The music industry and the Internet

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The music industry and the Internet

In recent years the Internet has transformed the way we think about and buy music. At first the Internet revolutionised the way we bought CD’s, sites like Amazon (1) and HMV meant it was no longer necessary to go to your local record shop to buy a CD, you could order it and have it sent directly to you.

But the Internet has advanced from that. A new way of buying music has emerged, Mp3. Mp3 is a compressed digital format that allows any sound file to be swapped, stored and downloaded straight from the Internet. Mp3 has been so popular it is said to have overtaken “sex” as the most commonly searched word on the Internet.

Such is the popularity of this new music format that in 2000 there were over 200 websites on the Internet where you download a range of music. On these sites you could select the song you wanted and download it absolutely free. And with the development of broadband Internet, this could be done more easily and ever faster. Of course there was a problem here, the music industry was getting concerned.

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Since the launch of the first free downloads site (Napster) in 1999, CD sales worldwide have fallen by over 6% and revenues for the big five record company’s fallen by over 9%.

The Record Companies are blaming this dramatic downfall in sales on the easy availability of free music on the Internet and the ease at which it can be downloaded. Up until recently the record companies would have nothing to do with the Internet. Until recently they didn’t realise just quite what they were missing out on, the worlds biggest market.

How many legal downloads ...

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