MUSIC INDUSTRY IN THE INTERNET ERA

HOW MUSIC INDUSTRY CHANGED

Nowadays, music looks nothing like it used to be in the past; from technology to marketing, the music market has evolved spectacularly.

In hindsight, the most remarkable changes have been fast-tracked in the last two decades, bringing a new perspective to the popular music industry.

TECHNOLOGY

From the first records to internet streaming, technology has been a disruptive force in the music field. By bringing new challenges and pushing forward, tech has paved the way for a new paradigm.

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The Evolution of Musical Tools

Source: University of Florida

One of the key milestones of the musical revolution was the launch of the iPod in 2001, as it changed the industry forever.

As a matter of fact, this enhanced business model is challenging and promising at the same time.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media has played a relevant role in the publication and promotion of music to the extent that we can’t conceive the actual industry without it.

Indeed, the different social media platforms have been game changers by making the music (and the musicians) more approachable:

  • Facebook: the platform has decided to enhance its business model by signing new deals with Warner Music Group, Universal Music, and Sony, among others. These agreements will allow the users to upload videos featuring music legally.
  • Twitter: it has attempted several (not so successful) partnerships with music labels and streaming platforms; at present, its most valued asset is live streaming of concerts, events and shows.
  • Instagram: there are some new features on the way (musical stickers), thanks to Spotify integration.
  • Snapchat: Shazam and Crowd Surf integrations make this app an ideal resource for music lovers. Furthermore, snapchatters spend 31% more on music related items than the average user.
  • YouTube: it’s indeed the king of music sharing, a blessing to fans but a challenge to creators. The new YouTube Music service is yet another alternative to other popular streaming services.


As for the income, crowdfunding has become a new way for the artists and bands to launch their new projects.

Another positive factor in the mix was upcoming of mobile payment technology, that has simplified the merchandising strategy.

Moreover, platforms like Patreon play an important role, allowing creators to profit from their music and videos.

 

Patreon Music Statistics: Graphs + Analysis

Graphs, statistics, and analysis of Patreon Music. Updated daily.

Source: Graphtreon.com

SOME EXAMPLES (PAST AND PRESENT)

Napster (and file sharing) was all the rage back in the early 2000s: it was initially launched as a peer-to-peer service. Today, the service has been rebranded as an online music service.

From there, other sites like The Pirate Bay, Rapidshare and Megaupload took over, facing a backlash from the companies and musicians.

Later, legal streaming became popular thanks to the popular online radio Pandora. This trend soon evolved bringing other competitors like Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Music.

A special case is MySpace Music, founded back in 2008 as a joint venture between the MySpace social network and four record labels.

WHAT’S NEW IN MUSIC INDUSTRY

When it comes to music, not everything is bright and sunny on the internet land. There are some ongoing legal issues that will determine the future of the industry.

It’s hard to imagine where we are going from here, as technology resources are growing exponentially every year. However, we can be playful and use the imagination to picture a near future where voice assistants, artificial intelligence and virtual reality play a remarkable role. Furthermore, media and promotion should be refined and enhanced: as so many are looking for attention, not only they have to be clever but also inspirational.

Nevertheless, there are many success stories as internet and social media are the perfect environment for the musicians to play, experiment and interact with their fans and followers.

For any professional musician or just aficionado interested in exploring new trends, there are quite a few suitable platforms on the internet realm:

  • Soundcloud: perfect for sharing, monetizing, and getting feedback from other musicians.
  • Sonicbids: exclusive for musicians interested in advancing their careers.
  • Reverbnation: it offers much more than the average options by helping musicians to contact labels and find venues.
  • Bandzoogle: an ideal all-in-one platform for creating a website with a blog, mailing list and social media integrations.
  • Bandcamp: user-friendly and easily integrated with Bandzoogle.
  • Brandsintown: the ideal tool for tracking favourites and discovering new music.
  • Noisetrade: highly engaged community, perfect for building a fan base.
  • Resonate: it’s an innovative streaming platform based in Berlin that uses blockchain technology.
  • Opus: decentralized music sharing platform built on Ethereum and IPFS.

BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES

Musical marketing in the internet era is not an easy matter. As usual, there are pros and cons to this new business model.

On the one hand, the upcoming of the internet has facilitated distribution, promotion, and sales in the music industry.

On the other hand, algorithms (although useful) are somewhat restrictive and their use might take a toll on creativity. Besides, touring is still expensive for the bands, and fame without real value is not a rare phenomenon on the internet.

In any case, the music industry is changed forever and it won’t be long until artists, labels and users find new and inventive ways to produce, share and listen to music. Click To Tweet
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