What is a “Paradigm Shift”?
- A fundamental change in how we view the world caused by a scientific, intellectual, or technological advancement,which is considered to be revolutionary, rather than evolutionary concept introduced by Thomas Kuhn(1962) “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”
Does a paradigm shift happens over night? For the majority of the consumers yes! But usually a paradigm shift is a turn of events that starts at least a decade earlier. For music industry the tipping point was on 1st of June, 1999, when the initial version of napster was first released! It spread like wild fire, sales of albums and singles dropped like stone and millions of professional musicians were robbed of their future and the potential to earn a decent living from their profession and hence their “fine art” of music performance and composition.
“The greedy music industry was democratized!! Is that the case and if yes, how?”
Many argued that the greedy music industry was democratized!! Is that the case and if yes, how? First we have to identify that peer to peer file sharing is a theft! Secondly the people that call the stealing of musician’s copy writes a democratization are the ones that don’t even spare one dollar per track even though they spend daily ten dollars on average on Starbucks!
Did the industry respond? Yes, music industry took the case to court and napster shutdown on July of 2001. But an irreversible attitude change had happened to the public’s opinion! “Why pay for something you can have for free?”
“Why pay for something you can have for free?”
Let’s now examine 5 technologies that enabled the digital transformation of music industry in a rather technologically determining way:
Compact disc (CD) is a digital optical disc data storage format that was co-developed by Philips and Sony and released in 1982. The CD enabled the digitalization of music into data “binary information”.
MP3 / Peer-to-Peer Trading
The MP3 file format compresses the file size of a track tenfold thus enabled the file sharing platforms like Napster to easily enable the peer to peer sharing.
Streaming apps like Spotify, Apple Music, or Pandora offer to the listener greater accessibility than the peer to peer platforms did with vast amounts of music available within a split second.
Nowadays, during 2018, a new technological revolution arises for music, blockchain. Platforms built on blockchain have multiple advantages like the utility of peer-to-peer sharing, a decentralized crowdfunding, and the potential for removal of intermediaries like record labels and centralized platforms entirely. Blockchain might be the answer musicians are looking for twenty years now!!