Digital Music

It’s hard to imagine a world without music. But it is harder to imagine that the music industry was in a state of decline for nearly two decades. It was only in 2015 where the industry was able to report and post a positive growth. This was also the year that saw digital record sales overtake the physical format for the first time.

Prior to the coming of the Internet, only the major record labels had access and control over the distribution and promotion of the music recording industry. But when the likes of Napster, Limewire, and The Pirate Bay arrived, the record labels lost out on a lot of customers. People were willing to rip and share their digital music to their peers who couldn’t afford the pricey CDs.

Learning the Digital Game
The record labels recognised the potential of the Internet, but they did not account for the behaviour of the consumers. Piracy became more rampant among users because the digital format of the records allowed more people to copy songs without the fear of losing the audio quality.

They were quick to respond with a business model that gave what the consumers the music that they wanted, but through the means of legal distribution. Apple followed a business model of letting people buy the music that people liked at a fraction of the cost of actually buying the whole album itself instead of just renting it out. This gave people the option to copy and download songs and albums or to just let their purchases stay online as a playlist that they could use in a number of Apple products.

The Shape of the Music Industry
The school of Pop is an example of how access to the internet can make anyone a sensation. With YouTube and other online platforms that let you showcase talent, it’s easier to become a breakout star than it once was. But, this brings with it a level of competition and scrutiny too. Many artists and record labels have come to gauge the success of a particular song they released with the number of downloads it had in iTunes or other online music stores. But this practice puts into question whether new artists are really coming up with good material or just riding the wave of their popularity to sell their music.

Changes in the Game
Consumers now prefer to just having access to music rather than actually owning them. The School of Pop, takes a Look at the Digital Music Industry and believes that they now pay to listen to tracks like on Spotify or stream their purchases on iTunes. With faster, more stable Internet access made possible by mobile telecoms, an average consumer can now stream music on the go. This takes out the cumbersome task of downloading music to your phone or device so you can listen to it when you go out jogging.