crusty group of industry critics.

Which raises the question: is everyone cool with this?  Let’s see.