No one can argue the effects the internet have had on the global music industry over the last few decades. Before the advent of internet, to listen to your favorite artiste or songs, you will have to go to a music store and buy the CD or wait for it to be played on the radio. But all that have changed these days as one have access to hours of streaming and downloading of favorite songs and albums by favorite artiste.
One of the most important effect the internet has on the global music industry is in the way music is distributed. Music can easily be bought at online stores instead of having to walk into a physical music stores to get it. It is equally easy for artistes or those acting on their behalf to share music using the internet. This have made it possible for the artiste work to get to some many people in different countries within the shortest period of time and at cheaper cost. However, this also have its demerits as it has encouraged illegal downloads of songs thereby depriving the artistes and those involved in creating that music a substantial amount of revenue.
Streaming platforms like Spotify and Pandora have also changed the way we obtain and listen to our favorite songs. Due to the internet, songs can easily be streamed online and on the go. This help to spread the popularity of the song and the artiste but have reduced the revenue accrued to them. Music streamed through these streaming platforms are charged per stream and at a very small price. What this means is that the revenue that would be accrue from these platform depends on the number of streams. This can be good or bad depending on whether the music is widely accepted or not. If it IS not widely accepted, it will translate to lower revenue but if it is widely accepted, this might mean higher revenue. However, reports have shown that, in many cases, the revenue accrued to the artiste through these platforms are not always high compared to what the artiste would have gotten had it been distributed through the traditional channels. This is because the majority of the proceeds from these online streaming will go to the streaming platforms and a tiny fraction will then be given to the record company. This is further divided to pay all those involved in the work, such as the songwriter, publishers and subsequently the recording artiste.
Equally worthy of mention is the social media. Through the internet, social media have become a veritable tool for artistes to promote their songs and increase their fan base. Now, most companies look at artistes’ popularity in deciding to sign them and it would not be out of place to say that most of these artistes would not have been popular as they were today without the power of the internet and social media.