The debate surrounding the digital revolution and how it has affected the music industry is not new. Debates have been raging for several years now over the issue of music piracy through sites such as The Pirate Bay and Bit Torrent. There have been several landmark cases including that against the founders of The Pirate Bay, all of which have been extensively covered by both the mainstream and independent media, as well as the debate itself.
There is a clear parallel between how both the music and media industries are evolving at the moment. Both industries are developing from the more traditional physical form and entering the online world through online publications such as The Sydney Morning Herald or digital content available through both legitimate sources such as iTunes or illegal torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay.
Neither industry is dying. There will always be a need for timely news as there will always be a demand for new music. What I do find interesting though, is how mainstream media sources have framed the issue surrounding piracy. There is a leaning in the media industry to report on music piracy and the issues surrounding the digitalisation of music in a negative light. Ironically however, the media industry itself is fighting the same battle with the sale of physical newspapers and magazines dropping rapidly and, with that, advertising revenue.
While neither the media or the music industry will die, it seems that the more traditional forms of distribution will indeed cease in the near future. The industry is evolving and major companies such as Warner Music, EMI and Sony to name only a few need to reevaluate their own business models. There are many examples online of new business models that are proving successful to artists unsigned to a major label. It is only through a restructuring of traditional frameworks that the major labels and publications of both these industries will continue to exist.