When looking back on how the introduction of Napster as well as other file sharing networks changed all of our lives in regards to how we consume music, one has to consider the basic fundamental outcome of what those services offered. And, that outcome was a widespread introduction to the mass populous of new format to store and play music in the forms of the MP3. Though the first emergence of Mp3 files on the internet was during the mid nineties, the Mp3-file sharing and Cd burning phenomenon didn’t take shape until peer-to-peer networking entered our lives.
Since then, the music industry has fought what has seemed to be never-ending battle with underground software companies and file-sharing users in order to resolve the increasing problem of copyrighted piracy exchange. In early 2003 Apple’s Ipod found a way to capitalize from Mp3 technology by licensing and selling Mpeg-4 files as both song singles and full-length albums through their Itunes service. This new innovative commercial behavior sparked the digital revolution in music changing the course of distribution and licensing for record labels and artists alike.
After Napster experienced a barrage of law-suits and problematic press the company re-structured its method of use into a legitimate music streaming service in which users subscribed to for a monthly fee. They eliminated file downloading in order to protect copyrights and merely offered a media player service to give both paid subscribers and free users access to a wide database of music. This peaked new interest for both software developers and record labels. Napster would eventually be acquired by Rhapsody in late 2011.
By the year 2005, Mp3 files had become the most popular form of digital music consumption and has maintained its strong, until recently. Through a process of breakdown and re-construction of the modern music model and business approach, software developers seem to have finally found an answer to online piracy and possibly a reduction of music sales across the board. This answer would come in the form of a newly redesigned form of the same technology that had become a growing tumor in the music industry for years.
Though internet radio has its own user advantages and pluses for music license holders, it is the emergence of subscription-based digital music streaming services that hold the key to the future of not only music, but all entertainment consumption. Instead of downloading the physical song file music services stream the data via internet connection, or store the information in a digital cloud. Though Rhapsody would be the first to offer this unique service for computer users, its through the advancement of smart-phone technology that now leads the way for the next phase in the world of digital media.
Companies such as Spotify, Last.fm, Grooveshark, Rdio, just to name a few are the new leaders in the digital music revolution of the new age with their innovative and extremely user-friendly controls and preferences. Why spend hundreds a dollars on physical or digital copies of music when for a measly 9.99 you can subscribe to a database with millions of songs both popular and underground with unlimited use? No need to burn cd’s anymore because you can download your service’s smart-phone app and connect an audio auxiliary to your vehicle’s stereo. Spotify even allows you to create playlists and take advantage of artist-radio whereas your service will play random selections of similar music based on your preferences.
These services don’t just benefit users and license companies but also give independent artists much needed exposure using various forms of digital distribution giving them a bigger platform to be heard. We have yet to see the outcome of what these new technologies provide in quenching our musical thirst. What we do know, for the first time ever, is the control of what music we become exposed to is now in the listener’s hands. Oh sweet glory, how long we’ve been awaiting this day.
This past week was one of the strangest weeks in music in a while. Rihanna got Thug life tatooed on her knuckles, Nicki Minaj broke Vevo’s record for a video called Stupid Ho* and Hulk Hogan claims he almost joined Metallica. Really, Hulk?
Here is a list of the top ten most interesting music related stories this week.
1.Is Rihanna bored or trying to keep up with Chris Brown in the tattoo category?
Rihanna Gets ‘Thug Life’ Tattoo in Honor of 2Pac
2.Rhapsody recently purchased good ole ‘Napster’s’ streaming rights in the Uk.
Rhapsody Buys Napster as It Battles Spotify
3.Congrats to Neyo as he is hired as the Senior VP of A&R at Motown
Ne-Yo Joins Motown Roster, Also Appointed Senior VP of of A&R
4.This article talks about the Iheartradio’s unique features and why it’s a direct challenge to Pandora and Siri/XM.
Why iHeartRadio is the future of radio
5.Anonymous is back at it again as it threatens to attack Facebook. What’s up Zuck?
Anonymous Plans to Attack Facebook to Protest MegaUpload Takedown (Updated)
6.Great interview I did with Urban Score Productions. A must read for artists and producers
Behind the Beats with Urban Score Productions
7.An Odd Week= an Odd Future
Odd Future Announce Tour Dates
8.A few years ago Hulk said he passed on the George Foreman grill, now he says he passed on Metallica. Really Hulk? What would Andre the Giant say?
