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Future of the Music Industry

November 21, 2003 • Volume 13, Issue 41
Will the major music labels survive the digital age?
By Alan Greenblatt

Introduction

Downloading music from the Internet for free has become a favorite online pastime for teens and college students, but the music industry says illegal downloading and file sharing is costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars.  (AP Photo/David Paul Morris)
Downloading music from the Internet for free has become a favorite online pastime for teens and college students, but the music industry says illegal downloading and file sharing is costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars. (AP Photo/David Paul Morris)

The widespread availability of music that can be downloaded for free off the Internet has decimated sales of compact discs in recent years — amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. Perhaps belatedly, the music industry is starting to fight back, filing high-profile lawsuits against individuals to discourage piracy and promoting new online sites that sell licensed music for a low price. But many observers wonder whether the industry, long resistant to the new technology, will adapt in time to remain profitable. As physical distribution of music on plastic discs becomes an anachronism, who will profit from promoting and marketing music that's available everywhere through digital devices — the labels, the artists, legitimate Internet companies or the pirates?

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Nov. 21, 2003  Future of the Music Industry
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Jan. 15, 1969  Musical America
Dec. 05, 1956  Music in America
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Copyright and Patents
Internet and Social Media
Movies and Entertainment
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