The paper is discussing the business model of Napster which has been founded by a 19-year old college dropout, and immediately created ripples in the music industry with its wildly successful business management model…
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Napster’s impact on the music industry was revolutionary. Back in the 1990s almost 90 percent of the gross sales of recorded music worldwide came from music albums, singles and music videos owned or distributed by one of six multinational corporations such as Time Warner, Sony, Philips, Bertelsmann, Thorn-EMI and Matsushita.1 This time, however it is drastically changing. People start to refrain from going to record bars to buy music, and have actually resorted to downloading music files through the internet via a string of softwares, trail blazed by Napster. While this practice has created disputes over intellectual property and the legality of music file-sharing, it has also paved the way for the advent of virtual music shops in the internet. One of the clear winners out of the Napster revolution was Napster itself. Thorn-EMI was reported to have shelled out $100 million in a deal with the company. The turn of events showed how the music industry reeled from the impact as they continually lost billions of dollars to the competition. For instance, while music companies are busy prosecuting Napster, other startup groups are creating softwares like Kazaa, e-donkey, Limewire and a score of others which eventually offered the same services as Napster and are easily available in the web. The music industry saw an immediate downturn in sales of tapes and CDs. “This downturn along with illegal copying of CDs cause many music companies to drop recording contracts for local artists, finding it cheaper to promote established international artists than develop local ones.” (Parker 2005, p. 29)
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