Music has long been a major part of our culture. So it’s only natural that the Internet is a place where music is available to many people in a wide range of ways.
The music business has struggled to adapt and find a model that works for the Web. In the past several years we’ve seen market leaders like Spotify and Pandora lose money, smaller services such as SoundCloud close and even the very biggest players in technology struggle to make money from digital music sales.
In 1999 the introduction of MP3 software changed the way computer users were able to download and play music. The software compressed songs so they were one-tenth their original size, allowing computer users to share them with each other over the Internet.
But the MP3 technology was also a threat to the recording industry. Labels were afraid that their artists and records would be stolen from online music stores.
It’s no wonder that the major labels resisted changing their contracts and offering tracks on the Internet. They were worried that this would reduce their sales and revenue.
Despite this, the Web has continued to change how music is distributed and consumed. With the advent of services such as Webmusic, Spotify, individual songs can be streamed for free or with a small monthly fee.
While the music industry is still struggling to figure out how to make money from digital music, the consumer has come a long way in terms of their taste and willingness to pay for music. With more options than ever before, consumers are enjoying a greater variety of music choices and social networking features.