My name is Tomass Tomsevics and I am going to tell you about the day the music died. All this will be based on the book “The Cult of the Amateur” by Andrew Keen who is an English digital media businessman known by writing books and columns about culture.
I will try to tell briefly about falling music business between 2003 and 2006, what else except music has suffered during that time. I will try to explain the main reasons, why it happened and what are the solutions provided.
Mostly all of us have heard about The Tower Records located in US. They had their stores in the largest cities of America and sold millions of recordings a year. In those stores there were large variety of styles, artists and albums. That was the place to look for the newest releases. Between 2003 and 2006, 800 hundred independent music stores closed their doors. In the first five months of 2006, 378 record stores closed in US, against 106 closures in 2005.
Between 1999 and 2005, music sales dropped by $2.3 billion - from $14.6 billion to $12.3 billion. In 1990 The Tower company was valued at $325 million, but in 2006 was sold for $134.3 million. Everything was sold except Tower’s 3000 employees, that was actually the most valuable part of the company.
There are many reasons, why it happened. The first is companies like Amazon.com, iTunes and MySpace taking over the sales. Well, it is much easier to click button, pay 99 cents and get the song, than going to the store, buy an album for almost 20 dollars, from which you like only several songs. But the main reason is the internet piracy. According to a joint report by European (IFPI) and American (RIAA) researchers, forty songs are actually downloaded for every legal music download. . In the UK, for example, Harris Interactive found that 76 per cent of all music obtained online in the UK in 2010 was unlicensed.(IFPI, 2011) The other Research consistently finds ‘because it’s free’ to be the main reason cited for illegal downloading.
Many artists are now giving their music for free, but only together with some advertising. For example Jay-Z formed an alliance with Coca-Cola in 2006 in which artist agreed to allow distribution of a clip from a live Radio City Music Hall performance on P2P sites. This clip came with promotion for Coca-Cola. “While P2P users are stealing the intellectual property, they are also the active music audience.”(Jay-Z) There are several services such as Qtrax, that give out music for free in exchange for exposing the listener to advertising, and Spotify, that gives the opportunity to download music- unfortunately, almost non of them is available in Latvia. Such portals as Youtube, Google, Facebook- they are growing because of the user generated content. Andrew Keen calls Google a parasite, because it just surfs through the content made by others, while making money.