The music industry has entirely changed from its traditional frameworkto a modern structure as a result of the Internet and changes in technology. TheInternet has connectedthe whole world,and this has a fundamental affect on the music industry in both a positive and negative way.
For example, music has become inexpensiveand available at any time thanks to digital file formats on the Internet. We no longer use tapes and CDs as containers for the music of our own choice. Some people argue that,with advances in digital reproduction, the music industry is suffering huge losses of income, while others claim the internetallows them additional revenue streams with an added bonus of reduced manufacturing costs. However, we cannot dispute the fact that the Internet has affected the sale of the music.
The Internetand associated technologies have created a number of software applications (apps) for free streaming of music. Classic examples of such apps include Napster and YouTube2MP3 (Zentner288).Theseenablethe download or streaming of music for free, or with a flat subscription fee. Thisleaves the producers of music with little or no return of income. Additionally, certain apps allow users todownload music illegally anywhere inthe world, further affecting music sales negatively.
With the rapid development of technology, many music fansno longerrequire music in a physical form,causing a significant reduction in the sales of CDs (Rob&Joel2009). Instead, the Internetprovideswebsites and apps for the purchase of music in digital form,whichischeaper and easily stored.Other markets affected by this change includethe sales of music playing devices such as CD and DVD players.
It is, however, true that the Internetalso has a positive impact on the music industry, simplifying many processes (Waldfogel715). With the advancement of technology, more aspects are becoming easy, cheap and accessible. For example, artistscan reduce spending on advertising and promotion.It is now easy to upload music on the Internet and attract a broader audience from aroundthe whole world(Hong297).
Whether one is a local or international artist, theInternetmakes it easier to communicate with musical fans. Artists can access an audience from all walks of life, promoting not only their recorded musicbut also their live performances, sometimes on a one-to-one basis with fans. This can be done easily through social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.
Moreartists now have the opportunity to perform internationally. Thanks to the internet’s global reach, access to music throughthe use of platforms such as YouTube is straightforward,creating fanbases in many countries,increasing the likelihood of an invitation to performabroadand allowing artists to earn vital live gig income (Zentner90). It is worth noting that manyartistsrely on live performancesto make a profit from their music. Also, with initiatives such YouTubeadvertising, an artistcan make additional incomedepending on the number of views they get on uploaded songs and videos.
The Internet should not be perceivedsolely as a problem creator, but also a problem solver. The smartmusic artist can take advantage of the Internet to make money through many innovative ideas. Technology and the Internet will keep advancing,and there is a need to react positively for the benefit of the music industry.Therefore artistes should look at the positive impacts of technology and learn to take advantage of them.