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).
- Anderton C., Martin J. and Andrew D. (2013), Understanding the music industries. London: SAGE.
- Alan C. (2012). [online] Available at: https://econsultancy.com/blog/10275-the-future-of-digital-music-distribution-and-online-music-marketing
- Biermans, H. (c2007). The music industry: the practical guide to understanding the essentials. London: DSS.
- Sparrow, A. (2006). Peter Music distribution and the Internet: a legal guide for the music business. Aldershot: Gower.