The internet has revolutionised the way people interact with, buy and listen to music. It has allowed for many artists to give themselves an oppurtunity in the industry that would never have normally been given to them, it has opened new doors for Major Labels to make money and ultimately keep making records. In an ever changing digital world an important question arises about how the internet has changed the industry and how will it affect it in the future. In this report the findings have shown that the industry is almost unrecognisable to what it used be in terms of creating and selling records.
The industry is changing with the digital revolution and this report explores ways in which this may happen, but also what factors may stop and hinder the music industry from evolving and growing within the digital age. Introduction and Methodology:- The subject of this report is how the internet revolution and the digital age has changed how the music industry is run, and how it affects the way things are conducted, how the industry has had to evolve and adapt to new ways of making money and dealing with new threats.
As a subject it is a very vital one, and also relevant to todays industry, as it will determine whether the same music industry still exists in the future, or whether it will be left behind and become obsolete. Most of my information and research was done using textbooks relevant to the digital revolution and change, and the internet, watching relevant interviews and reading articles. Looking at the internet presented some information that didn’t have credibility as anyone can upload a video or article however with enough depth there is a lot of very helpful information online.
Based around the SWOT form of anylysing a relevant issue, my report will systematically breakdown the issue into Strengths, Weaknesses, Oppurtunities and Threats, then discuss these points and the importance of these to the subject matter. The internet has opened up a whole new way for the music industry to distribute their music through a digital world. Tracks and new songs can be uploaded onto things like iTunes and Spotify to be heard freely around the world.
In the case of iTunes listeners purchase individual tracks or albums and then that purchase is stored in the library of that listener. Spotify listeners just listen to tracks they want to hear without the oppurtunity to download, but with advertisements in between and displayed on the playlist screen. This way of downloading just single tracks instead of having to purchase an album disrupted sales for the artist, it didn’t really affect the industry as sales were still being made however the artist suddeny lost album sales meaning profits and revenue would drop.
Easy distribution for music and new ways to initially share it with the world mean that money can be saved on having to produce as many ‘hard’ copies of the track or song in question. The internet is an easy tool to use and manipulate for both general users and labels alike. It is a very versatile tool that can be used to meet ends that would normally never have been possible. Within minutes a label can have a track on sale around the world, instead of having to wait for CD’s etc to be delivered and sold in stores.
The internet has allowed for music piracy to flourish and become a huge problem for the industry as profits are/ were being lost in huge scales. Clamp downs on how music can be stored digitally (formats) and ways in which music can be downloaded means that now if someone is caught downloading illegally there is more legal room for labels to sue and make back lost earnings. However illegal downloads are still rife and are a hige problem in the industry. There are now other ways other than simply downloading a song through Limewire or site like Napster nowadays whereby people can also illegally download music.
For example there is a Youtube converter that allows for audio to be stripped from Youtube videos whereby the only check is to agree not to use it to breach copyright yet it can still be done. Using the internet as a tool to reach people to market a certain track or artist to is an invaluable resource as it is a lot more personal now than just a poster on a billboard, also it makes the target market feel a lot more like they are part of something to do with the artist rather than just buying a CD.
A downside to the internet is that due to things such as illegal downloads and revenue loss through lack of record sales, the Major record companies have had to evolve with the digital industry to stay ‘alive’. Major companies now own a lot of mobile companies, and internet providers etc. Major companies now have to make the track, provide a service where it can be purchased easily and cheaply, maybe provide a medium for it to be played back on (ie.
MP3 player, Hi-Fi system) and also allow for new ways in which to make money from a track; Mobile phone track downloads, using tracks in films and advertisements so that money is made more by copyright payments and publishing rights more than record sales. The internet has provided many ways in which a label can lose money through illegal downloads and lack of control of downloads online. The internet as a medium is a grey area as what may seem completely fine to a user who wants to own a song is actually a copyright infringement and in fact illegal.