The Future of the Music Industry

Future of music industry, online music, global networks and partnerships
What will the music industry look like in the future? (Photo: Public Domain)

The music industry changes rapidly. These changes relate to the shift in distribution channels, shift in business relationships, and shift in the provision of music to consumers. Rapid advancement of information technology is a core factor in these changes. The widespread use of the Internet facilitates changes in people’s behavior in consuming music products. The future of the music industry will likely involve significant shift toward global online networking that capitalizes on business partnerships. These partnerships are based on the increasing alliances among business organizations, along with the continuing globalization of the world’s economies. Such a future condition of the music industry highlights the importance of the rapidly changing availability of global networks, inclusive of the Internet, supply chains, and distribution channels.

This article explores possible future conditions of the music industry, in light of the advent of online stores like Apple iTunes and digital players like the iPod.

Combating Piracy in the Future of the Music Industry

Piracy is one of the main issues facing the music industry. This is especially so in the online environment. It is considerably easy to download music for free without paying any fee. These illegal free downloads are available from a wide variety of websites. This issue is especially challenging because of its nature. For example, music companies do not necessarily have governmental support in countries or regions where these websites are based and accessible. In addition, music piracy worsens because more websites are developed through time, including those that illegally distribute songs and music videos.

The music industry is seeking measures to address piracy and illegal downloads of music. One option is for record companies to demand that ISPs pay royalties as compensation for illegally downloaded music via these ISPs’ servers. Thus, the future of the music industry could involve ISPs compelled to charge website owners for illegal music downloads. The ISPs would then transfer these payments to artists or record companies. Still, the effectiveness and success of this option is not guaranteed, considering the disparities among countries’ legal systems.

Future Partnerships: Music Websites, Bookstores, Global Networks

The future of the music industry could also involve partnerships between online companies and record companies. These partnerships are expected to increase because online music websites are now increasingly popular. People go to these websites to listen to their favorite music. Many of these websites are independent of record companies. These music websites could serve as new channels of distribution significantly affecting the future of the music industry.

The global distribution of music is likely to expand to include more online bookstores in the future. These online bookstores allow patrons to purchase music directly. These online bookstores are increasingly popular. The future music industry just needs to tap into these available distribution opportunities and options to increase profitability in the online market.

Global networking would also be an essential part in the future of the music industry. Global networking is essential to enable the global reach of the industry. To maximize online profits, the future music industry will likely establish comprehensive global networks to reach more music consumers.

Music as a Service

A possible future scenario of the music industry is the provision of music in a way similar to the provision of water or electricity. This option would ensure profitability of the music industry by charging fixed rates for accessing music products through the Internet.

Final Note

The future of the music industry will likely expand more in the online environment. New online channels, and related opportunities and challenges compel the music industry to shift toward using the online environment to develop global networks, and international business partnerships. The future of the music industry is expected to be of global online networking and partnerships.


This article may not be reproduced, distributed, or mirrored without written permission from Panmore Institute and its author/s. Copyright by Panmore Institute - All rights reserved. Small parts of this article may be quoted or paraphrased for research purposes, as long as the article is properly cited and referenced together with its URL/link.