Radio 1970's Until Now

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Linda Freed
History of the American Music Industry
November 2012

The Modern Ways of Listening to Music

Radio has been around for a very long time. The first radio was invented in 1895. It has since been a popular way to enjoy music, shows, news, weather, sports and more. There are many great things about radio. For example, you can listen to it in the car, you can be exposed to music that you wouldn’t otherwise get the opportunity to listen to and it is free. The reason that Radio Stations are able to produce free radio shows is that radio contains an overwhelming amount of commercials. These commercials are also one of the reasons why people chose not to listen to radio. Americans have been, and are still searching for a way to get free music and TV without having to pay or listen to/watch commercials. Over the years these has been several alternative ways of listening to music for free or for money. Some of the most popular alternatives are Napster, iTunes, YouTube and Pandora.

Napster came out as a peer to peer file sharing website in 1999 (Walker, 8). Napster was originally a website that allowed people to download music that others had uploaded to the website for free. So we were able to download and instantly listen to any song at any time, commercial free for free. Why would we bother to listen to the radio that is infested with commercials when we can listen to whatever we want whenever we want, commercial free for free? It turns out that file sharing over the internet like on Napster.com is illegal! Every time people would download a song from Napster.com they were breaking the law committing copyright infringement. The recording industry did not like what Napster.com was doing. Napster.com was providing the public with recordings without having to buy them. The recording industry does not take it lightly when there music is being shared and the record label is not being paid for it. Several individual artists as well as the Recording Industry Association of America sued Napster.com for copyright infringement. I can’t help to think that Napster.com helped the Recording Industry in to the 2000’s by forcing the Industry to figure out a way to make money on digital download. Many legal and illegal websites have followed Napster.com. They have created legal ways to share music, whether the website is collecting money for every downloaded tune, making money by advertisements, collecting a monthly free like Rhapsody. Rhapsody allows their member to listen to as much music as they want, anywhere they want for a small fee of $10. The user can create his or her own ad free playlists (Rhapsody.com) Rhapsody users can stream music or even download it to use when they don’t have access to internet connection. They also have Rhapsody Radio that is available to their customers. The customer can not share it with others, it is like renting music. The Music Industry is now making money through this the same way as they were if it were played on the radio. Rhapsody purchased Napster in 2011 in an effort to gain more customers.

iTunes was launched in 2003. Even though it was confined to Mac users over 1 Million tracks at $0.99 were sold the first week (Forde, 4). What people like about iTunes is that it is so convenient, affordable and customizable. I love that I can get assigned a song, download it on my iPhone while I’m walking out of class, I don’t need to bring out my credit card because iTunes has my billing information. And I can put in my headphones and get to work learning the new tune on my way to my next destination. When I get home I can go on to my MacBook and listen to the tune that I bought on my iPhone earlier because of a thing that Apple created called iCloud. iCloud keeps everything that I buy and contacts etc and I can access it from any of my Apple producs. You can purchase single tunes of almost any record on iTunes. No longer does one have to purchase an...
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