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Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association

Volume 2, Number 1 (2002)

It's The End of the World as We Know It: Music Delivery After the Digital Big Bang 

Paul Friedlander

California State University, Chico


The advent of the digital age of music in the late 1990s has made obtaining recordings (be it lawfully or otherwise) easier than at any other point in the history of recorded music. Peer-to-peer services such as Napster and digital marketplaces like MP3.com have simultaneously revolutionized music delivery and forced content owners to adopt alternative means of monetizing their assets. Whereas the music industry’s traditional business model has left record companies the main financial benefactor of album sales, the ‘digital big bang’ has created new and exciting opportunities for artists to record and distribute their music; affording them a considerable amount of creative and financial autonomy in the process. As the music industry shifts from a unit-based sales model towards a potentially all-access, digital streaming one, the keys to successfully profiting within the new paradigm lie in the creation of forward-thinking, adaptable licensing mechanisms and the establishment of influence within the digital distribution channels.

Keywords: digital music, music business, music technology, streaming music, music copyright, Napster, MP3.com, major record labels, royalties, digital distribution, file sharing, music piracy

Friedlander, Paul. “It’s The End of the World as We Know It: Music Delivery After the Digital Big Bang." Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 2, no. 1 (2002): 60-75. https://doi.org/10.25101/2.3

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