There is no way you can overlook the slow but steady downfall of music industry. The decade long down-slide was kick started by arrival of online services like Napster and peer to peer apps. While the music industry did try to fight off the technology invasion with shield of copyright enforcement, it clearly did not cut much ice. Ever since Napster became popular with web users, record labels have lost 60% of their revenues, as per industry records.
The Real Situation of Hollywood
This may seem a little strange to some, especially when the decline of music industry is compared with Hollywood’s situation. While piracy remained a threat for movie industry too, the technological imitations have helped Hollywood to sustain and prosper. It is only in recent times that internet speed has reached unprecedented limits and cost of fast internet access has come down. This, compared with the fact, movie files tend to be much larger than music files, has acted in Hollywood’s favor to an extent. It is true that nowadays you can download near HD quality movie files that do not take up much space, but this was not possible even a few years back.
The reality is that the music industry needs a different strategy than relying solely on copyright shield to thwart its steady decline. Owing to technological limits, music files sizes will be smaller and unloading and downloading them will be easier. As a matter of fact, possibilities of getting caught while illegally downloading and sharing music online is minimal. However, piracy does not necessarily mean end of earning revenues from music. Using some effective strategies the music industry can fight back and turn the tide to its favor.
How to Deal with this Situation
One way to cope with declining sales of records and rampant illegal download of tracks is focusing more on performance than product. Products are always easier to copy but this is not true about performances. It may be easy to steal the hit recipe of a famous restaurant but recreating the ambience or service nuances is next to impossible. Given the fact that millions of people are still addicted to live music performances and concerts than listening to tracks at home, music industry needs to use it to their advantage. While concerts or music shows cannot replace record sales as mode of revenue, they can be used to complement the common means. Stressing on concerts which are hard to copy can turn the dwindling fortune of the industry.
The invasion of technology in music industry has changed the way it functions and given more accessibility options to listeners. Digital technology has made it possible to produce and share music at lower price points. When there was no web and social media, the major labels ruled the roost and listeners had hardly any choice than complying with their strategies and methods. It made some singers very famous while a lot of talented crooners remained deprived and underrated.
While big music stars are still in the horizon and their popularity continues, it is impossible not to notice rise of the middle class artist- singers, who can manage everything related to their music. The need to rely solely on music labels is less posing as it is. These emerging bands and artists are using the popular social media platforms, especially YouTube to promote their creation and reach out to target audience fast. Social media and online fan base have paved way for stars like J. Cole, Mac Miller and many others and helped them build music career quickly. By harnessing the power and reach of social media, singers and music artists can promote their creation, keep interaction with fans alive and find newer ways of earning revenues.