The impact of new technologies and the Internet on the music industry, 1997-2001
This dissertation analyses the controversial issues surrounding the rise of the online music space at the turn of the millennium.' The consumer-led online music revolution rode on the back of a new technology that enhanced connectivity but disregarded notions of copyright and intellectual property. This enabled artists to create, promote and disseminate their own music, but also allowed end users to share unauthorized music files, to the financial detriment of the music industry. It examines the major music corporations' attempts to halt what they considered to be undesirable behaviour, as well as the struggle over control of copyrights, and assesses the likely path of the development of viable online music services. The findings suggest that the music industry is capable of success within the online environment as long as it heeds the lessons of the consumer-driven market. Artists and end users have been empowered by the technology, and niches have emerged for new intermediaries to service new demands. The significance of this study is that it contextualizes and analyses the turmoil and flux which this period experienced; it identifies the underlying issues, and points the direction for the future of the industry. This has been an important juncture in the history of the recording industry, and the new network technology has engendered considerable changes in the relationship between the major corporations and the public. While existing studies of the music industry and copyright law have informed the work, this dissertation provides original research into how the online music space relates to and affects the major label- dominated offline music industry, weaving together the various strands in a multi-disciplinary approach.