In recent years, the rapid development of digital technology has led to the emergence and growth of the music industry, resulting in significant changes in both the way music is produced and listened. From the best portable record player, now people can listen to music on their phone or tablet whenever they feel like. This change in listening behavior also has affected other part of the music industry as well. Let take a look at these changes.
New Way in Music Producing and Listening
In fact, the production of physical music (discs and tapes) has been gradually took over by the online music because of the growth of Internet. Now, as the online society is expanding every second, online music is a more powerful “weapon” that helps musicians reach out to the public quickly. The geographical border is blurred by the widespread of Internet, connecting people all over the world. A song which is posted on the online website can reach out to audience in every corner of the world with just one click. Online music also helps singers and songwriters save production costs, the musician now does not need any companies to advertise their works. Real time, low costs and more freedom for the musicians are strength of online music compared to traditional music publishing methods. Moreover, the artist can interact with their audiences in many forms, immediately receive feedback and response. The technology also gave birth to a new form of music genre which is called EDM (electronic dance music) or music created from electronic devices. This trend supports musicians and singers who are able to search for new sounds and harness experimental sounds. Not every singer has a good voice, but they still have audiences thanks to the editing of modern recording technology to make the music work more perfect than the original vocal sound.
Not only changing the music production, digital development also brings a change in the way people receive and listen to music. Instead of going to a concert or listening through radio stations or TV, with a tablet or smartphone, audiences can enjoy a variety of songs wherever they are. Audiences are also able to express their opinion about the songs directly to the producers. This convenience makes more and more people prefers online music rather than physical music products. Thanks to that, without any third party, many new singers and musicians can still be known to the public through their online music works. Being able to access multiple music products at the same time poses a challenge, a higher level of competition for the musicians and performers, encourage them to constantly refresh and perfect their skills in order to meet the demand of the public.
The Benefits of Listening to Online Music
Online music websites and source make it easier to access to favorite songs than ever before. Unlike the old days where listeners wondered to choose the best portable music record player to play their favorite songs, listeners now can find any song on the Internet, download it to their devices like smartphone or tablets and listen to it anywhere, anytime.
Some audiophiles do not like the invasion of online music because of the low quality of music source. The audio equipment sometimes does not meet the requirements and some music works are industrialized rather than focusing on musical quality. However, in general, online music has hit the audience needs which is simply listening to music.
Artists also benefit greatly from online music. Van Buuren, a famous DJ and music producer who has 1.4 million followers on Spotify, said: “Even when users listen to free online music, artists are still paying for their efforts. The revenue here comes from advertising, and it is much higher than traditional revenue sources”. Service providers also have made a strong impact on the artists, then make their online distribution channel become top choice for releasing or republishing the music work such as albums or singles. Even the “legend” names in the music industry cannot resist this trend. In December 2015, the Beatles agreed to included 13 of their albums on channels such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music and so on.
In the first six month of 2016, music services such as Apple Music and Spotify had 114 billion views, while music videos only reached 95 billion. Some of online audio products released including Beyoncé, Rihanna and Drake topped music sites including Youtube and Vevo. In general, the online music market jumped 58% compared to last period. Rihanna’s songs were streamed the most and Drake’s albums were the most requested albums with 1.5 billion times. Singer idol Justin Bieber had over 1.3 billion listening times for Purpose album. According to BuzzAngle, after a week, album 25 of Adele (an UK female singer) recorded 168 million listening times, helping the album sell 1.2 million copies from the beginning of 2016.
Other Aspects of Online Music
Digital music offers many opportunities for musicians to get access to high quality products and trending genres in the world. But besides learning, getting acquainted with and approaching new music trends, there are also copyright violation, stealing music beat or ideas, plagiarism. This creates a negative habit in stealing or copying from music composition to stage performances, styles, etc.,
Developing online music is the indispensable direction of the modern world. The question is how to maintain and improve the quality of music works along with the growth in the digital age. This is not a simple equation and it is not something that can solve in the short-term because it depends on the ethic of the producers and knowledge of the listeners. If listeners do not tolerant any copyright violation in the music works, then, the problems will be easier to address and fix. The high demand of listeners also stimulates and becomes a driving force for the musician to improve their music products. And of course, in order to do this, there must be a strategic solution for music industry, especially the change in musical education in the whole system.