Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The music industry

For the last decade now, the music industry has begun facing a huge online revolution which is fast becoming a huge problem for the big record companies. Artists and bands are using something known as viral marketing as a way of informing, communicating and selling their music to their fans. For example, the duo Nizlopi hit a world wide phenoma with their track 'The JCB song' which started off in an email to just 20 people. These people would then show the song to their friends, it was placed online and extremely quickly sent around the world. The track cost the boys very little and went on to be in the top 10 songs of that year, yet Nizlopi were told by a record label that this song would never sell but they continued to believe it would, so ignoring the record companies and thanks to the internet it meant they did not need a huge marketing machine and went on to sell half a million copies of the track on their own label, 'FDM'.
There any many other artists and bands that also use viral marketing and is a massive key to their success. Gnarls Barkley's single 'crazy' was the first ever single to hit number 1 on internet downloads alone. Mick Hucknall from Simply Red has recently used the internet to start up his own record label 'simplyred.com' and back in 1994 created his own website which helped begin this entire revolution.

Many artists find that the internet is a massive way to keep them independent and more intimate with their fans, more often now artists do not want to be a part of a record label and want to 'go at it alone'. The Artic Monkeys a group from Sheffield found their fame through viral advertising and created their first CD, a demo sound track consisting of 17 songs and was released under the name of 'The Broadwalk'. The band copied a number of these CDs and gave them away to fans at gigs, these quickly made it onto the internet and were promptly 'file-shared' amongst fans. As the first sender shared the album they wanted to classify the CD and it was named 'Beneath the Boardwalk'.
The band got offers from various record labels but rejected each and everyone of them, refusing to change their 'sound' and 'look' but in 2005 they joint record company 'Domino' which was ran from the owners flat. They were attracted to the 'DIY ethic' and wouldn't change for anyone.

The internet is threatening to overturn the classical ways of signing artists and buying music, for example, people are more often than not searching online for websites by which they can download their favourite tracks for free. It is quick, easier and cheaper than going into a store to buy albums. Who wants to buy an entire album if they only want a few tracks off it? The music industry is in a huge circle the more they try to keep up with the internet and illegal downloading the further away they get. New websites are being made all the time and the big record companies and finding it almost impossible to stop it. The majority of people now download illegally and very unlikely to go back to buying from stores. But there is no reason why the music industry cannot embrace this revolution and work with it. If they continue to sue they are then unable to channel these opportunities in a positive way. If they can challenge the pirates to create easier ways about downloading tracks they can win over the consumers.

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