Hulk Hogan reveals he almost joined Metallica
9.Simon Cowell is back at it again. I wonder will this show be for pop Dj’s or really Dj’s? I forgot it’s 2012 and no one knows what a real Dj is anyway…
Simon Cowell to Launch DJ Talent Show
10.The Martian is back huh?
Lil Wayne To Release “I Am Not A Human Being 2″ In Summer 2012
Sean Parker’s character, which was played by Justin Timberlake, is without a doubt my favorite character in the ‘The Social Network.’ Reading and watching his interviews you can tell that he has mastered the art of story telling and he must have read Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is interesting to see how pivotal his role was in the initial stages of Facebook and I wonder if Facebook would have been what it is today without his help.
I first read about Sean Parker in the fall of 2000 while interning for a mortgage brokerage firm in Dallas, TX. It was a Time Magazine interview featuring his Napster Co-Founder, Shawn Fanning. At the time, I was first starting to get into the music industry and hearing about two teenagers who had the entire recording industry by the balls was addictive.
Fastforward to 2011, and Sean introduced the U.S. to Spotify which he said will pick up where Napster left of. At the F8 Conference last year, Facebook announced its music plans and Spotify instantly became the poster child for the social music movement. Playing second fiddle to the Sean Parker’s backed service were dozens of other companies like MOG, Turntable.FM and Rdio.
Is Spotify really that good? I guess that is a matter of opinion and I have yet to use a lot of the other social music services available today. What I do know is that Sean’s stake in Facebook gives Spotify an unfair advantage over every other social music service on the market, but when has business ever been fair. As a music lover I am in love with Spotify as an independent artist, eh.
As the 2012 begins Spotify has made a change from a streaming music service to a platform by opening up its API for developers to build applications upon. Some of the biggest brands in music such as Billboard and Rollingstone have already jumped onboard. As Spotify’s domination continues, other music services are forced to join the ‘MOB.” On the flip side, the huge disadvantage given to other social music services will force developers to come up with more unique products that push the envelope and help take music to an even higher level.
Viral Marketing for Musicians | Spotify and the New Music Revolution
First there was Napster, the media file sharing service that changed the world as we know it in regards to music. The fall-out of Napster spawned Kazaa, Limewire, Bearshare, and several other file sharing sites. The illegal file sharing problem seen worldwide caused the music industry to shift its paradigm. Enter 2004 and the advent of Myspace as the first hobby sharing social network which also featured a database full of diverse music to share with fellow users. Myspace offered an inside look into the world of “friends” and what interests they share with your own.
Myspace also offered both independent and mainstream artists to promote their music on a global platform as well build wide-spread fan-bases at the click of a button. The music industry has seen so many changes in the past seven years its been a full-time job just keeping up with it. By breaking through the walls mainstream music has had up for so long, modern day digital technology has put power in the individual artists hands for what seems to be the first time ever. Digital Streaming services such as Spotify maybe the answer the music world has been looking for in order to fix the problems of illegal file sharing. Millions of users around the globe are paid members of the streaming music sharing service which boasts a database of over 300 million songs.
This same trend seems to also be an increasingly useful tool for independent artists with no label affiliation to further increase their fan base and exposure to larger markets on a global scale. By using digital distribution networks like CDBaby and Tunecore, artists can upload their music onto several music networks for a one time-fee based on the number of songs on a single album or cd single. Fans can buy music on a number of digital download stores such as Amazon and Myspace Music, or stream music by subscribing to services such as Spotify.
It seems we are at the forefront of a new era for musicians, independent label owners, producers, and DJ’s. As the cost of recording, mixing, and mastering lessens and becomes more affordably available to fit any budget, the resources for artists to gain mass exposure becomes more plentiful. In Spotify’s move to partner up with Facebook for Social Network integration we are seeing playlist sharing spread amongst users rapidly and increasingly literally every second, twenty-four hours a day. I think its safe to say we have entered the dawn of a new music revolution.
Rhapsody is SoSoAtive
Rhapsody recently reached 1 million subscribers and still stands strong as the longest running music subscription service online. The company got a huge jump in subscribers when it purchased Napster in October and by partnering with Metro PC who currently offer it’s subscribers a $60 a month plan that comes with an unlimited data plan. In addition, it has teamed with Verizon Wireless to offer its service to its users for an additional $10 month. Rhapsody seems to be focusing a lot of energy on it’s partnerships and is moving in the right direction as we are nearing a mobile music boom.