Kazaa Launches Ad Blitz

Kazaa Launches Ad Blitz
Tina Reilly
SYDNEY, Australia – At a time when the majority of the world's peer-to-peer companies have formed P2P United to uphold a code of conduct and appease congress that all efforts are being made to slow the rate of copyright infringement over file-sharing networks, Kazaa has gone its separate way to achieve the same end, and this week put its money where its mouth is.

The brainchild of Sharman Networks Limited and one of the largest producers of file-sharing software, Kazaa has launched a $1 million advertising campaign aimed at getting its 60 million loyal users to voice their media needs to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

Kazaa's ad campaign is similar to P2P United's effort to change the public's perception that file-sharing networks foster piracy, although it is also an effort to spur the RIAA and MPAA into penning content licensing deals with Kazaa by proving that peer-to-peer networks are a legitimate and powerful way to distribute copyrighted media content and that there is a vast user base that is willing and able to purchase content.

According to Kazaa statistics, an average 45 million licensed files are downloaded each month from Kazaa that include music, video games, and movie trailers. But in recent months, the entertainment industry has chosen litigation over appending its business model, and in the end both sides of the issue have suffered.

"It is time for peer-to-peer users to mobilize and 'pump up the volume'; and let their voices be heard," said Sharman Networks CEO Nikki Hemming. "And it's time for the entertainment industry to stop turning a deaf ear to what consumers want and recognize that there is a revolution underway that is changing the way that music, movies,and other content is distributed and purchased.

According to Kazaa, its campaign is a "call to action" and an effort to raise awareness among the media titans that suing fans is not the way to end copyright infringement. The only way to end infringement, is to adapt to the changing needs of the consumer. The campaign will also urge users to educate members of congress on the uses of peer-to-peer networking and how it is no longer just a fad but a legitimate form of commerce.

Kazaa's advertising blitz will get its official kick-off on Wednesday, Dec. 3 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia where Kazaa is headquartered.

Kazaa plans to create a storm of advertisements in mainstream newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, as well as student newspapers in dozens of U.S.-based universities where file-sharing is most commonly used. The campaign will also include ads on Rollingstone.com and Yahoo!

"We want to ... remind everyone of the opportunities being missed here," Kazaa's Hemming continued. "The advertising campaign is a trigger for mobilization. I think it would be extremely hard for an industry to ignore millions of consumers, letting them know that they want to buy content."