The Evolving Music Business

The music business is like the music it makes, it evolves and grows, adapting to the new products and technology that is available to them.  Although the music industry is in essence hasn’t change, how the business was fifteen years ago isn’t the same as it is today.  Although the consumers hunger for new music has never changed, how they want their music has.  Just by looking at the medium in which the music is delivered over the years shows proof of this change. 

The first delivery of music was in the form of records, flat black grooved disks that were read by a needle.  Then the invention of the 8 track tape that gave way to the cassette tape, who in turn gave way to the DVD and now the DVD, is starting to give way to electronic means like mp3’s.   These changes in format have sometimes been bountiful for the entertainment business as a whole or can nearly destroy it.

The music business was once run by the power of the record label.  Artist would sometimes do anything to get a record deal as the record labels held the power to make or break and artist onto the national scene.  This remains true even up until this day, but events in the industry have left some record companies struggling to make their ends meet.  The world introduced the internet and with the internet came file-sharing.  People had figured out how to rip their DVD’s to a digital format that would not loose any quality and share it everyone online.

Suddenly the record companies were faced with a serious dilemma, their profits on the sales of DVD’s dropped dramatically where they, the Artists and the music stores that sold these DVD’s were loosing money.  The consumer wanted their music and they wanted it for free and the internet and file sharing was a way for this to happen.  The consumer did not realize that the more songs they downloaded where they no longer went out to by DVD’s the lifeblood and money maker for the artist was being dwindled to nothing.  Pretty soon as long as the consumer shared music files, record companies, artist and music stores would go bankrupt and there would be no more music for these consumers to share.  Unbeknownst to the file-sharing consumer, that what they were doing was a copyright violation of use of the music.  Record companies had to fight back to force the stop of file sharing, they slapped a lawsuit on the file-sharing companies and went after individual file-share users with heavy fines for violating copyright laws.  The file sharing slowed allowing the record companies to scramble to find a solution to the internet.

What the music business failed to realize was the impact that the internet would have on music.  And because of the forced changes the music industry had to adapt and change.  With the help of copyright laws, record companies began contracting with internet companies authorizing them to sell downloads of their music for a fraction of the cost it would be to by an album.  Performing rights societies began enforcing and licensing rights for internet companies to stream their music on the internet, acts that prevented the music industry from collapsing from the rise of technology.

But as the record companies are still struggling to recover from the rise of the internet, artists have begun to look for alternative ways to make their income.  Promoters began to merge and create massive touring companies where they have begun to revolutionize how touring can be more profitable for the artist.  To the point where they have learned to maximize ticket sales along with marketing and product awareness to where the artist feels like they have the best contact with their fans.  Some mega artists are even abandoning their record labels and turning to these Promoting companies who have embraced the changes in technology to have their product and performances to reach the fans and consumers.

The music industry is evolving where even independent artists, those artists that do not have a record label can too market to the masses were it wasn’t possible before without the support of a large record label.  The internet has allowed their music to reach well beyond the boundaries of the cities that they live in.  By understanding how the industry works and how it is changing a band in today’s business has a chance to make it in the music business.

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