Accounting for the big plunge in “music sales”: the digital singles effect

I found an article that discusses how CD sales have rapidly decreased and the main reason for this is because of the increase in music downloads online. It also states that in comparison to last year the sales have gone down by 20%. As a result of this many music stores have been forced to close as there is no money being made.

“Last year the industry saw about $2 billion in revenues from online music sales, and nearly $800 million of that stemmed from single-track sales, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s report. That leads me to estimate that at least 40 percent of sales are singles, which means that this quarter we could see something in the range of 70 million “singles” sold digitally.” (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070321-accounting-for-the-big-plunge-in-music-sales-the-digital-singles-effect.html)Therefore also people seem to just purchase singles online rather than whole albums but why is this? I know that I would rather download singles as this way you are not stuck with tracks that you are not so fond of that usually are included within whole albums. You can simply pick and obtain your favourite songs by an artist instead. If you brought their singles on CD it can also be more expensive than purchasing it via downloading, plus downloading enables you to place all your favourite tracks/singles in one place. P2P file sharing is one of the internet’s technologies that is also put to blame for the decline of physical CD sales.

Add comment March 22, 2007 Michelle Field

8 Reasons why bands/labels should offer an MP3

This story states how important is for bands, record labels and PR agencies to realise how the internet has become a must for the distribution and consumption of music. It seems that some believe that by giving away an MP3 will have a negative impact on their business. However according to this article this is not the case, in fact it seems that this type of distribution can only aid business success. The story states 8 reasons for this; reputation, repeated listening, compatibility, The Hype Machine, in my car, music blogs, podbop and I –pods.  

MP3 blogs are becoming a popular way to promote music the search engine The Hype Machine indexes music blogs which have samples of the music individuals are interested in on them. The fact is that the search engine only indexes blogs that contain MP3’s. If you want to get known as an artist it is important to reach as many people as possible so MP3s are the way forward. 3Hive is a popular music blog.  I think another very important point made by this article is that IPods have 82.7% of the portable digital music (hard drive) player market and 62.2% of the overall music player market.” Therefore if you don not have your music available for MP3 download as a member of the music business you will be missing out on a large proportion of potential consumers. This is why it is so important to meet customer demand and keep up with the latest in technology.  MP3s allow for repeated listening other formats such as streaming prevent users form keeping the copy to listen to again. It is often the case that songs grow on people meaning they will not necessarily love a track on the first listening. Yes it could be the worry that they will feel the need not o buy the track but as the article states hopefully people will become fans and want to support the band by buying the rest of the album and other merchandise that becomes available. 

In all the more ways music is distributed the more people are likely to listen to an artists music and hopefully if it is liked the more people will know the artist(s) via word of mouth.

More information on these can be found within the article at: http://blog.podbop.org/archives/2007/02/08/8_reasons_why_bandslabels_should_offer_an_mp3/

1 comment March 4, 2007 Michelle Field

Internet Startup Takes New Approach To Concert Promotion & Online Ticketing

The new website www.showclix.com aims to help musicians, venues and show promoters to connect with live music fans. The website can be used to promote, manage and sell tickets to shows within the U.S from one convenient location online.

 

I think this is a great way of connecting bands and their fans especially as any user registered on the site can add shows and venues to the open database by filling out a simple, online form. The fact that it is free to use this service also provides a bigger encouragement to use the online facility.  Furthermore, competitors are known to charge customers service fees on each individual ticket brought online, whereas ShowClix has chosen to charge a single $2.00 service fee on each order of 10 tickets or fewer. This way money is made but music fans also save money in comparison to similar web based services.  

Additional features on ShowClix include its show search feature, the chance to forward show listings to friends and receive updates sent via RSS feeds. It is also apparent that they have developed widgets that make it easy for users to display selected shows on their website, MySpace profile or blog. A web widget is a portable chunk of code that can be installed and executed within any separate HTML-based web page, (such as MySpace) and will provide information perhaps in the form of an advertisment, links or images which will not have to be updated by the individuals that are copying the code. For more information on widgets I found the following link: http://opengardensblog.futuretext.com/archives/2006/10/the_dawn_of_the_1.html 

 

 

March 4, 2007 Michelle Field

BitTorrent

BitTorrent, Joost Bringing P2P Mainstream

This story discusses two online peer to peer distributors, BitTorrent and Joost which have established legal, protected distribution of content. It states that they improve as demand increases because the more popular a file is the easier and faster it will be downloaded.

The main hope for BitTorrent’s technology is to create a legitimate environment for the millions of downloaders who previously used their technology to steal content. Among this content is music.  

Users can rent movies at $4 each, download-to-own TV shows and music videos for $2 and get user-generated content free. This ‘free’ service saves BitTorrent money whilst meeting the demands of the users. Hopefully users are also encouraged to use the other paid for services in the process. The company also plan to add a digital-rights-management-free music download service in the near future. BitTorrent is a “distributor—connecting content owners to the technology’s users in an attempt to monetize their interest in digital entertainment”.

Hopefully it will encourage customers away from the illegal sites as they aim to make the process easy and less chaotic. More than 135 million people have downloaded the BitTorrent technology worldwide.

For more information on this story visit:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2098354,00.asp

and…

http://www.bittorrent.com/ 

3 comments February 27, 2007 Michelle Field

News story analysis

Sharing Music, sharing punishment

This story discusses issues on the illegal downloading of music taking place within colleges. The Recording Industry Association of America have apparently received a lot of complaints. For example
Marshall ranks 25th with 331 complaints for the 2006-07 school year who state they do not monitor downloading activity for privacy reasons. The article discusses some of the actions that have been put into place within some of the colleges within
America.

