Technology is one of the greatest developments of our time, and it has greatly impacted the music industry. Initially artists made money from record sales, album sales, and touring. Bands like Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, The Who, The Beatles, etc were global icons and representatives of their own music.
Just take those old records off the shelf
Before the age of digital media, fans would have to purchase the vinyl record or album to listen to music. You could walk into a music store, browse your selection of choices, and walk away with some great tunes. These albums and records were of great quality sound, but lacked the ability of easy transportation for personal use.
Music on the move
As the early 90’s approached, artists were able to utilize CDs and smaller vehicles of music playback such as Walkmen or CD Players. Tis allowed the listener to simply pop in a Cassette or Compact Disc, and listen to their music on the move. It was also during this period, that auto manufacturerers started installing cassette players and CD players into their cars as a standard or optional choice. This would allow music to become the primary source of long road trips, “stuck in traffic on the way to work” entertainment, and much more. Artists in the music industry could now rapidly expand their reach and musical influence very quickly, especially independently.
As the 90’s became the early 2000’s we saw an upward trend in music going micro, or completely digital. Sites and software like LimeWire and Napster allowed end users to stream and directly download music to a users computer, for FREE. This allowed the masses to consume music incredibly quickly and with little to no barriers. After free downloading and these services got slapped on the wrist, and many shut down, for copyright infringements / intellectual property lawsuits the industry was at a stand still. How would you continue to charge consumers for a good they could still access for free (with a little know how and tech tricks)?
The iTunes / YouTube Era
After any long battles over piracy and streaming music, we are left with a few choices; streaming websites, advertisement-based streaming, and paying for music. Some websites, such as Vimeo, YouTube, Soundcloud, Deezer and others allow the user to stream music for free, but charge for certain premium features. Other ad-based sites promote and make available new music to their fans, while monetizing through a third party advertiser or agency. Then there are the iTunes and Amazon websites (and many more) that allow you to download music (normally $.99 – $1.29) and music videos (normally $1.29 – $1.99).
Technology has completely changed the way we listen to music, the way we purchase music, and it some ways changed music itself. So here’s to the continuation and further achievements of music and tech together!