The Effects of the Internet on the Music Industry
Before the introduction of the internet, the music industry was way more different. To hear your favorite songs, you would have to drive all the way to the music store to buy your favorite CD, or wait for the song to come on the radio. These days, hours of streaming and downloading music is available at your fingertips and your favorite songs, artists, and albums are just a click away. However, there have also been some negative effects as well, such as the illegal downloading and sharing of music. Because of this, the internet has led to a new source of obtaining music while also leading to negative effects on the careers of music artists all over the world. One of the most notable changes that the internet has caused is the new ways of distributing music.
Instead of buying music from a music store, consumers may now buy their music online. Now that music is so easily obtainable, it is easier for people to share music and illegally download it for free. And that brings up the issue of free music. The decision of whether or not to have their song available for free download is completely up to the artist. The effects can be positive because the artist’s work is being spread around and it helps them gain fans and popularity.
However, the artist is losing money because many people are getting access to their songs without paying and they are losing money that they would have gotten if they had sold it instead. Nowadays, downloading songs isn’t the only way to listen to music. Today we have streaming services, such as Spotify and Pandora, that allow us to listen to music whenever we want for hours at a time all for free. People are now streaming their music instead of actually purchasing it. Because of this, the industry has become half of its worth. Album sales and track downloads from online sources have fallen since then as well.
Every time a song is streamed, only a tiny fraction of the money made goes to the record company and is then divided even further to pay the songwriter, publishers, and performers. One example of an artist refusing to put their songs on streaming services is Taylor Swift. Her songs are not on Spotify and she did not allow Apple Music to stream her music for free. One of the biggest things the internet has given us is social media.
New artists can now be discovered online and they now have another place to share music. As a result of social media being such a huge part of our lives, an artist’s success now no longer depends on how much money they make, but instead how big their fan base is. Not only has social media allowed artists to share their work, but it has also been one of the biggest factors when it comes to signing new artists. Companies now look at the popularity of an artist has before signing them using their social media. However, record labels are not entirely necessary for one’s success.
Although it is more difficult to have widespread popularity, you can still become famous just by using the internet and promoting yourself. Not to mention that not all music artists are discovered online. Some of these artists would not be as popular as they are today without the help of the internet and social media. As briefly mentioned before, the internet has impacted the careers of music artists. However, they must choose between which they value more: fame or money. The path that their career takes is completely up to the artist; they may choose to use the internet to their advantage or not but the internet has undeniably affected the careers of popular music artists that we know today.
How does this affect us? The internet has obviously changed the music industry, but how will this affect us, the consumers? Well for starters the cost of music decreased. And since CDs are not selling as well as they used to and everyone is buying their music online, perhaps CDs will be completely discarded as buying music online takes over. The main audience of the music industry are teenagers. Today teenagers are obsessed with new technology and are always seeming to want the latest and greatest. One of those new technology devices are smartphones. Smartphones have the ability to store and play music, which increases the demand for music even more, especially now that you can have access to it anywhere just with the touch of your fingertips.
This is another reason why buying music online is beginning to replace buying physical copies. As you may have already concluded, more ways of getting music and having negative effects on the careers of music artists are all effects of the internet on the music industry. I believe the effects are positive because we can now listen to songs for free and new artists may be discovered. However, the tremendous loss of money this industry has encountered will only continue to grow if these issues aren’t resolved. Perhaps it is time that all artists pull a Taylor Swift and withdraw their songs from streaming services and save this failing industry.