Radical Ways Of Distributing Music

This section focuses on music industry's changes. Recently there have merged some ground braking ways to distribute music from artist to consumer, that varies from the normal process.

Usual music production and distributing

Normally in music production the music producer has quite a big impact on the final work and if the music isn't for his liking he might demand changes on it. And depending of the artist role in production it might not be possible for them to argue about the changes even tho its against their own view.

The biggest change has happened in mastering. Usually the end product has been some physical like tape, LP or CD, but now the production of non physical format has increased also such as MP3. There have been speculation will the non physical format take over the music distribution and become the standard, which would decrees the royalties from artist even more and make it more profitable for the producers. But for now the physical format keeps it position as standard format.


The new way of doing things

It was the Radiohead that shook the music industry by introducing pay as you can method for music distribution, that gave user the freedom to select a price for the downloaded Radiohead album. The most disturbing thing for the music industy in this was the fact, that in this case there were no record companies involved in production and distributing chain.

After Radiohead there have been several other artists who have decided to publish their new albums trough internet with similiar payment methods. It seems that this trend is growing and more artist are starting to work on their own after their contract have ended with record company.

This p2p music distribution increases the incomes for the artist and makes the records cheaper for the consumers, that is only natural when there is one mouth less to feed. Even thou this seems threatning for the record companies i don't think it will be the end of them. To pull out something like Radiohead has done requires certain level of populairity, that usualy is best gained trough record companies, who has the money to make the artist popular. p2p music distribution also increases reachability of your band when it's still not popular. Record companies are also needed, because there is still issue of reacability. Fans should be standing on a equal ground when it comes to gaining the rercord. (Related topic: Equality in Networks)


Effects on economy

As this phenomenon is quite new the actual effects on music industry economy cannot be said for sure. Still there is lot of speculation how this artist controlled music distripution will effect the economy.

At the moment music markets are dominated by 4 big names: Warner music group, EMI group, Sony BMG and Universal music group. These four companies had 71,6% of whole world music markets at their control, with Universal music group leading with 25,5% share. That means only 28,4% of worlds music markets are from independnt labels. These figures are from IFPI from year 2005. Intress of the digital music has been risen quite much and acording to 2005 figures online revenues of digital record companies was $US 1,1 billion and there were over $US 0,6 billion growth from previous year. Still this is only 6% portion of the total markets.

The reacent numbers of digital album sales from independent artist are clearly stating, that there will be a shift of power at hand. Radiohead decided to keep their number on secret but acroding to the figures that was realesed conserning NIN's digital album sale the possible changes are shocking. Acording IndieScribe NIN recieved $US 1,5 million in one week from combination free and paid downloads. These numbers surely will engourage other artist to work independently whitout relaying on recordcompanies. Actualy this idea of artist controlled distribution was presented in theroy allready in 2004.

As stated actual and final effect on music economy cannot be predicted completely, but it is sure that record companies will lose some profits and power on the markets, while individual artist will be gaining more profits and power. It's also speculated if the heavy digital album distribution makes a threat for overall music economy, due to its vunerability to piracy.


Examples of bands and how they distribute music

Homepage: http://radiohead.com/deadairspace/
Downloadable album: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Rainbows Currently the album is not available as internet download, but the physical copy of the album can be found from stores.
youtube video: http://youtube.com/user/radiohead?ob=1 Radiohead's Youtube channel

First who made p2p distribution, because they didn't have record company and they had material for a new album. They just wanted to get their music available, they weren't trying to make any revolution in music indutry. Reason for making a physical record was, that they wanted to make the album available for wider audience. Not all the people have access to net or abel to pay trough it.

Nine Inch Nails ( NIN )
Homepage: http://www.nin.com/
Downloadable album: The Slip Full length album released 05 may 2008. Album is completely free
youtube video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=QWncI51ggH8 Closer by NIN

Lately action of NIN has made it sort of a pioneer on music industry. As it followed Radiohead with downloadable digital album distribution it has shown also some other very intresting signs. First of all lately NIN's album producing has been fast. There have been five releases in time span of a year. NIN is also publishing much music for free for exapmle collections albums, because Trent Reznor, who is the only member of the band, thinks its not fair to ask fans to pay two times for the same tracks. Nin also have started to use creative common license on it's music. This means it can mixed, remixed and published for non comercial use only. (More about Creative Common)

Homepage: http://www.coldplay.com/
Downloadable album: Viva la Vida Viva la Vida is being sold on Itunes stores.
youtube video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=E-YR2ETjZrY&feature=related Video is made by fan and includes slideshow of still images

They were one of the first to make p2p release, even thou they were under contract with record company. Thus they were not able to make their record completely free even thou they might have wanted.

~By Joni

Other links

'Live and let DIY'
"We're told pirates are "killing" the entertainment biz. But without them we'd have no pop radio, no Hollywood and rubbish trainers, says Matt Mason "

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