Disrespect, or Disruption? Beastie Boys File-Sharing Volumes Are Surging

How do you justify file-swapping Adam Yauch?

After all, you can’t say you’re going to the show anymore!  Maybe the flip side is that many of these swappers are discovering earlier Beastie Boys stuff for the first time, and merely going to the platform they prefer.

Either way, here are the facts: it turns out that file-swapping volumes on the Beastie Boys have been surging since the death of Yauch (aka MCA), despite the obvious issues involved.  The stat comes from Musicmetric, a tracking firm that noticed a quick file-trading uptick in the moments following Yauch’s death.

Maybe this all seems obvious to you, though it seems slightly out-of-place alongside surging sales of paid Beastie Boys downloads and CDs. “License to Ill… is the most popular among file-sharers,” a Musicmetric data-cruncher told Digital Music News. “The top city for torrents is their hometown of New York with LA, Chicago, Philadelphia and Toronto making up the top five.”

A time-worn truism of the music industry is that artist deaths frequently provokes sales surges.  It’s just that in the 2010s, perked-up awareness, nostalgia and rediscovery are reflected across nearly every format.  Which would explain why CDs, downloads, streams, and swaps have all been surging on the Beastie Boys.  “Similar spikes were seen across social networks with regards to numbers of online fans added per day (which increased by 700 percent)  and total online plays (which increased by 2,000 percent),” the group relayed.

There’s also the reality that many younger listeners weren’t aware of earlier Beastie Boys material – or, even the Beastie Boys themselves.  And the reason is simple: the younger set wasn’t around to experience the magic in the 80s and 90s, and MCA’s death provoked a rewind blitz among media outlets large and small.  That includes endless clips and retrospectives, starting with License to Ill.

3 Responses

  1. Nate

    Death sells…wait a minute, I guess in MCA’s case, it’s just easier to take it from him.

  2. JC

    Disrespect? I mean, didn’t the Beastie Boys make a career sampling music, singing about “Rhymin’ and Stealin'”? I don’t know what the Beasties’ actual position on music downloading is, but I would think the spirit of their music would be more interested in finding new listeners than preserving its own copyright content.

  3. JC

    Disrespect? I mean, didn’t the Beastie Boys make a career sampling music, singing about “Rhymin’ and Stealin'”? I don’t know what the Beasties’ actual position on music downloading is, but I would think the spirit of their music would be more interested in finding new listeners than preserving its own copyright content.