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The Music Industry and Convergence
March 18, 2009, 1:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today’s lecture consisted of how convergence can impact the music industry. Due to the recent increase in downloaded music, not just from legal sites such as ITunes and Amazon, but also from illegal sources such as limewire, bit-torrents and Morpheus. Due to this the sale rates of music CD’s have plummeted over the past few years, leaving music sales companies such as Virgin, Zavvi and others, closing down.

The new advancements of the internet have started to enable the downloading of music files and albums over the internet, with such advancements as broadband and now, high speed broadband, it means that consumers can now download music files within a few minutes, therefore decreasing the time compared to going out to the shops and taking a long time over getting a particular album.

The main share of album sales now is actually via the use of downloads, this could be because of the ease of getting hold of an album, but not only that it could be because of the vastly low prices, if you were to go into a music shop to buy an album, it could cost up to £13, whereas if you were to download it from ITunes, it would cost around half the price at £7.99, also, in stores you have to buy the full album, whereas for downloads, you can pick and choose your songs, for a slightly higher price per song than it would be for each song together in the full album.

The most successul online legal download business

ITunes - The most successul online legal download business

However one big flaw in the internet for the music industry is that of illegal downloads. The internet can be so easily exploited to use peer-to-peer downloads, this means that millions of people, practically anyone who has access to the internet, can access music and video downloads for free. This is a huge problem for the music industry to combat because so many people do this, it would be stupid to prosecute every person that has downloaded music illegally and also due to internet privacy rights, it is also extremely hard to catch the offenders, IP masks, proxy servers and many more add-on’s also make it extremely hard to pin point the offender, this therefore leaves the record labels at a huge loss.

Arguably, the most successful company to come from online downloads is that of Apple ITunes and their online store, many record labels have sufficed to break Apple’s Monopoly on music downloads, such as Amazon and play.com, however to this date, none have succeeded, I feel that for the music labels to carry on being successful, they will need to work with the internet and in turn rely on it heavily for its main source of capital.

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