The music industry has changed drastically in the past decades. With the emergence of the internet and the piracy community that came with it, production companies and artists have suffered major losses in retail.
However, not everything the internet brought was bad for the industry. New voices were heard that would have never been able to spread their music into the world. This makes the internet a sort of a double edged sword for the music industry. On the one hand, it provides a great opportunity for promoting and selling music, while on the other hand it gives piracy communities the chance to illegally download their products for free.
Before the internet
Once upon a time when the internet wasn’t open to the public yet, the music industry made a lot of money by selling the records of artists in the form of physical media. The normal development of someone’s career had a lot to do with self-promoting in the form of gigs and concerts.
Production companies picked and chose the artist they felt would get a lot of attention and thus provide a great opportunity to sell as much records as possible. The normal flow of things before the internet, depended largely on the ability of the executives at the production companies to choose something that would be good and well received in the public.
Music videos and internet
When MTV launched, the music industry had a new outlet where they could promote their artists. Music videos were a big trend and became even a bigger phenomenon with the introduction of faster internet speeds and YouTube in particular.
Combine this with digital home recording enabling artists to shoot music videos without the need of a major production studio, and you’ll get the atmosphere we have today.
Record labels are still huge
However, even today artists seek the support of record labels to enhance their place in showbiz. Yes, the internet gave the artists the ability to get their music out there, but the record labels are still hugely responsible for the current mainstream music market.
What the internet has done is it made the industry a bit more democratic. If, for example, you were to write a song and produce it in your home studio and it became a hit in the music community, you are certainly going to get an offer from some record label that wants to represent you. Whereas, if you were a musician two decades ago, it would be a lot harder to have a following.
Live concerts are the key
Since piracy is huge today despite copyright laws being taken extremely seriously by the authorities, many artists and labels are focusing on live concerts. If you’re an artist today, there is still money to be made off of your record sales alone, but the trend nowadays is having good live performances. We live in a very exciting age where we can witness some of the finest performances and that’s certainly something to look forward to in the future of this industry.