According to the New York Post, Sprint will be the first company to underwrite its logo onto a song to be distributed freely to peer-to-peer networks. Sixteen-million files of what is sure to be a tuneless piece of piss by hip-hop artist Plies will be unleashed onto a variety of P2P networks over the next three months. “Diamond” Jon Diamond, CEO of ARTISTdirect, claims the deal, which is worth a substantial “six figures” to its MediaDefender, Atlantic, Piles, and his publishing company, will have a three-pronged purpose: (1) generate income for record labels, (2) curtail piracy, and (3) allow brands to associate with key artists to reach a desired demographic. News of the deal ushers in a new line of thinking vis-à-vis P2P networks with companies actually embracing the technology and sharing avenues it has previously been trying to destroy. The deal sounds simple enough, but a handy graphic courtesy of the Post explains it even better.

The song file will have the Sprint logo embedded in it, so it will appear on any device screen you are playing the track on. From an advertising standpoint, this permanent form of branding is a better idea than the previously popular one of shaving the Sprint logo into the hair of thousands of people, because hair tends to grow and eventually covers the shaved design. Needless to say, hairstylists are pissed. I knew it... P2P technology is still in its relative infancy, and we are already seeing industries being torn apart! And it is no coincidence that it just so happens to be affecting the most important industry too, when you consider that if you are bald or have an asinine ‘do, cut, or style, your life is pretty much over. Any winner will tell you that the secret to success is “matte finish, high hold,” bitches!

This partnership is just one of the latest deals brokered by ARTISTdirect this year. In February, Suretone Records signed up with the burgeoning buzzkill company to let users download legitimate files from the label onto illicit peer-to-peer networks. This deal includes the creation of a Suretone video channel on, because listening to music without accompanying video clips is just not enjoyable. Suretone is a subsidiary of Universal and apparently has Chris Cornell, The Cure, and Weezer on its roster. Hmm, you learn something new everyday, I guess.

ARTISTdirect acquired the Marina Del Rey-based MediaDefender in 2005. They spent a lot of money. MediaDefender is a leader in the development of software that detects illegal file trading and is used frequently by music and entertainment companies in order to combat the twisted evil bastards who should be kicked repeatedly in the nads (if any) because they download copyrighted music and video. MediaDefender should not be confused with this blockbuster that is sweeping the nation.

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