Napster and the Music Industry

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Napster and the Music Industry We have all watched over the last year and a half as the controversy over the digital music provider Napster has clogged our television screens and lined our floors in the forms of newspaper articles. We are also well aware of the implications and revenue losses that the service either directly or indirectly causes. What I am going to investigate more in-depth in this article is, more specifically, the effect that Napster has on the operations of record stores worldwide. I am going to try to describe the most profound effects that Napster has on this industry. First, I would like to touch on the aspects of Napster that has aided the record sales industry. Take these facts into consideration when contemplating my argument. The highest selling group album sale was the new N'Sync CD, selling over 1.4 million in its first week of sales. Add this to the highest debuting solo artists; Brittney Spears and Eminem, each selling over 1 million in their first week on the shelves. All of these examples were available on Napster at the same time they were made available in stores. Most people, like I originally thought, would tend to believe that Napster would reduce record sales. However, as evidenced in my statistics earlier, record sales have been booming since Napster has become available to the public. But what is the reasoning behind this phenomenon? The digital music provider acts almost as a free advertising site for all musical talents, popular or otherwise. Bands can put their music out into the World Wide Web for all people to enjoy. This free music allows people to test out music and see what they like. Many people, if they enjoy something they hear, will venture out to the record store and buy a copy of the group's album. The final aspect that I will endorse Napster on is that it sponsors tours and features different bands on its website. This is a final form of marketing that helps get groups known in the general public and help to boost record sales. So why are people like Metallica and Dr. Dre so angry with Napster? One reason, unrelated to record sales, is that Napster offers unperfected versions of unreleased songs that these artists do not want released until they are completed.

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