How the Internet has Affected the Music Industry

BY BRIDIE BLACK

Throughout the past few years, the Internet has dramatically changed the music industry. With illegally music downloads and less CD purchases, the music industry has been loosing money. Despite these problems, with streaming apps such as Pandora and Spotify, the music industry has also been making more money.

So much is changing about the music industry, that almost nothing is traditional. We rarely use CDs, let alone tapes, and artists and record companies are able to put their name out into the world more effectively. Again, this is all thanks to the Internet.

It is no secret that the Internet practically runs everything nowadays. As I said before, the music industry has been loosing money as of late. RIAA states that the music industry looses about $12.5 billon annually. IFPI says that this decline in income and jobs is mostly due to illegal music downloads. With apps like Napster and YouTube2MP3, it is fairly easy to download music without purchasing it. The Independent has done research that over 1.2 billon songs are illegally downloaded illegally across the world everyday.

However, the music industry is responding not with a single strategy, but with a multi-pronged approach. The approach consists of: consumer education on copyright and the value of music; working with law enforcement agencies to tackle online piracy; litigation against online pirate services; and engaging with policymakers and legislators. A lot of people are wondering, however, will this affect anything? With technology advancing everyday, it may already be to late to stop piracy.

Advancements in technology also means that hard copies of music are no longer a necessity. We went from days of having to physically go into a store and buy CDs, to simply logging into our music stores on our devices and purchase only the songs we want. There is now no need to ask a friend to borrow their CD or mix tape. We can easily put all the songs onto a flash drive or simply send them the songs. CNN Money claims that the music industry’s sales have been cut in half in the past 16 years due to the loss of need to buy CDs. Music labels are also being paid much faster due to iTunes and other legal music sellers.

The music industry has also greatly helped the music industry. With all the new apps that stream music over Wi-Fi, people are beginning to discover new music, as well as fall in love with new songs and artists. This is causing people to buy more music, as well as look further into new artists and genres. TechCrunch shows that over 7,002,585 songs are downloaded off of iTunes across the world daily. With all the new technology and social media sites, artists and producers can also get their name out there easier, thus making the music industry money.

The internet is not only affecting the music industry, but also singers, song writers, producers, tour managers, practically anyone who works in the music business. RIAA says that, 71,060 U.S. jobs and $2.7 billion in workers earnings are being lost due to the music industry’s decline. Artist House Music says that bands and singers use to have three main income sources. Touring was the first main source of income. This included ticket sales and merchandise such as T-shirts and posters. Second was their record sale, and third was publishing.

Now, those three things still exist and are still important, but there are many new things as well. They now use ringtones, music videos, and interviews to get people interested in their music and to get paid. The Internet is both affecting the music industry’s workers positively and negatively.

With all the new things listed above helping to make music employees more successful, there are also downsides. With almost everyone on a form of social media, it is becoming relatively easy for artists and other music workers to ruin each other’s careers. People now have access to your past, criminal records, and many more personal things about you. This is affecting everyone in the music industry because it is making it more difficult for artists and other employees to stay under the radar when not recording or on tour, thus causing them to never have a break from their career.

With all that is going on in the music world, what will it be like in the future? Going a little off of topic, sources say that in ten years, many people will not care about owning music. Why is this? This is because music prices are expected to increase in price over the next decade, making it harder for people to just buy songs whenever they hear them.

Many people have also said they do not care about release dates anymore. For every true fan, release dates have always been of importance. It used to be amazing learning about the new release date of your favorite artist, saving money, and waiting until that date came around. How could anyone not care about that? Here’s how. People believe that music is all about discovery now days, and although I agree, I disagree with their logic that major record labels will no longer run the music business a decade from now. Since the beginning of music record companies have always ran the music business, and I hope that that continues. Can you imagine music ran by businessmen who know nothing about music? Now back to the topic.

With this new era, it is easy to see that nothing is the same when the Internet is involved, especially the music industry. As they continue to fight piracy and illegal downloads, we will be watching how they are doing. If the music industry can just keep up with all of the new technology trends, it will be amazing to see how they fight what is coming next. With all the ways the Internet has affected the music industry, it will also be fairly interesting to see if they can keep up with the trends, as well as increase their earnings.

This article was originally posted on Medium. You can read all of Bridie’s posts on Medium.

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