In recent years, digital technologies have changed dramatically, consequentially having a significant impact on the music industry, who have been forced to alter their methods of production; to counteract the increased fickleness of music audiences, whose tastes are ever-changing and seek instant gratification. The evolution of the music industry has been acutely influenced by the developments in technology. It could be argued that technology has been a significant challenge for style of cultural production, the economic relationships within these, and of course... the law. In addition, whilst piracy has always been an issue, the widespread use of internet based distribution makes this increasingly problematic.
Digital technology has never been so diverse; all the time companies are coming up with fresh plans and innovative ideas to cater to the way audiences consume music. Music is now available in the form of: Ipods, both legal and illegal downloads, music streaming sites, music streaming software, digital radio, television channels (including those targeting niche markets), mobile phones, internet sites, file sharing (both online and by members of the public). Recently there has been an increase in legal music streaming sites, presumably in an attempt to create a compromise between free, illegal downloads and controversially expensive legal ones. This methods also means that music labels are able to have a greater input, though recently - and despite their popularity, the services have come under fire for failing to compensate independent artists fairly.
Obviously noticing the decline in physical sales, and the sharp increase of online downloads, many artists began to take note and share their music via Myspace. It provides a profile for musicians, and enables them to upload their entire discography, regardless of whether or not they are signed to a record label. This has seen the...