Impact of Digital Distribution and Streaming on the Music Industry.

 

Digital music streaming is the distribution and sharing of music to consumers in digital format on various online platforms.

With the advancement in internet network bandwidth; digital distributors introduced online music streaming to the market.

 

Impact to the Music Industry

Introducing of digital distribution and streaming caused a disruptive innovation to the music industry as it was an innovation that created a new market and value network.

Disruptive innovations start at the bottom of the market and then move up the market that displaces established competitors.

Established competitors in this case have various additional services along with the Digital Distribution like CD Duplication, CD Distribution, Publishing Administration, Audio Mastering, Monetization of Videos, Charts Registrations, Music Promotion, Free Trend Reports, Free UPCs, Free ISRs, and Facebook Audio Recognition.

Digital distribution and streaming had a huge impact on the industry. It reduced the powers of music labels on artists.

Instead of striking a deal with the music label for marketing and distribution rights, artists could go to a digital distribution company and share it with the world at a set price and the distribution company getting a share of the pie.

It created a platform for struggling artists that did not sign with record labels to share their music online and publicize on social media with the help of influential people with huge followers on Facebook and Twitter.

This innovation has made more music available to consumers than ever before. It has also influenced music listening and discovery habits.

In the past you had to listen to full albums but people now listen more to singles and compile a playlist of their favorite songs.

Popular Digital Music Distribution Companies:

Cdbaby

Songcast

Catapult Music

Vitalized Music

Proper Music Distribution

Believe Digital

Recordjet

Spinn Up

Zimbalam

Record Union

Amadea Music

LabelWorx

Label Engine

Songflow

iMusician

Baseware Distribution

RouteNote

DistroKid

GoPro Tunes

Indiepool

Finetunes

INgrooves/Fontana

Ditto

Loudr

aded.us

EmuBands

Music Services Asia

The Orchard Enterprises

OneRPM

Tratore

Finetunes

Timeless Music Company

Valleyarm

Symphonic Distribution

AWAL

ADA

Kudos Distribution

SUGO Music Group

eOne Distribution

Bandcamp

MondoTunes

FUGA

The state51 Conspiracy

Zebralution

MGM Distribution

ReverbNation

Tunecore

HorusMusic

Orchard

Decision Making:

Deciding on which digital music distribution company to subscribe to; depends on individual needs as each of the above companies have unique features that may be very important to some artists but not at all to others.

For example, there are distribution companies that only work with record labels, and some that all you need to do is to sign up and you upload music.

Things you need to consider when choosing a digital distributing company:

Flexibility:

Digital distribution companies are not record labels; hence they should not have exclusive rights to your songs, so you have the freedom to get out of any deal without additional costs.

Credibility:

How long have they been in business and do you think they would be in business for a long time?

Do you think they can pay artists at the right time?

Will your release appear online at the stated date?

Outlets:

Make your music available in a single or various stores.

Do they distribute to just a few numbers of stores or worldwide?

Subscription Fee:

This is a very important factor to consider before selecting a digital distributor. You need to consider if the payment is onetime fee or there is annual fee and if your sales will meet up to cover the fee because you need to maximize profit.

Some digital distributors allow onetime fee while few of them take 10 percent to 30 percent cut from sales while others charge per year without taking such cut.

Few ones are moderate in terms of commission and onetime fee.

Benefits:

Digital distribution is a creation that has reduced several inconveniences associated with buying CD albums.

It created opportunities for artists that might have never gotten deals with record labels.

Despite the high rate of piracy associated with online distribution, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Popular Digital Music Stores and Media:

iTunes

Spotify

iheartradio

Slacker Radio

Pandora

JB HI-FI

Junodownload

MixRadio

Qriocity

Rhapsody

Wowload

Singtel AMPed

24 – 7

Great Indie Music

Beatport

Big Pond Music

Getmusic

Thumbplay Music

Muz.ru

Deezer

Simfy

Qello

Rithm

Space Shower TV

Muve Music

YouTube

eMusic

Sirius Satellite Radio Canada

rdio

Gracenote

Nokia MixRadio

Pono Music

7 Digital

VEVO

WIMO

Medianet

Music Unlimited

Bandit.fm

Bandcamp

Soundcloud

Shazam

Motime

Bell Mobility

Google Music Store

Tradebit

Spinlet

Amazon Cloud

Artistxite

CBC Music

Apple Music

CD Baby

Amazon MP3

VIVO

DailyMotion

Napster

Google Play

Groove

HMV Digital

Mediazoic

Stingray Music

Tidal

 

One can say SoundCloud and Bandcamp are different in the sense that artists are in control of their works and profits.

Few digital distributors make their services free while they take commissions from sales.

 

There have also been cases of artists not getting the accurate money due from streaming using the services of some of these digital distributors but digital distribution is still the best means of reaching fans worldwide.


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