New ways in which music can be purchased

17 Jan
From February 1st, two of the biggest record labels in the UK are going to roll out an “On Air, On Sale” Policy which allows customers to download music as soon as they hear it played on the radio. It is a known fact that piracy is the bane of the digital world, so Universal and Sony Music are seeking to address this issue by releasing singles as soon as they hit the airwaves. Songs are usually released 6 weeks after radio and TV promotion, but this timeframe is considered too long as impatient music lovers want to download the song sooner resulting to illegal downloading
Opinion
As a person who is usually impatient and hates having to wait weeks before I can download tunes that I like, I view this as a huge step. The only thing for concern is how this will affect the music charts. The normal build-up before a single/album is formally released gives an accurate reflection to the reception of the music. What we will soon see is disproportionate chart positions, as songs initially entering the chart will arrive at low positions in the first week, only to climb the charts further down the line. There will also be the problem of widening the gap between the major record labels and independents. Major record labels can afford to pay for heavy airtime rotation to ensure that their songs are heard enough to ensure sales, independents however may not have the cash to compete hence making it harder to shine.
Marketing efforts across the board will have to ensure that listeners have an awareness of the songs, so that they are better judged to buy the song or not. This might be the time whereby MySpace can get its mojo back??
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