Music is increasingly being downloaded or streamed to PCs, MP3 players or mobile phones, rather than purchased in a physical format. In an era where everything is consumed on a casual and temporary basis, this may spell the end for CDs and is also the hub of a global debate on piracy.
So what do consumers really prefer? And more importantly, are they obtaining music legally?
– Streaming music the new radio;
– Music pirates are not all bad;
– Music is the tune of life;
– Demise of the humble neighbourhood record shops.
The main barrier to the growth of digital downloading will be music piracy, but a solution to this may lie in free, legal music streaming sites, such as Spotify and We7. This type of site allows users to stream and listen to music for free on any device, without actually downloading and keeping it. If they like the music enough they may be motivated to buy the physical album or download legally; If you are a musician, you might start to wonder how you should cope with changes in the music industry. Nobody knows you exist, so seek out publicity. Until a dedicated service emerges for sharing music, resembling Twitter or Delicious, artists and labels should use blogs and widgets to attract as many people as possible. Give away your music and sell merchandise around it. Build a brand around your music.