There has already been seen such a tremendous change over the years in the ways we access music. Music distribution has technologically advanced from vinyl records, to 8-tracks, to audiocassettes, to compact discs, to digital downloads. Digital recordings of music have become easily accessible to everyone. With more technologies being invented, the music industry will continue to change over time.
There have been several behavioral shifts in consumer attitudes and the digital transformation of the marketplace creates challenges for recording companies. I live in a generation who grew up buying CD’s and now listen to music through the headphones of their smart phones and mp3 players. These digital music players have continued to amaze me as they increase in storage yet shrink in size, like the .34’’x1.14’’x1.24’’ iPod Shuffle with a total weight of .44 of an ounce. The future designs of music players will increase in quality and in storage with the ability to decrease in size. Current technology is geared to improve convenience for consumers and is popularly accessed using one hand. For teens living in this generation, instant gratification holds great importance. Living in a digital era, teens are used to and expect immediate results. The societal “norm” is that teens are continuously connected to the world through the use of their smart phones. The smart technology phone has revolutionized every teenager’s world. A smart phone is a hybrid technology. It is a radio, telephone, basic computer, clock, camera, and many more, all converged into one technology. It allows the users whole life to be mobile. Their world can travel with them day-in and day-out right in their pocket. However, aside from the convenience of this technology, it has created a cyber realm that combines all the users apps into one place and has created a user-dependency.
Accessing music versus owning music are two different kinds of business models that are both being used by consumers today. These two concepts are on opposite ends of the spectrum. With physical medias, revenue always followed. Recording Companies produced, sold, and distributed a physical format that was immediately bought and compensated for. It is more complicated when it comes to digital forms, whether music is streamed online or purchased and downloaded legally. Providers like Pandora and Spotify offer free access to free music through streaming and are funded mostly by advertisements. They also offer advertisement-free subscriptions for a set fee. Streaming is the process of accessing music online and allows consumers to listen to songs right from the provider but does not supply ownership. Digital downloads for ownership are purchased mainly from the top sales leader iTunes followed by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Online music stores and music providers both pay royalty fees to the recording companies whom produce the music.The one posing threat to the companies is illegal pirating of music.