MUSIC INDUSTRY 9
Global revolution in the music industry
Technology and marketing dynamics influences on the industry
Effects on Cd sales and downloads
Increased online streaming affecting the artists’ revenue and business models
Global decline in Cd sales and downloads
Changing consumer behaviors
Technology firms such as YouTube and Spotify offering the online streaming services
The future of music industry in the face of technology
Alternative approaches for artists to generate more income
No cause for alarm among the music player, particularly artists
Online streaming to dominate the market in future
Formulation of appropriate policies by the industry players
Theperiod following the industrial revolution saw commercialization ofmany sectors of the economy. What is worth noting is theentertainment industry more so the music subset. Music has since thenshifted from its traditional role and has become an importantincome-generating economic activity. However, various changes haveoccurred in the evolution of music from production, distribution andquality. The internet and information systems have played asignificant role in ensuring that music is where it is today.Initially, the artist could not have a way to record songs and couldperform live. Then came the low technology of recording songs inmagnetic tapes that were expensive and realized low-quality songs.The compact disk era followed which in a way improved the quality ofthe song. The video technology enabled merging the audio and thevideo to improve customer satisfaction. The quality of cameras hasalso continued to improve on the higher definition aspects enablingviewers to enjoy very high-quality music products. Distribution ofmusic has been enhanced through the internet platforms. In general,music has evolved from the lower quality and expensive to the currentcheaper and higher quality products.
Marketingand distribution of music are perhaps the greatest revolutions thathave affected the music industry. The internet has made it possiblefor the artist to by-pass the traditionalized standard ofdissemination and distribution of music to the customers. Before theinternet age, music distribution was owned and controlled by fewcartels. Instead, smaller and emerging artist can directly availtheir music to the consumers for consideration. These major recordlabels failed to consider upcoming artist because their prospects ofgenerating huge revenue were limited. Each artist can marketthemselves without the need for a middle agency that may potentiallyaffect the flow of music to the consumers. Technology has positivelyaffected the market of music because it span a wide geographical areaand to be specific, and it operates on a global scale (Wikström,2013).
Despiteall these factors, the technology has brought another challenge tothe artist. Many artists have realized decreased sales in their musicproducts through the CDs albums. This has been attributed to thedecreased cost of access to music products through the internet. Thishas negatively affected the artist and has been reducing theirmotivation. So, as an artist continue to enjoy the benefits broughtabout by the technology changes and advancement, it is also necessaryto note that they have been hit hard regarding revenues generation.Consumers are rational in their spending and despite their love for aparticular artist products, they would always go for the cheaperoption. In some cases, the artist only can recoup their initial costbefore the music get flooded on the internet. Consumers prefer toaccess the music on the internet that can be remotely done to theirconvenience. Furthermore, it is cheaper and of high quality comparedto purchasing CDs from official distributors. Technology has beenus3eful in improving the quality of the music but on the other side,it have had its part in revenue decrease as illustrated (Leyshon,2001).
Atrend is emerging in the music industry where artists are claimingthe sector is falling. Issues such as under-pay, loss of income, andtechnology are influencing the concern. There is a decline in CDsales due to online streaming via platforms such as YouTube.Essentially, the music industry contributes billions of dollars tothe global economy. The question remains whether the artists shouldget worried about the decline and if they need to embrace thechanging dynamics. According to the Billboard Magazine, the industryhas suffered a significant decline in sales since the introduction ofonline streaming. iTunes reported a decrease of about 5.7 percent in2013(Owsinski, 2014).Other firms selling digital music have also pointed a finger for thedecrease at the online streaming as the primary reason for thedecline. Reports indicate that the income from the online streamingis on the increase. One thing that has come out clearly is that albumsales are not fetching enough money compared singles. Creativethinking and approaches by both the firms offering streaming servicesand music industry players will ensure that the artists will obtainmoderate income from their songs.
Technologyhas revolutionized the music industry, affecting both the marketshare and consumer behaviors. The revolution cannot be wished away,particularly on its effects on the music industry. Firms such asYouTube and Spotify have platforms that enable online streaming. Inmost cases, the consumers do not pay for the music hence denying theartists a significant percentage of money. In the United States, forinstance, the quantity of songs streamed through YouTube, Spotify,YouTube, and Rhapsody increased by about 32 percent in 2013. It isalso not possible to specify the market share or popularity ofartists. The good news is that YouTube is in the process of creatinga paid streaming service. Ad-supported and subscription streamingrevenues will help the artists get a fair share of their musicrevenue. The fact is that we cannot phase out technology or alter theconsumer behavior as it is at the moment. Embracing technology andbetter business models will ensure the artists do not worry about thecurrent trend in the industry (Parikh,1999).
