In the year 1991, Fraunhofer IIS a company in Germany developed what is today known as MP3 format. This innovation revolutionized the distribution, storage and how music was being consumed. Main Reasons for the rapid distribution and revolution of music plays a vital role in today’s lives. Despite the fact that, it requires time and the effort to be able to find a suitable music that fits our taste, a Radio station and also record labels that we prefer. Since, radio station ends up only deciding what we listen and the time we do so (Reeza Fazily, 2011).
Another innovation similar to Fraunhofer was enveloped in 1999 which was referred to as Shawn Fanning and developed by Napster. This was a peer to peer kind of application that allowed users to be able to share MP3 files and to do so over the internet. However, this innovation faced problems as one RIAA got concerned about the rooting illegal trade involving copyrighting music done over the internet. It was then that they obtained a court ruling after two years against Napster, hence forcing them to be offline. However, the aftermath and new peer-to-peer products and services that were similar to what Napster sprouted online were brought forth. These enable music users to be able to continue with downloading pirated music online. This narrows down to what Fraunhofer came up with back in 1991 (Reeza Fazily, 2011).
As mentioned earlier, the major Industry condition that channeled a way for the Revolution of Audio Distribution described in the opening case of chapter 9 of the book by Schiller (2013). In the mentioned case, the capability of transferring albums and songs in a new and better digital recorded format the “MP3” format, allowed the users to be able to download and play music in digitally and personalized computers and software programs that allowed them to transfer CD tracks into the new format innovated.
This industry condition led to the birth of what is referred to as media sharing and applications just like the one Napster developed and later faced hurdles as mentioned earlier. It gave way not only into freely distributing and sharing mp3 formatted songs, but also facilitates users with similar file sharing application to be able to share and interact together. With this new technology, music could be easily compressed even to a size half its original one without compromising its quality and composition. It is the emergence of the MP3 format that gave individuals the ability to transfer music to such format among the many that we have and experience today (Harrang, 2007)
More uprising IT technology and advancement facilitated the creation of programs and software that empowered music lovers to be able to convert the music they prefer and love, and which happened to be stored in compact discs and transfer them to laptops as MP3 files for easy and appropriate reaching them. This is so since before the onset of MP3 the consumers had to opt on what to listen, radio stations dictated whatever they listened and controlled the time they listened. Initially music stores failed to deliver and attract subscribers due to the initial file format the stores had adopted. The music stores strategically used proprietary kind of file formats which imposed limits to the consumers and their ability to be able to manipulate the files and to do that in whichever way they desired. Hence, the onset and presence of the consumer friendly options that got innovated such as the MP3 algorithm pointed to one important fact. It meant that a consumer had an alternative of downloading a music file from internet sources and at their own time. To be exact, cost factors could be the main reason as to why lovers of music did not employ and make use of the record label provided for in the music stores to be their major points of purchase (Harrang, 2007).
It is important to note that the then music stores and also in this era, are indeed out in the market to make profits. This is the reason why they would opt to charge higher when downloading preferred music and tracks on the MP3 file format. As an alternative and one that would have worked for them, the music stores would have adopted for MPs algorithm systems. By this, they would have made music from the shelved record labels to be more accessible to its buyers and consumers at large. This move would have empowered the consumer and in the long run, they would have opted to purchase more music after the experience with MP3 capabilities that allowed them to compress the music files to up to an eight of files actual size (Rhee, 2001).
This leads us to the question that beckons to know which stakeholder ended up beneficial among others. The stakeholder that benefited most from the revolution and evolution mentioned in this case happens to be the music customer. In a more particularly case, an individual that had a personal computer. These are the ones who would be able to take advantage and materialize to their advantage the new digital file formatting technique. This can be noted from the previous discussion held in this paper. As mentioned earlier, consumers were enabled to easily and at their own comfort, download and be able to share the music files through their own personal devices and laptops
Another thing that resulted from the emergence was that, consumers could be able to share music applications and files across the larger internet. From this, the audio revolution indeed benefited mainly the consumers. It made possible for music to be easily accessed and also share with friends far from their reach through the internet (Rhee, 2001). The only thing the consumer was required to have been the possession and acquiring of a personal computer and also the access and availability of internet. It became a reality that, as the use and adapting of MP3 gradually gained popularity and that, the music store and the larger manufacturers stood to be on the losing end as they chose not to be patent to it. It finally dawned on them that the ingenious ability of Fraunhofer that resulted in the innovation of the MP3 algorithm had no profit experience whatsoever.
With reference to key concepts represented in the chapter’s 5, 6 and 9 of Schiller (2013), a few projections on what’s determined the length the success in terms of services applications like iTunes endured. In the year 2003, Apple managed to open its 1st ever music store which is now known as iTunes Music Store. This application enabled consumers to be able to download music files and in particular, during that period, it had five somewhat major record labels in its possession. In the long run, it made it possible for the record industry to earn high revenues from the MP3s being distributed.
Podcasting which is similar to radio and provided for by applications such as iTune can be created or developed by any individual with a possession of a computer or laptop and a microphone. This has also facilitated individual artists to be able incorporated into their podcasts as well. On the brighter side, this makes it possible for the availability for download and done so without delivering any harm to the artist’s copyrights pleas.
There are other factors that will in the long run determine the amount of time that sums up to length of success that applications such as iTunes and iPod will be enjoying. One is definitely the Apple’s “cool” identity that stands out as a vivid factor, enjoying the support of consumers and the larger younger generations. These applications are equipped with cunning marketing strategies that have allowed their success to be in due course facilitated by the strong relationship created by the music labels. They will enjoy this as far as the artist discovers the “cool” factor in question that Apple upholds with its consumers.
Another factor that will facilitate the longevity of their success is by its use based on the widely adopted forms of digital formats, backed-up by the overlying competitive prices of downloading songs and albums. Another aspect is the underlying strong licensing agreements existing between the companies running and managing the applications and the music owners in terms of the allow their music labels to be enabled and offered in the one-stop digital music stores that would attract consumers. Another aspect is that, Apple had already allowed its iPod to be able to play non-iTunes files and songs. It is important for Apple and such like companies to allow iTunes songs and such like applications to be able to play on the non-iPod MP3 devices and players. This will surely keep them afloat as far as this industry is concerned (DeVito, 2010).
DeVito, D., 2010. The Digital Music Distribution Revolution [Online] Available at: https://dcdevito.wordpress.com/page/6/[Accessed 20 March 2014].
Harrang, K., 2007. Challenges in the Global IT market; Technology, Creative Content and Intellectual Property Rights. [Online] Available at: http://www.arizonalawreview.org/pdf/49-1/49arizlrev29.pdf[Accessed 20 March 2014].
Reeza Fazily, 2011. Industry Conditions that Led to the Revolution in Audio Distribution which Described in the Case. [Online] Available at: http://www.slideshare.net/reezthericko/industry-conditions-that-led-to-the-revolution-in-audio-distribution-which-described-in-the-case-7184960[Accessed 20 March 2014].
Rhee, S. (., 2001. The digital music trialogue. [Online] Available at: https://www.princeton.edu/~artspol/studentpap/undergrad%20thesis2%20Rhee.pdf[Accessed 20 March 2014].