The Private Tracker Barrier Of Entry & TPS' Role In Gate Keeping

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Nov 22, 2016
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The loss of What.CD was the loss of the greatest collection of music ever created, but there was another effect of its demise: accessibility to the private tracker community diminished severely afterward as well. Anyone new to the community would be advised to take What's interview, even if their interest in music wasn't that high, simply because succeeding there pretty much assured entry to almost anywhere they wanted to be. That gateway is gone now.

Looking back at how active TPS used to be circa 2008-2009 it seems TPS played a much larger role in facilitating the entry to this thing of ours. I have no idea how many trackers were recruiting from TPS back then, but there still seems to be a certain level of coziness between tracker staff & the staff here. The difference however is the number of members this board sees on a regular basis. All around me are familiar faces. While not necessarily a bad thing, it goes to show that new users don't see TPS as an avenue for entry. Either that, or interest in private trackers has regressed substantially since then & there simply isn't the same swath of new blood ready to be pumped into the system.

If the latter is the truth the reason for that seems to be pretty obvious: the advent of streaming platforms. Back then Netflix wasn't the behemoth we know today & neither was Hulu. Spotify? UK only. Pandora? Nowhere near as popular as today. Apple Music? Didn't exist. Long story short, people had more reasons to pirate then than they do now. While I believe that's a big part of the downturn in popularity here, I believe that both of the aforementioned issues contributed to the lack of interest. Besides, there's still the issue of new members coming directly to TPS.

Reddit seems to be the popular means of entry nowadays, at least on the inside looking out. There are tons of new invite threads on /r/invites, plenty of discussion on /r/trackers, etc. I'm not sure how well off other "invite forums" are doing but it seems to me the majority of them are trading / selling boards in the first place so probably not stellar. TPS doesn't seem to put its face at the forefront of these places to let users know "hey, we can help you out too." Word of mouth is the only way I'd even heard of this place when I was a wee lad to private trackers (6 months ago this month).

So my question is this: Does TPS want to fill the void that What's death opened? Or is it content with playing the cut & letting people find their own way? The current & previous staff obviously differ & maybe the vision changed with the people in charge, but I'm curious as to how the runners of this board think nowadays. Thanks for reading.