Evenwith online streaming, digital music, and downloads contributessignificant revenue(Ingham, 2015).Downloads, for instance, provides over half of the digital revenues.Physicalformat sales are also generating significant income for the artistsduring events and gigs. Artists should also engage more liveperformances to drive the Compact Disks sales. Itis also notable that many people have entered into the industry. Thetrend has contributed to a high number of artists competing for theconsumers. Some upcoming artists, for instance, may find themselvesbeing underpaid. As such, artists need to generate quality songs thatwill meet the demands of the consumers. With the help from the firmsoffering streaming services, the artists will no longer complainabout being underpaid (Rogers, 2013).
Whatoptions now do the artist have? First of all. They have to appreciatethat the current trend in the world is that everything is beingconducted on the internet platform. Besides, change is inevitable,and they are called to dance to the same tune. The good news is thatthere are alternatives for income generation apart from the sale ofmusic. The musicians and artist have to be creative so that theyremain relevant in the industry. After commanding a huge fan basethat is clearly demonstrated by the number of views per video onYouTube for instance. Corporations and other business can use themfor their promotion services that fetch a significant amount ofmoney. Artist need not worry so much because the internet can provideother sources of revenue. For example, at one time Madonna, a famousqueen of pop was used by Pepsi to advertise their products. Otherartists who have commercialized their influence include Dr. Dre withhis famous "Beats by Dre" products. Other franchises havebeen associated with his product. The other creative aspects includestarting a cloth line for a leading music artist, and the fans may gocrazy in buying the clothes.
Consumersare also changing regarding needs and preference. During the CDs era,a bundle of music was available for sale. In this manner, Artistforce consumer to listen to music that they are to even interested,but with the online music platforms, the issue of albums have beeneliminated, and single songs are on the track. Consumers can listento what they want and at their own time. This is also a problemduring the live performance where the artist tries to introduce thenewer song by including them in collaboration with hit songs. Theconsumers are open and what they want is what is to be provided.Artists need to know the needs of the customers before producing thenext song. The encouraging thing is that the online streamingwebsites like YouTube have a feedback mechanism where the listenerscan place comments on their thought about the song. Musicians can,therefore, get feedback on the consumers take about their latestrelease and in the future can rectify.
Atrend is emerging in the industry where albums do not mean much tothe consumers. As such, most artists prefer to release a single song.Perhaps what the artists need to understand is the dynamics in theindustry. Strengthening the laws on piracy and online streamingshould also be used to protect the interests of the artists.Collaboration with the online streaming companies will also help ingenerating more income for the artists. Overall, the artists shouldnot worry about the decline. It is only that online streaming hasbecome as an alternative and easier method by the consumers. It isalso clear that the online platform will continue to dominate evenmore in the future. The artist also needs to walk in the same strideas the technology growth so that they are not left behind.
Alternativesources of income may come from hosting shows, and venturing in themedia shows as co-hosts. These musicians command a multitude offollowers, and if introduced to radio stations or television shows,they can lead to increased popularity for the shows. The media houseson their side compensate the artist handsomely. Other artists havefeatured in filmmaking and these include musicians Nicki Minaj andRihanna. This is a boost to their income because their fans may wantto see how they may perform. All in all, technology may have closedopportunities for the music industry players but in a way openedothers for the artist. It is upon the individuals to be innovativeand creative to take advantage of these opportunities and stopcomplaining about the reduced revenues. Change is inevitable, and allthey need to heed is the advantages presented by the technologicalevolution to satisfy the many needs of their customers.
Ingham,T. (2015). Globalrecord industry income drops below $15bn for first time in decades.Retrieved December 24, 2015, from Music Business Worldwide:http://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/global-record-industry-income-drops-below-15bn-for-first-time-in-history/
Leyshon,A. (2001). Time-space (and digital) compression: software formats,musical networks, and the reorganisation of the music industry.Environmentand Planning A,33(1),49-78.
Owsinski,B. (2014). TheNumbers Are In: Should The Be Worried?Retrieved November 24, 2015, fromhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/bobbyowsinski/2014/01/07/the-numbers-are-in-should-the-music-industry-be-worried/
Parikh,M. (1999). The music industry in the digital world: waves of changes.Institutefor Technology and Enterprise.
Rogers,J. (2013). Thedeath and life of the music industry in the digital age.New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
Wikström,P. (2013). Themusic industry: Music in the cloud.Polity.