Over the last 10 years music has changed. If we were all to step back and think for a moment about how we all listen to music we’d be amazed by the change the industry has been through in recent times. The first biggest change was the harmonious introduction of MP3 and the iPod. Making music digital was by far one of the biggest shifts in the industry to ever happen.
Since this change the whirlwind of change has not ceased with new technologies being introduced giving the industry an almighty jolt every few years. In the years following the introduction of the iPod, music sharing services and Peer to Peer networks(P2P) allowed users to distribute MP3 formatted files without any restrictions, making digital intangible and verging on ‘free’.
Companies realised that there was an escalation in individuals sharing files and went on to shut down the prime candidate of this change, Napster. Napster allowed anyone with an internet connection to download any song that connected users had on their computers. The founder of Napster went on to be an influential stakeholder in Facebook so if there’s one thing we can learn is keep trying until you succeed!
Bringing us right up to date, companies such as Spotify allow users to legally listen to as much music as they like for a monthly fee. The fee is low enough to channel those would-be illegal sharers into paying a small subscription fee for as much music as they like. Spotify being adopted by millions and serving the best music on all devices in a user-friendly way has led to it being the market leader in music streaming online.
Spotify is to be sold for a net worth of $14bn with the buyer being kept secret for now. It’s no surprise to learn that a company that has pioneered a new way of listening to music and turned music sharers into paying customers is being purchased. Could we speculate on who is making this purchase with the likes of Apple finally opening their wallets in terms of acquisition? Either way, let’s hope there’s something else on the horizon for the music industry that keeps the momentum of the exciting change over the last decade going!