Remember Napster, the first peer-to-peer file sharing service found in 1999 that raised a ruckus in the music industry? Through Napster, web users copied digital recordings that thousands of other users could copy for free, ultimately creating “a copying frenzy” (Rose, 2000). The birth of digital file sharing created uproar in the music industry as the opportunities for piracy escalated (Freedman, 2003). Contrary, this forced the music industry to retaliate; causing monumental changes in the way music was created, formatted, distributed and consumed. Digital technologies and the Internet transformed the traditional structure of activities in the music industry’s supply chain that followed content creation, production, promotion, distribution and consumption into a digital, interactive, multifaceted and collaborative model in which content creation, engagement and distribution between content creators and consumers were made effortless (Burnes, Graham, Langer & Lewis, 2004). The world’s leading music corporation, Universal Music Group, was one of the many record labels that was forced to transition to new business models in response to media convergence, changing the way the company operated in discovering artists, promotion, advertising, marketing, publishing and distribution of content to cater for the digitally advanced society.
Cunningham and Turnbull (2014) proposed that the introduction of new technologies, globalisation of media communications markets, growing convergence of media sectors, explosion of Web 2.0 and social media “have all contributed to the formation of a highly volatile and greatly altered media landscape” that called for a reasse...
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...rs in emerging markets for the first time” (IFPI, 2014).
Ultimately, Internet-based network technologies transformed the traditional structure of activities in the supply chain of the music industry. While piracy in digital file sharing via peer-to-peer networking services remain an issue for the industry, the phenomenon of media convergence has allowed music industry bodies such as the Universal Music Group to adopt innovations by operating in a virtual environment and dealing with multiple suppliers and customers via an array of platforms and services. UMG built relationships with several online platforms and entertainment clients to reach out to digital consumers. The re-organisation of functions within the UMG has increased their flexibility to react rapidly to media convergence and market changes, letting new business opportunities to flourish.
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