Internet technology has transformed the world into a global village. The tools of new media have given rise to modern means of communication. The advent of social media sites like YouTube has given an all new dimension to the music industry. The emergence of music streaming websites has made it extremely easy for people to stream and download music and songs. The internet has conquered the geographical boundaries. Today, we can easily search and download international music by the virtue of a mouse click. So, it won’t be wrong to say that Internet has indeed revolutionized and overshadowed the traditional business models.
On the other hand, online music sites are believed to be the biggest reason behind the rising problem of music piracy. Various websites with servers based in Pakistan upload latest music soundtracks which can be downloaded easily. As a result of this practice, various big banner music companies are believed to incur losses worth millions of rupees. But if the music companies are incurring losses because of online music piracy, then how are they still thriving? Well, it seems that the music companies too have a share in the profits of music streaming websites. Moreover, it has also been observed that on many occasions, music labels like tips and T-series are paid huge sums of money by the music streaming websites in order to acquire the soundtracks of various Indian movies.
Now let us look at it by a completely different perspective altogether. Music labels in the US and the UK are making millions of dollars because of releasing their single tracks online. Not only is the online media convenient and cost effective, rather it also provides an opportunity to artists and composers to reach and connect with an incredibly large number of people across various continents. Due to online media, various international artists and bands have gained popularity and fan following all over the world.Recently, various pop singers and rock bands based in Pakistan have gained worldwide popularity and acclaim because of social media platforms like YouTube. Roxen, an all out rock band based in Karachi, Pakistan garnered worldwide popularity for their chartbuster single ‘tera mera rishta’ which was uploaded on YouTube in the year 2007 and since then Mustafa Zahid, the lead vocalist of the band has enjoyed a lot of success and has sung as many as 14 songs for various big banner music labels across India.
If we look at the scenario by a critical perspective, we’ll realize that music companies in countries like India are getting hit adversely because of online releases. As an age old saying goes ” we won’t pay for something if we can get it for free”. So, if we can download an entire soundtrack for free through an online music streaming site, we won’t buy an audio CD worth Rs. 699. It is because of this practice that the music companies are losing out on revenue. Releasing music online is a relatively new concept in the context of the Indian music industry. So, in order to minimize the losses that are being incurred, the Indian music labels need to review their business models. Traditional business models need to be replaced by online business models. Internet is the future. Internet technology believes in distribution of information rather than concentration of information in the hands of a few. So, the bottom line of this argument is:
” online piracy is beneficial for the music industry but, in order to utilize it to the highest possible level, the business models need to be transformed.”