Absolutely Free: Only If You Want It to Be!

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Abstract

Is digital technology coupled with the Internet destroying the music industry as we have known it since the turn of the twentieth century? Yes. Is that necessarily a bad thing? No. So how will the record companies stay in business? They won’t, if they try to maintain the same business model into the future. That model was to earn revenue from the intellectual property rights attached to recorded music. The record company’s response to declining sales was to go after those who were illegally downloading copyrighted digital recordings. The record companies instead got lots of bad publicity. In 2004, Apple launched a campaign with Pepsi to give away 100 million free downloads and used people who were sued by The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the commercial promoting iTunes. Who will consumers have a more favorable view of? [27]. Even as the record companies realized that going after illegal downloading was a road with many pitfalls, technology has made downloading illegally passè. Who really wants 80 gigs of music stored on their computer? What music lovers want is to be able to listen to all of your music whenever and wherever you want. Mobile devices such as the iPhone, Blackberrys, and the iPad make this possible. It should be no surprise that just as the music industry is beginning to come to terms with the problem of illegal downloading, a new technology is making it increasingly irrelevant. Record cylinders took up space, 78s took up storage space as did 33 rpm and 45 rpm records. MP3s also take up storage space. Streaming music services allow you access to your songs on any computer or mobile device.