Welcome to Has it Leaked. This is a music community and online magazine which discusses and reports all information related to upcoming albums. But what’s unique and the important aspect of this site site is the fact that it acknowledges album leaks as a big part of today’s music scene. Passionate fans seek out ways to get their favorite artist music as early as possible, and the site is here to provide relevant news. Without providing illegal downloads.
Before we go any further, let’s take a short “brag break”. This is an award winning site, nominated to Best Site by Awwwards and chosen as Web Pick at Communication Arts in 2015. I’m proud of the features and interviews in the The Washington Post and Wired as well as BBC World and The New York Times. My name is Staffan, I hail from Sweden and I practically run the site by myself with some help from coders and writers. I’m a music producer under the name Mojib, and have released my own sampled based music since 2007, and I’ve remixed acts such as Radiohead, Ian Brown, UNKLE etc. I’m passionate about music and art, and I created this site so I could, literally have a way to promote the things I like. It’s a bit harsh, and doesn’t tell the whole story but – Force feeding art I like and my own music to the site’s visitors, that was the original plan.
Leaked albums are albums being shared prior to its actual retail release. It started in the late ‘90s when the internet, MP3s and file sharing were combined and became the easiest way to distribute music. The leaks often consists of reviews or promotional copies ending up in the wrong hands; once a few fans have it, it’s only a matter of hours until it’s available for everyone who knows how to use Google.
Leaks are often linked together with copyright infringing file sharing sites, but that’s not what Has it Leaked is about. Our site is about waiting for your favorite band to release their album; discussing, speculating, anticipating, and wondering are the main elements that make our site tick. And if that album happens to leak out early, there’s simply no place for fans to discuss an unofficial album release except on shady download sites. But that doesn’t mean you should stop buying albums and support your artists and labels. Has it Leaked doesn’t provide, share or link to any copyrighted files, leaks or file sharing sites. Nor do we allow our community to share files or links to piracy sites.
The site has been officially online since 2012 and throughout I’ve learned that there are two different groups of people I need to address when discussing leaks, the ones who are looking to download music for free and the artists and labels.
I know why some of you are here. You’re looking for a particular free download and your favorite search engine brought you here. And while I’m surprised and glad you haven’t hit the back button yet, you are going to be disappointed. This site has no downloads. Not even one tiny little Hitfile or torrent link. However, now you won’t have to get scammed, filling out so called “surveys,” or share your credit card for an album leak which doesn’t actually exist. Now you’ll actually know when your favorite artist’s album is unofficially out and we provide you with a nice pre-order link in the meantime. We are also getting really fast on reporting leaks, so you don’t have to search for a leak anywhere else but our website.
And to the all mighty elite nerds thinking this site is useless because of torrent site X or blog site Y: not every leak originates from one single torrent site or the so called “scene.” And most people rely on Google’s search engine to try and find a music blog or forum with a torrent or file sharing link. Look at what happened in early 2012 with SOPA. Remember that file sharing sites like Mediafire, Rapidshare, Uploading and the rest of them are among the top 100 most visited websites in the world.
So while Has it Leaked won’t give you what you originally came here for, join your fellow fans and start speculating; alert people about fake downloads, leave leak reports, hype releases and enjoy discussing your passion for music without having to be off the grid.
I’m not going to argue that music should be free and I don’t believe artists can live on merchandise and touring exclusively. A common perception is that I as a site admin can’t understand the difficulties of being a struggling artists or label. That’s not entirely correct, I’ve been a professional artist myself; I’ve been signed to indie labels who constantly try to convince people that free isn’t always good. I’ve worked with major and indie artists. I’m currently doing a podcast with one of the largest indie labels in Sweden. It doesn’t give me the right to do whatever I want, but it does acknowledge that I have some insight into the music industry.
It can’t come to as a surprise that the industry has changed over the years and releasing and distributing albums is no longer exclusively done by labels or artists. The release dates promotional values have changed significantly. Albums are leaked in advance and have a much shorter life span. And trying to shut down each blog, Tumblr and torrent site… that’s going to take a while. But with this site you’ve got a chance to interact and communicate with the fans who are simply waiting for a free download. You’ll also get an upper hand if you want to try and stop the leak from being distributed since we’re sending out emails the minute it is out. Contact us and I’m sure we can help you out if you provide us with pre-order links, banners or other promotional material. And instead of hiring web sheriffs tracking down blogs, get creative! That’s what I did and it resulted in this site where I can promote my own music in a really nice way to a vast audience.
If you think Spotify, lawsuits, re-issues and Record Store Day are solutions – And fans won’t care or get access to leaks in the future, fine.
But if you think this site is hurting artists, labels as well as music, and think there are better ways to prevent leaks or make use of the current piracy scene in other ways? Please let me know. Want to discuss piracy, release dates, leaks or the music industry in general, both with us and others? Head on over to the forum.
Written by Staffan Ulmert