Assaignment1-Blog1: The future of digital music distribution and online music marketing

Weekly Topic covered:

Music and Materiality,  Music Distribution and Consumption, Digital Music

For decades, the use of the internet has impacted on music distribution and consumption. It was clear that traditional models for music distribution were about to be overturned (Sparrow, 2006).The influential MIT economist Lester C. Thurow suggested that the crisis brought by the internet that happened in the music industry first. Therefore, it can be noticed that the global record industry has been actively involved in the digital music market in recent years. Digital distribution of music is an essential area that worth analyze and this area presents how people discover, purchase and make meaning from music, and how they order, share, and experience music (Anderton C., Martin J. and Andrew D., 2013). Online music stores which selling music to the public by using an online music distribution service which may be regard as brokers and also distribute music to numerous retail outlets such as major digital music download and subscription services, online CD retailers (Biermans, 2007).

The sales revenue of the physical music has declined because the digital music service spread extensively in music industry for the past decade. With the mobile networking devices gradually popularity, the ways that people listen to music have also been changing. According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) announcement (2012), the digital music revenues in the UK overtook those from physical formats which caught up with the US and China whose online digital music distribution were already taking the main role in revenue resources. Therefore, Music is not doomed, it is just that the way it is being consumed is changing. Nowadays, there are two ways of digital music consumption which refer to access and ownership, and both ways have important developments (Alan C., 2012). Music Access includes music steam services like Spotify or KKbox which provide people to listen to music without archiving it while music ownership while music ownership means people pay to download it for only once then own it forever which is similar to the old model of music consumption.

While website marketing is highly important to a successful e-commerce strategy (Sparrow, 2006), music distribution or label companies have to use the marketing strategies to stimulate customers’ desires of consuming. For instance, providing free downloads with low bitrate mp3s then hope that buys will end up paying for a high quality mp3,  but has to gate the content to get something from the downloader which might include social actions such as sharing and likes it on the facebook (Alan C., 2012). In fact, music as essential in social experience, and can even be regarded as a form of art or expressive ourselves, it is the niche of popular music business to use online music stores combined with a variety of internet application or network functions such as instant messaging, e-mail, BLOG, social media, and integrate the music distribution with mobile phones, MP3 Devices and other hardware so that users can enjoy the music by to show the value of self-sharing with the community.

I think that digital music has become the dominant way to listen to music. As the industry begins to get to grips with new technology we can expect to see musicians and record labels do a better job of marketing, distributing and monetising digital music online (Alan C., 2012).





2 thoughts on “Assaignment1-Blog1: The future of digital music distribution and online music marketing

  1. Considering this was the first of the five blogs, you’ve strung together an engaging argument, and with my own research into audio streamers, I agree that the music industry isn’t doomed, and instead it is simply evolving and adapting in the current climate. However, I feel like the majority of it stops and starts, with many different paths of thought coming across, whereas you might find yourself putting across a greater argument if you focus on one. You begin to talk about the internet’s role in the distribution and consumption of music, however you don’t bring in any material to considerably back it up. I’d suggest looking over and updating this with some of the work we learnt in Craig Hamilton’s lecture on Digital Music Consumption, particularly Burkart & McCourt (2006; 2014) and their notion of the celestial jukebox, and the way in which streamers have operated and evolved from that. I would build upon your argument that the music industry isn’t doomed by questioning the why and the how – why isn’t it doomed? Is it simply down to this new way of consuming music or are there other factors such as the rebirth of vinyl? Following that trail of thought, I would argue that it would be interesting to explore vinyl’s role in this debate, considering its recent upward trajectory.


    Burkart, P. and McCourt, T. (2006). Digital music wars. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Burkart, P. (2014). Music in the Cloud and the Digital Sublime. Popular Music and Society, 37(4), pp.393-407.

  2. You have covered the statistical aspects of the subject very well which strongly supports your arguments. I’d say i agree with you in the sense that the music industry is not going to die out due to the introduction of digital music sales. I believe that it is simply adapting to a different world where technology runs most aspects of the industry. However, you should try looking more in depth at one aspect of this debate rather than trying to cover the majority of the issues. The area i would recommend to expand on is how the industry has transitioned from physical sales to digital.

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