Wondering where music went? Well, nowhere, really. Music has just been an underground sort of movement throughout the past few years. While music has always been around, record sales have been very flat for quite a long time now. As a recent CNET article notes, the record industry was shaking in its out-of-touch roots for awhile.
Now, music sales are on the rise again. Needless to say, those who control the music world are happy to note the turnaround. But, is this increase in record sales really a good thing for the average consumer? Or is it, perhaps, simply a matter of a fight lost by consumers and won by music corporations?
What Happened to Downloading Music
Let’s talk about Limewire for a moment. Limewire was once the most popular way to download music online. Millions of consumers would flock to Limewire’s green shores in order to find obscure and popular tunes alike. Then came the record companies. Now, Limewire is no more. Some say that the takedown of Limewire is the reason why record sales are rebounding.
Others can easily argue that though Limewire was big, it wasn’t (and isn’t) the only way to download music for free. Even with Limewire gone, there are a myriad of other ways to track down the tunes you want to listen to. So, why have people begun buying more albums than every before? I say it’s due to availability, marketing, and the digital age.
Radiohead Did it First
It’s hard not to think of Radiohead when you think of buying music online. In case you didn’t hear, Radiohead has been selling complete albums through the Radiohead website for some time now. Instead of packaging up an album and selling it to stores or etailers, Radiohead sold its music directly to fans.
This proved immensely popular, and people from all around the globe flocked to the Radiohead website during the release of the last Radiohead album.
Behind the guise of music for the people was clever marketing. This type of marketing has made it simple for people to buy music quickly and painlessly.
Advertising Plays a Part
As the (earlier referenced) CNET article states, advertising also plays a large part in the recent record sale boom. Big name entertainers are spending massive millions on advertisements, publicity, and marketing. It’s impossible for a person to walk down a street these days without being hit head on with some kind of music advertisement.
In response to marketing, digital accessibility, and advertising, consumers have begun to rediscover the joy of purchasing music. This isn’t to say that ways to download tunes no longer exist, but it is to say that more and more consumers want to buy tunes. Could this mean that all those barren record stores will start seeing more sales? Possibly. Does it mean that downloading music through sites such as Limewire has come to an end? Doubtful. We’ll just put it this way: with the help of clever marketers and the Internet, music now has a much friendlier face – a face that consumers are responding to.