Technology Changes the Way We Listen to Music

Ten years ago, who would have imagined using a telephone to listen to music!  Or, who would have envisioned turning on the computer to hear the “radio?”  For those who remember listening to music on “45s,” it’s hard to believe that music is now more available in “digital format.”  According to the Digital Music Report 2012 issued by the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), digital music revenues now account for 32% of music sales worldwide.  Some markets now see more than half of their revenues derive from digital channels, including the USA (52%), South Korea (53%) and China (71%).

There are certain fundamental factors that have contributed to this growth in digital sales of music.  First, consumers now have more choices. Digital music is now segmented into two main consumption models: “Access” (subscription) and “Ownership” (download), with both segments expanding in 2011. Subscription services expanded and linked with new partners to reach new audiences – most notably integrating with Facebook and bundling their services with ISP offerings.  Meanwhile, developments in cloud technology are transforming the way fans that purchase and download music, manage and store it.  IFPI estimates that 3.6 billion downloads were purchased globally in 2011, an increase of 17 percent (combining singles and album downloads).   Also driving growth in digital music use is the global surge in consumer demand for smartphones and tablets.

Digital music retailers are quickly spreading their reach globally. At the start of 2011, the largest international digital services were present in 23 countries.  One year later they are present in 58 countries.  For example, in 2011 alone, iTunes opened for business in 28 additional markets, now reaching more than 50 countries worldwide.

Today, you can listen to music on the Internet and usage is growing thanks to the surge in broadband services.  Afo Verde, president, Latin Region, Sony Music, says: “Broadband penetration in Latin America continues to grow and the region has become the number two cell phone market in the world, presenting a great opportunity to expand the digital music business.”

YouTube is also very popular for listening to music and seeing music videos.  Go to www.youtube.com and search for the following artists and titles to hear some of the top selling singles of 2011.

Artist

Title

Copies Sold (million)

Bruno   Mars

Just The Way   You Are

12.5

Bruno   Mars

Grenade

10.2

LMFAO

Party Rock Anthem

9.7

Jennifer   Lopez

On The Floor

8.4

Adele

Rolling In The Deep

8.2

Lady   Gaga

Born This Way

8.2

Tune in to this website for music articles, jazz and easy listening music on the “Village Caller” program by Ixtapa resident Bill Tucker.

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