Music Industry

Gracie Tallent & Rylan Beck

Opposing Viewpoints - "The Music Industry Has Failed to Adapt to Changing Technology"

  • "When downloading became a reality on the web, the music industry had an opportunity to expand distribution. Instead, it fought against change, attempting to retain control and maintain a high profit margin. Eventually, however, this backfired on the music industry, causing the loss of CD sales as online downloading (both free and paid) continued to grow."
  • "What should have been a medium that allowed for cheaper distribution, new business models and an invigorated approach to discovering and nurturing talent has instead largely been somewhat of a hindrance to the major players, who seek to maintain the status quo and continue with the old way of doing business."

Fisher, L. (2013). The Music Industry Has Failed to Adapt to Changing Technology. In R. D. Lankford, Jr. (Ed.), At Issue. What Is the Future of the Music Industry? Detroit: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from How the Music Industry Managed to Screw Itself So Spectacularly,, 2012)

Opposing Viewpoints - "The Music Industry Has Been Revolutionized"

  • "The industry has never been very adept at dealing with change. The status quo, if profitable, is seldom challenged. Unfortunately, this attitude has left the music industry unable to respond to the revolution of online music."
  • "With the old model of record labels, bands, and music distribution gradually disintegrating, fans and musicians have created many niche markets and communities on their own. As a result, the future of music is becoming more democratic, with the fans playing an important role in the development of the artist. Likewise, the music industry will have to respond to these developments, finding a balance between making music easily available and turning a profit."

Kot, G. (2013). The Music Industry Has Been Revolutionized. In R. D. Lankford, Jr. (Ed.), At Issue. What Is the Future of the Music Industry? Detroit: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from Interview: Greg Kot of Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionalized Music (Part 1),, 2010)

Research In Context - "iTunes Changes the Model for Music Distribution"

  • "At the end of the twentieth century, a music fan wanting to hear the latest hit song would go to a local music store, buy a CD of the album, take it home, and play it on his home stereo system. He would then store the CD on a shelf with his CD collection. If he wanted to listen to the album away from home, he would take the CD with him and play it on a portable CD player. By the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, all of these actions had become unnecessary."
  • "The iTunes Store sold twenty-five million digital tracks in its first year and by 2008, it had become the music retailer with the largest volume of sales in the United States. On February 24, 2010, the iTunes Store sold its ten-billionth track. Several factors account for its phenomenal success:"





"iTunes Changes the Model for Music Distribution." Historic U.S. Events. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Research in Context. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.

Student Resources in Context - "Music Industry"

  • "The American music industry, also known as the recording or sound recording industry, began in 1877 when Thomas Alva Edison (1847–1931) invented the phonograph, a device that recorded and played back sound. Prior to Edison's discovery, music could be experienced only firsthand, and few recordings of sound existed. Phonograph companies quickly sprung up and evolved into music labels, signing musicians and producing records."
  • "By the late 1930s music sales increased because of the rising popularity of the jukebox, which was installed in eating and drinking establishments all over the country. A coin-operated device, jukeboxes were large music players containing many records and a record player. Patrons could insert coins to select the song they wanted to hear. Since the records in jukeboxes were changed weekly, the demand for new music increased rapidly."

"Music Industry." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. Ed. Thomas Riggs. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2015. 838-841. Student Resources in Context. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.

Infotrac Newsstand - "Digital Media Content Creation and Distribution Methods"

  • "Historically, music and entertainment was provided solely in a live format, wherein the audience only had real-time, live access to the performance. If someone wanted to access the music and entertainment, one had to travel to be in person for the performance, if payment was required, it would be on a pay-per-attendance basis made at the time the performance was rendered."
  • "Later, music companies or record labels were established to manage the release and distribution of music and other entertainment. Publishing companies were similarly situated to manage written works, including texts, art, and the like. While distribution of the music and entertainment improved, the selection and timing of release was made by the third party companies, rather than by the artist or the consumer."

"Researchers Submit Patent Application, 'Digital Media Content Creation and Distribution Methods', for Approval (USPTO 20160098546)." Entertainment Newsweekly 29 Apr. 2016: 590. Infotrac Newsstand. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.

Health & Wellness Resource Center -

Anderson Merchandisers: Lower Price Music Packages Important to Industry's Future.

  • "The change from vinyl albums to tapes to CDs basically left the same album format in place. The one song digital download has changed all that. We need to keep pace with our consumers who are seeking more flexibility and value, both digitally and on disc."
  • "What we all need to realize is that building a system that is more responsive to what consumers want is in everybody's best interest. No matter what the delivery system, it is still real talent that makes music sell."

"Anderson Merchandisers: Lower Price Music Packages Important to Industry's Future." Health and Wellness Resource Center. Charlie Anderson, 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.

Academic OneFile - 21st century sound recording collection in crisis

  • "Today's music industry increasingly favors online-only, direct-to-consumer distribution. No longer can librarians expect to collect recordings on tangible media where first-sale doctrine applies. Instead, at an ever-increasing rate, librarians are discovering that music recordings are available only via such online distribution sites as iTunes or"
  • "Libraries are facing what may be an existential crisis. As more books, videos, and sound recordings are licensed and distributed through online-only means, the amount of such material available for libraries to collect is shrinking. Instead, recordings are available only as a stream or MP3 download via such online distribution sites as iTunes or These, and similar sites, require individual purchasers to agree to restrictive end-user license agreements (EULAs) that explicitly forbid institutional ownership and such core library functions."

Tsou, Judy, and John Vallier. "Ether today, gone tomorrow: 21st century sound recording collection in crisis." Notes 72.3 (2016): 461+. Academic OneFile. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.

Academic OneFile - Music, youtube, and academic libraries

  • "The current environment of video sharing sites like YouTube, and direct-to-consumer digital music distribution models, presents challenges to academic music libraries' primary mission of building collections of materials to support research and create a record of scholarly and artistic output. The rise in the use of smart mobile devices that allow individuals to store large quantities of music and use sites like YouTube has created an expectation that finding and accessing music should be convenient and easy."
  • "Academic libraries collect and preserve materials related to the disciplines they serve, thereby creating a record of scholarly output. Given that music is a performance-based discipline, sound-in live or recorded formats--has always been intrinsic to its study. Composers, scholars, and performers all make extensive use of audio and video recordings in learning, analyzing, and creating music. With assistance from publishers and vendors, music libraries have collected every conceivable audio and video format produced, from wax cylinders to Blu-ray discs."

Dougan, Kirstin. "Music, youtube, and academic libraries." Notes 72.3 (2016): 491+. Academic OneFile. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.

Kids InfoBits - Music Industry

  • "As technology has changed over the years, the way in which music is sold has also changed. At first, music was recorded and sold on vinyl records, which were played on record players. Then music was sold on cassette tapes, which were followed several years later by compact discs, also called CDs. Toward the end of the twentieth century, music was recorded digitally. It could be played on portable media devices such as iPods and on computers."

"Music Industry." Music and Musicians. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Kids InfoBits Presents. Kids InfoBits. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.

Research in Context - Compact Disc Player

  • The 1980s saw a major step forward in the reproduction of sound. High quality compact discs (CDs) rapidly replaced long playing, vinyl (LP) records and cassette tape systems. Between 2000 and 2001 alone, sales of cassette tapes fell more than forty percent, and as of 2008, CDs accounted for seventy percent of all sales by the recording industry. Music lovers appreciate the compact disc's ability to offer clear, distinct instrument sounds without distracting background noise.

"Compact disc player." UXL Science. Detroit: UXL, 2008. Research in Context. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.