How The Internet Changed Music
11/12 2017

How The Internet Changed Music

Without a doubt one of the most influential things to emerge from the past few decades is the internet. This can be said because in a relatively short period of time this phenomenon has touched the lives of people in virtually every part of the world. What makes it so special and remarkable is its ability to connect people and allow them to communicate in a way previously unheard of. One area where this has become increasingly apparent is within the music industry.

Over the past fifty years or so music has become an ever increasing part of the social fabric of large numbers of the community, in a variety of cultures around the world. However if we just focus on the music affecting the western culture it is clear that the evolution of musical styles and its accessibility have had a profound impact on many areas of that community.

Before The Internet

Before The Internet

Back in the day the emerging styles and concerns of different members of a community, often times but not limited to the youth, could be expressed and aired through the medium of their music and the content there in. The power of the lyrics, emerging as the poetry of their era, and the often controversial rhythms and sounds in general would stir up emotions and get people talking and reacting, which is exactly what you want if you are an aspiring musician with a story to tell! At first you may have to travel far and wide to access these artists and the likely effort and expense  involved in doing that would no doubt prohibit many from doing so.

Not to mention the fact that watchful parents in the more conservative times of the past would absolutely have something to say about where their teenagers were spending their free time! Later the advent of radio and of course television brought the music straight into the homes of these same impressionable youth and despite the best efforts of concerned adults the likes of Elvis Presley, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, to name but a few, entered the lives of the young people and they would never be the same again!

The Internet Changed Things

Many things have conspired over time to facilitate the growth in popularity and scale of the music industry, but without a doubt the emergence and indeed acceleration of the technology involved has had a profound effect.

Initially this could be considered to be the advancement of the equipment used by musicians that both enhanced their recorded work and facilitated their live performances. You only have to look at the amazing extravaganzas at their various shows to see how artists have created enormous spectacles around their music and more significantly the sound and visual experience.

All of this is even more so advanced by the ease that we have of using the internet, one moment you may be looking for a movie to watch and you come across netflix, one of my favorite websites of all time, there you can watch 100’s of movies within moments. Or maybe you wanted to play some games, I like or, both of these sites give me hours of entertainment at my fingertips.

And it is not just games or movies that have changed, so it is with the music industry

And it is not just games or movies that have changed, so it is with the music industry, it has succumbed to this inevitable and unstoppable force that is the internet. Today you do not have to wait until you can get to the store to purchase a recording of your favorite artist you can simply down load their music from the internet onto your phone or other suitable device and listen to it virtually instantly.

The downside of this for many artists and promoters of course is the loss of revenue from record sales as the illegal downloading of their material has been virtually unstoppable. The industry has obviously had to adapt to the pressure of market forces and the will of the people and indeed as with all such things the passing of time has seen the evolution of the industry to try and address such issues.

Conversely many artists have greatly benefitted from the simplicity of internet access and embrace and enjoy the new found freedom this can bring to them. No longer wholly dependent on the skills and backing of large production companies, where contracts and financial constraints and profit margins rule the day, aspiring artists and seasoned veterans alike can simply record themselves and share with an instant audience, potentially unlimited in number. Seeing this as an opportunity to have more control over their own fate and not the often nightmarish gamble of signing with a record company or just hawking your music to radio stations, as was previously the norm, musicians have emerged from all number of unlikely places and backgrounds.

The advent of such internet channels as You Tube mean that you can potentially ignite your career from the confines of your own home and the catalogue of successful young artists who have done just that stands as testimony to the significance of the medium and unalterable fact that the internet has changed the music industry for ever and is here to stay!

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