As the free world plunges deeper and deeper into cyberspace, the up and coming generation has no idea how difficult it was to find your favorite song by fast-forwarding and rewinding your cassette. Some of them don’t even know the frustration of $17.00 CD that “skipped”. Lucky them. While their is undoubtedly an enormous decline in the sale of recorded music, the savvy, dynamic, and innovative members of the music industry will still be able to break bread. However, a firm’s legendary status and ungodly past success does not guarantee its survival through the music revolution. Unfortunately, the label I’m referring to is EMI, better known in the U.S. as Capitol Records. This label was and still is home to the Beatles. It also featured the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, and countless others. EMI isn’t exclusive to classic rock, it has many current artists as well, but I only listed the classic rock artists to illustrate that this label was once truly the best in the business. As of late, EMI is getting crushed, in 2009, it lost $800 million (according to the article).
Since the internet has made record sales significantly less profitable than they once were, people, especially those at EMI are realizing that their business needs to change. If recorded music sales are not the main profit center for the music industry, then what is? Some suggest it’s concerts, merchandise sales, and advertising revenue that will keep this industry alive. The internet has enabled people who were once paying customers to listen to music for free, legally and illegally. Websites like Vevo and Grooveshark allow people to legally listen to any song they want whenever they want, for free. Users can even set up playlists. These websites are popular and therefore generate a lot of advertising revenue. Pandora along with many others have created mobile phone applications that also allow users to legally listen to music. Free versions of the applications are supported by advertisements, but if the user so desires, he can pay for for the software and listen to music without ads.