Back in 2005 digital music began a revolution that has permanently changed the music business. Prior to digital music the major labels had strong leverage through their retail distribution and media relationships. The emergence of digital music and piracy threatened sales at the major labels and sent a wave of changes through the music world; including layoffs, lawsuits, and growth of independents labels and artists.
Five years later digital music is the norm; digital devices including Apple iPods, iPhones, wireless phones and computers are selling like wildfire. Consumers now control what they want to see, hear and purchase and the majors comply.
The future for music distribution looks like it will stay digital. With the emergence of social media, marketing will be more digital as well. Independent labels are in a great position if they can master the accessibility of the Internet. Developing their brand, building an audience and having a quality product are great formulas for success online. If independent labels and arts begin to look at themselves as “Content Distributors” (CDs) and have a budget to get that content in front of their audience, they stand a chance to control their own music destiny.