The current state of the music business is disappointing, yet progressive.
It’s extremely interesting the way it has morphed and continues to do so. The
switch to digital music has brought about a new era which affects all aspects of
the business. There are varying opinions on whether the business has improved
or declined, but the one thing that holds true is the fact that it is changing and
the future of music will form before our eyes. It’s quite clear that there are
advantages and disadvantages regarding the current industry, but is it the same
as it used to be?
The frequently used statement “back in the day” commonly refers to an older
time where things were different. Often grandparents use it explaining life in the
40’s and 50’s. In the music industry however, the statement “back in the day”
refers to a time before itunes. It refers to a time before digital music. It could
refer to the days in the 90’s when people would line up outside of Tower
Records waiting for that new album or single to drop. Of course the music
industry changed during the evolution of the LP, 8 track, cassette, and cd, but
none of these changes came close to the switch to digital music. Some say that
itunes is saving the music world. Others say they are ruining it. If itunes were
the only means of obtaining music, it would make the industry a lot less
complicated. Unfortunately there are those pesky little websites that have been
popping up for years such as Limewire or Kazaa, which provide free/illegal
downloads to pretty much any song or video the guest desires. There is no
telling what kind of revenue artists have missed out on due to these bootleg sites,
as millions are stealing their music. It is not exactly a secret that if a person had
the option to either pay for an album or song, or download it for free, the majority
of listeners would choose free. Peer to peer file sharing sites themselves are not illegal,
they are simply the means by which people share files of which they do not have
the rights to. Websites such as Free Napster provide full length songs with the
ability to purchase, but not download. As previously stated, itunes is the largest
source for digital music in the country, and there are no signs of them slowing
As of February 24th 2010, itunes had sold 10 billion songs. “According to a
news report from market research firm NPD, Apple’s itunes Store leads all digital
retailers in music sales, capturing 69 percent of the market. Looking strictly at
the digital music market, Apple’s itunes captured 69 percent of the market in the
first half of 2009. Amazon came in second place with eight percent of the market.
Looking at all music sold, Apple continues to lead with 25 percent of the market.
Apple’s market share is based on unit volumes of music sold at retail and
includes both physical CDs and paid digital downloads.” Itunes sales are also
affected by their...