The most recent innovations in the music industry that have been gaining attention are streaming services. Spotify is one such service that has garnered much media attention. In my thesis I question just how innovative this service is by comparing Spotify with its historical precedents. In doing so, I reveal that many aspects of Spotify continue patterns that have persisted for many years. However, there are truly innovative aspects of the service as well. Still, rather than subscribing to a technological determinism, I seek to emphasize the human agents that wield technologies and note these agents' susceptibility to corruption and monopolistic practices.
The music industry is one that has been declining in overall sales for more than a decade. In recent years, advances in technology have altered many of the discovery and delivery platforms for music. The purpose of the study was to examine the different variables that affect the ways in which consumers use the internet to find and consume their music. The research uncovered a distinct difference in discovery and listening behavior between younger and older demographic groups. Digital music software, music blogs and new streaming services have become widely used among younger generations. However, the radio has been identified as the most popular method for both discovery and listening to music among older adults.
The music industry has seen many new forms of technology that have helped shape it to become the multi-billon dollar industry it has become today. The Internet is currently changing how artists are distributing their music as well as how consumers are receiving it. The ease of which an artist can distribute their music across the country without the help of a record label has lead to a new question as to whether or not a record contract is still necessary for an artist to succeed in the industry. This study will look at groups from the Front Range of Colorado at different stages in their musical careers to see exactly how they are using the Internet to distribute their music and to find out if any have achieved any level of financial success doing so.