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How Technology is Transforming the Global Music Industry

Added 31 October 2019, 10:23 PM

Meta Description: Technology is changing the way we listen to music. Learn how technology is transforming the global music industry.

How Technology is Transforming the Global Music Industry

Technology is transforming almost every business and the music industry is no exception. From gambling online at casinos like Cosmic Spins to playing music on your smartphone, technology has radically changed everything.
In this article, we will take a look at the changes made by technology in the music industry.

Performance Across Different Formats

In the past 25 years, the global music industry has used a number of different distribution formats, such as Vinyl LPs, cassette albums, CD albums and digital streaming. Sales of cassettes peaked in the 90s with 529.6 units sold for $3.730 billion. Almost 1 billion compact disks were delivered in 1999 and their sales reached its apex the following year at $13.357 billion.

A variety of digital formats emerged after the climax of CDs in 1999. This change made for an exceedingly complex representation of the state of the industry. Permanent digital downloads seemed to have reached its pinnacle in 2012 and various forms of digital streaming and broadcasting services continued to increase. Sales from streaming and broadcasting services amounted to $1.867 billion in 2014. Interestingly, the older vinyl format made its comeback, going from 1.9 million units in 2007 to 13.7 million units in 2014.

Global recorded music revenues totalled $17.3 billion in 2017. The revenues rose 8.1% in 2016, one of the fastest growth rates the industry has seen since the start.

Digital Downloads – the New Format

With the increasing popularity of the internet in music distribution and consumption, digital music downloads have experienced tremendous growth. In 2005 alone, 366.9 million singles and 13.6 million albums were downloaded. This number grew to 1.2 billion singles and 117.6 million singles in 2014.

Despite the significant change, the industry continued to follow a portfolio structure with revenues being generated from a variety of sources. In 2017, revenues generated from physical and digital formats were 30% and 54% respectively. Performance rights accounted for 13% of revenue and synchronisation revenues were 0.3 billion in the same year.

The Evolving Market

Record companies are working to shape music’s transition for the benefit of listeners and music creators alike. Backed by the effort of record companies and aligned with constant technological innovation, music is consistently reaching more and more fans year after year. 2017 experienced 45.5% growth in paid subscription streaming and 176 million users subscribed for paid services in the same year.

The evolution of streaming has not been just embraced by the global music industry; it has been proactively driven by it. Growth in streaming is just one chapter of the music business story that is focused on maximising the opportunities offered by innovative technology. It has developed relations with the biggest and most forward-thinking companies, such as Warner Music and Sony Music.

Unlocking Social Media for Music

Nowhere is technology having more impact than on social media. Popular social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram are used by artists to target audience. Eventually, there will be a whole new level of user-generated content using licensed music and that can become a much bigger part of the music business. 

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