The Music Industry in the Web 2.0 Era: How the digital world has changed the face of music

Kristinn Svein Ingólfsson

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The Internet has completely revamped the business world, especially during the later stages of the Internet development called the Web 2.0 era. Every aspect of the business world has been moved onto the web, either partly or entirely. The number of users on the Internet is always increasing and in the end of 2014 over 3 billion people in the world had access to the Internet. This change in business behavior can be both good and bad and it has greatly influenced every industry in the world. The focus of this thesis is the music industry and how it has transformed during the Web 2.0 era. The research questions this thesis will answer are “How has the music industry changed in the Web 2.0 era?” and “How is the music industry adapting to the changes in the business environment?”. The thesis will start of by defining the Web 2.0 concept and then move on to business models and how they have changed following the rise of the Internet. It will then have a historical overview of the music industry for comparison effect. It will look at how it progressed through technological innovations and then see how aspects concerning the industry such as marketing, production and distribution were before the web. The music industry of the 21st century is then addressed and the same aspects considered before moving on to illegal downloading, where court cases, pros and cons and how the fight against illegal downloading has been going are considered. Finally the current status of the music industry is considered and the future is speculated. This thesis is based on books and scholarly written articles regarding the subject, annual reports of music sales released by Nielsen Soundscan and Billboard, as well as official websites of relevant web companies. A survey was also constructed and released to see how people view illegal downloading and the music industry.

EducationsMSc in Applied Economics and Finance, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages85