How Digital Distribution Changed the Music Business


Digital distribution brought about radical and unprecedented changes in the music industry. It gave the industry a new dimension, a higher pedestal undated in the history of music.

From a time where records were the only source for music, to a time where tiny portable gadgets like mobile phone became the norm of the day, music has gone all the way from being secluded within a community or a nation and has crossed boundaries and all realms of enjoyment. The industry achieved a facelift with the advent of digital distribution. Now music is in the air wherever you go.

With this new technology of digital distribution, music could be ripped and compressed and sent over a network. This created a lot of audience for music even for unfamiliar languages. Music got lot of exposure in the digital world. The big danger of this technology was laid in the fact that it became advantageous to the end user, and saw the creators running helter- skelter for saving copy rights and their money. It paved way for newer innovations. Paradigms shift in business happened, new models emerged.

The frame work of music got entirely reversed. The musicians began promoting their music live, music labels encouraged musicians to open their own downloading stores. Earlier they had to depend on sales of record labels. Now release and sale of an album no longer lies in the hands of a label as artists can put out their albums with least upfront investment. Artists can directly market and promote their products. The musicians can make their own ecosystem, the fan followers. They will be directly related to their fans circle and will have a long standing relation with them. Artists remain no longer employees of any record labels; rather they have become a part of an online distribution chain. They can sell their music immediately without the backing of a record label.

The music business is transformed in to a service business. Music industry will longer sell service; rather it has allied with distribution service in the circulation of music through World Wide Web. Digital channel is cost effective to both the producer and the consumer, selling of Cds is no longer necessary and the path through which music reaches the end user is shortened. Online distributing sites acquire the right to distribute from sources, they are then sold via internet and consumer buys it online. It has transformed the functions of music business to simpler and easier way.

Ultimately the entire structure of the industry is moving towards a more artist and consumer friendly direction. It is no longer the monopoly of the record labels. And moreover there are options for consumers for choosing singles rather than buying the entire album containing 10 to 12 songs. Music has now become a digital asset for the producers, in digital format it can be replicated and redistributed any number of times without incurring any costs

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