This means that the entertainment industry is suffering from students receiving free music from the internet. However this illegal activity is not just taking place within schools, the problem is much more widespread. But perhaps this story is suggesting that the main age group that download and therefore cause the biggest concern are teenagers. Getting people to pay fro music when it is so easy to obtain for free seems to be a big issue in the online world.


”According to a survey by the Intellectual Property Institute at the University of Richmond’s School of Law, more than half of all college students illegally download music and movies”.

The article can be found at:

http://media.www.marshallparthenon.com/media/storage/paper534/news/2007/02/23/News/Sharing.Music.Sharing.Punishment-2739194.shtml

3 comments February 27, 2007 Michelle Field

Week 3, Music Online News

The news story that I have found particularly interesting is based on the idea of The Long Tail and how website contents should be original and niche to get noticed and picked up effiecntly by search engines.

At the Search Engine Strategies Conference in London, guest correspondent Deb Harrison,  “Long tail search is less competitive and it narrows the market.”

This story also provides tips on how to successfully keep on top of quality contents.

This suggests how buisnesses online have to constantly compete for attention (Goldhaber) and therefore it seems that it is important to perfect your web site’s contents and to get ranked highly by search engines.

This all relates to Chris Anderson’s work on The Long Tail which discusses how the internet has allowed for us to move away from main stream products, unlimited online space means that niche markets can be provided for.

The story can be found at: http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2007/02/20/grabbing-that-long-tail-with-great-content

1 comment February 23, 2007 Michelle Field

Week 2

Web 2.0 Web 2.0 was coined in 2004 by Tim O’Reilly and Media Live international after a brainstorming conference. It was seen as the second generation of web based services including things like social networking sites, wikis and communication tools. Some of the movements in the development from web1.0 to 2.0 are stated below: 

  • MP3.com                   to                  Napster (www.napster.co.uk)
  • Britannica Online            to              Wikipedia (editable web pages found at www.wikipedia.org)
  • Personal websites              to            Blogging (e.g. www.blogger.com)

Web 1.0 focused more on navigation and the ability to read things like documents online, whereas web 2.0 is seen to be capable of doing so much more. This development in the online world has given us the ability to share things with each other and a lot of today’s content is user generated a good example of this is MySpace (www.myspace.com). Another feature we can use as an example is image tagging where images are categorised into groups, this is found on sites such as Google. We can also see the web mirroring types of software such as Microsoft word an example of this is Google Docs and Spreadsheets.  Overall the web is becoming more personalised and interactive and web companies are in constant competition with each other so to keep up with development is important.  Some artist’s websites have moved into the web 2.0 era such as Faithless’ at http://www.faithless.co.uk who have an online community whereas bands like red hot chilli peppers (www.redhotchillipepper.com) who have a simple design with little interactivity.

Add comment February 23, 2007 Michelle Field

MC536 Week 1

I began the process of discovering about the music industry online by brainstorming a number of topics and then finding examples of them online:

  • Downloading- P2P (Limewire, Soulseek), Subscription (Napster, Yahoo). Copyright and the illegal downloading of music is a major issue.
  • Buying Music (CDs)- e.g. www.ebay.co.uk, www.play.com, www.amazon.co.uk
  • Educational- Learn about music history on record company websites (e.g. www.wmg.com/about, www.lib.washington.edu/music/muhist.html). Also there are educational music sites for children such as www.creatingmusic.com where you can compose your own music and play music games. As well as www.classicsforkids.com/games where rhythm is taught.
  • My Space- Good way for bands to promote themselves (e.g. Artic Monkeys), background profile music.
  • Banners- on websites often advertise artists and there albums and tours.
  • Festivals- Information and tickets can be found online. Such as www.readingfestival.com & www.channel4.com (for T4 on the beach).
  • Tickets- tickets can also be brought via websites like www.ebay.co.uk & www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
  • NEC (www.necgroup.co.uk) – Here you can purchase concert tickets, enter music competitions and sign up to their newsletter for music concert updates which can be personalised.
  • Fan sites- You are able to sign up to your favourite artists’ websites and find out information about them (e.g. tours and tickets).
  • Music forums- e.g. http://www.themusicforums.co.uk (on gigs etc), www.ukmusic.com/forum/pop-music.com (which caters for niche markets with topics on pop music, hip hop etc).
  • Chat rooms- e.g. Yahoo
  • Radio online- Allowing users to listen live e.g. www.heartfm.co.uk
  • Lyrics- find song lyrics (e.g. ww.lyrics.com (a-z listing).
  • Online music magazines- e.g. www.q4music.com & NME, sign up and find out about music news etc.
  • Album/music reviews

I took a look at the five major record label companies’ websites:·        Sony- (www.sonybmgmusic.com), merger, cannot listen to music, simple, not packed with information.·        BMG- (www.bmgmusic.com), listen and buy music, more info available.·        EMI- (www.emirecords.co.uk), flash,·        Warners- (www.wmg. com), lots of info·        Universal- (www.umusic.com)Jobs within the industry may include the following but I am aware that there are many more:

  • Marketing
  • Creative services
  • Finance
  • Legal business affairs
  • Product management
  • Production
  • Purchasing
  • Sales

The product production and distribution are important considerations within the business.I also looked into music management companies and came across www.musicmanagement.org.uk whose website advertises their offline services of arranging music for events (e.g. weddings).

3 comments February 15, 2007 Michelle Field

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