Music Industry and Technology
=> In all industries, technology plays an important role in increasing the competitiveness of business entities. In the music industry, it increases cost-effectiveness while at the same time enhancing the capacity of the industry players to reach global consumers more effectively. Through technological platforms such as iTunes, consumers have a wide variety of choice for their preferred music. They also have easier access to music at low costs. Amid these benefits, technology also presents some challenges to the music industry across the globe. This paper discusses how technology influences the music industry.
Positive Effects of Technology on the Music Industry:
=> MP3 constitutes one of the technological developments, which completely changed the music industry. Jones reveals how it permitted artists to acquire higher revenues, expand consumer music selection, and/or ensure consumers obtain music more cheaply.These benefits were astounding. Through the MP3 technology, people acquired a means of creating new music formats. It also eliminated huge amounts of manufacturing and shipping costs of the recorded music.
=> Technology permits people to exchange music without incorporating intermediaries (record stores). Hence, through the MP3 technology, artists could sell their music at cheaper prices to reach a large number of customers. Through MP3, traditional music labels also became unnecessary. This situation reduced production costs. Moreau suggests that through the MP3 technology, “music could remain available for longer periods because there would be no labor, storage, manufacturing, or cataloging cost.
=> This finding suggests an increasing trend in online music compared to recorded music due to technological developments. Through new media platforms such as Spotify, artists can now avail their music for live streaming. This platform minimizes the cost of music recording and logistics that are involved in the distribution to all customers.
=>In the music industry, promotion is an important strategy for increasing sales volume. Through new media technologies, artists can now take the advantage of viral marketing, which minimizes promotional costs of music compared to using traditional media, especially TV and radio. Viral marketing involves advertising through unpaid internet-based platforms for sharing advertisement information between people who are connected through one or different social media platforms.
Negative effects of Technology on the Music Industry:
=> Piracy is a common problem that artists encounter. Without the appropriate legislation and regulations, technology can create loopholes with which people breach patent laws. Moreau reveals how “MP3 technology poses a significant threat to the way both artists and their labels do business”. The MP3 technology enables people to make copies of music with a sound that almost resembles the original copy in terms of perfection. It permits people to duplicate music labels in an effort to offer them for mass consumption in an internet environment. These pirated materials erode patent laws.
=>The internet has now completely altered the music industry. Before its wide application in the music industry, almost every person gained access to the web. The music industry relied heavily on CDs and cassettes to share music. People could not copy music in these devices. However, with the emergence of MP3 technology, copying and storage of CDs became possible. Technology developments have made hardcopy music insignificant. One can easily borrow a CD from a friend, copy it to a personal computer, and return it to the original owner. With the soft copy of the CD, it becomes possible to share it with virtually everybody around the globe via the internet and social media platforms.
=> The emergence of social media networking applications has taken the negative effects of technology on music industry a notch higher. For example, with MySpace, people can follow artists to gain information on their latest release. With YouTube, people do not depend on TV stations or DVD players to watch any music. With the internet connection, Pandora and Spotify (streaming services) permit people to use the internet to watch music anywhere across the globe. When they are utilized properly, these technologies are important in helping to reach mass consumers. However, the abuse of the copyright of artists in a technological world is commonplace.
=> Through technology, people have increased access to music of different genre. Technology has other positive impacts on the music industry. It eliminates manufacturing, cataloging, and promotional costs that are associated with music production. Artists can also increase their distribution rates across the world in a very short time. However, technology has led to a breach of copyright through piracy. Although general logic reveals how the increased distribution has translated to increased revenues, especially upon the elimination of manufacturing and cataloging costs, the onset of technologies such as iTunes has led to decreased revenues in the music industry.