Reports Music

Awakening The Music Industry in the Digital Age

Report by Mark Mulligan
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In June 1999 a software programme developed by a college dropout changed the music industry forever. It triggered a transformation that threw decades’ worth of accepted wisdom out of the window and sent the recorded music industry into what at times appeared to be a death spiral. But it was a process that also prompted a crucial era of self-questioning and a reassessment of what the music industry actually is and, most importantly, what it should be. Now, mid way through the second decade of the XXX century, we are witnessing the first stirrings of a new music industry, one that is built on digital foundations rather than bound by the constraints of the CD and physical retail. Without the process of re-examination the business would have been unprepared for the dramatically different realities of the digital era and the demands of the digital consumer. That single piece of software shook the music industry out of the hubris, complacency and arrogance that had come to define during the 1980’s and 1990’s.

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