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Consumption: The Music Industry

How has music consumption changed recently? 

Music consumption has changed radically in the last two decades from buying CDs in a shop to downloading files illegally on LimeWire to streaming online, for example, Spotify.


People used to download a lot of music online illegally since there weren’t any regulations before to control the issue. After regulations were put down, most likely because it affected the economy; “the GAO study found that the estimated losses in the US economy due to piracy accounted for $58 billion in output and $2.6 billion in tax revenues (BPI, 2010: 24), and people got caught, because of regulations for example when “In April 2009 Sweden implemented a local version of the EU Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive that gave copyright owners the right to request the IP addresses of suspected illegal file sharers by personal experience” (Jewitt, Robert, and Majid Yar, 4), *I find it harder to download nowadays and *I have to think twice before committing a crime that *I can get caught for.


Nowadays, *I actually pay for music, through Spotify.

Before I would not have streamed music since the internet was so expensive to pay for. It would have seemed useless to stream the song once instead of just downloading it at home. However, the developments of technology and access to the internet almost everywhere have made it possible to stream easily. It’s so incredibly easy to have Spotify on your phone instead of carrying CDs and Walkman’s around. It’s the simplicity of having almost all the music in one app that draws people, myself included, to stream music on Spotify. 

Also, I think people respect music more now. “By positioning the paying consumer as a stakeholder in cinema, especially younger tech-savvy demographics, recent antipiracy efforts have sought to promote respect for the creative sector and its various employees, whilst at the same time raising public awareness of legal alternatives to piracy.” (Jewitt, Robert, and Majid Yar, 6). I think this works for music as well. People are realising the worth of the artists more and more by being exposed to the promotion of creativity on different mass media online.

People also consume music on Youtube. Here we combine two types of art in one, filmmaking and music. Music videos can draw people into listening to music. For example, Childish Gambino’s track ‘This is America’ caused a lot of hype because of its strong political statement.

It’s hard to say where the future in music consumption lies but I think people will have more respect for artists and will more and more consume legally online since there are more platforms like Spotify (on which you can stream free as well with the only cost of hearing advertisements), Deezer and Youtube.

* Where I have referenced to myself, I really mean my anonymous friend. I cannot be legally held accountable for committing any crimes that have been confessed here. The person in question shall remain anonymous.


Jewitt, Robert, and Majid Yar. “Consuming the Illegal: Situating Piracy in Everyday Experience.” Convergence 19:1 (2013), pp. 3-8.

Barekat, Houman. “No More Heroes: How Music Stopped Meaning Everything”.