According to Wikipedia, digital music is the “technology that can be used to record, store, generate, manipulate and reproduce sound using audio signals.” These are embedded in a digital form.
Digital music has been developed since the 1970’s and has replaced analog studio technology greatly. Digital music has led to growth of music downloads because it is simpler for a music listener to download music straight away from sites like iTunes and Google Play, instead of going out to a shop to buy a hard copy like a cd. In some cases it is cheaper to buy digital downloads than by a cd or record but this can lead to a lot of copyright and piracy issues also.
A music download is simply the transferral of free or purchased music from a website to a user’s computer. Music downloads have become a lot more popular in recent years due to how easily accessible they are to people.
Digital music has become a larger and important part of the music business. Nielsen Holdings which is an American global information company, set out a report which stated music downloads made up 55.9% of all music sales in the United States in 2012. iTunes, which is the main online store for music downloading, made 1.1 billion dollars in revenue in 2011. This proves that digital music is a major asset in the music business.
In 1993, Rob Lord, Jeff Patterson and Jon Luini started up Internet Underground Music Archive, also known as IUMA. This was the Internet’s first free site which contained a music archive of downloadable songs, with a good quality sound. This was the start of digital music.
Ritmoteca.com, which was launched in 1998, was one of the first online mp3 stores. Similarly to iTunes, it would let its users listen to 30 seconds of a song or watch a part of a particular music video. Singles were sold for $0.99 and full albums were usually about $9.99. The download would come in an mp3 format. Sony, Universal, Warner and Bertelsmann signed a deal with Ritmoteca which gave rights for various artists like U2 and Jay Z to be digitally downloaded. The idea was mp3 files could be downloaded and then burned on a disc but mp3 music players began to become visible. Music downloads and players have become a lot more popular than cd’s and records because users can bring their music with them anywhere and listen to it on the go.
The following chart shows that from 2000 to 2010, cds being purchased has declined and online downloads have risen yet both mediums decline and rise in a pattern.
How digital music affects traditional channels
According to an article on Mashable.com by Todd Wasserman, in 2012, cds were more popular than music downloads. 193 million cds were sold compared to 118 million digitally downloaded albums. Cds and vinyl’s are still very much popular for many reasons. Cds nowadays sometimes have a better quality than a digital download. People may prefer to buy cds because of the album artwork and booklet inside the cd case. The whole...