How Music Got Free and Why You Should Care

How Music Got Free is a book about the history of the music industry and how digital technology has changed the way we consume music. But it’s also a story about how the music industry has responded to these changes, and why you should care about the future of music.

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How music got free

In the 1990s, the music industry was revolutionized by the introduction of the MP3 file format and Napster, the first popular peer-to-peer file sharing service. These new technologies made it possible for music fans to download their favorite songs for free, without having to purchase CDs or other physical media. This change had a profound impact on the music industry, which saw a decline in sales of CDs and other physical media. In response, the industry took legal action against several file sharing services and individuals who were illegally downloading music. This had a chilling effect on innovation in the music industry, as companies became hesitant to invest in new technologies that could potentially be used for piracy.

Despite these efforts, piracy continued to thrive, and in 2007, a new file sharing service called BitTorrent made it even easier for people to illegally download music. This led to another decline in sales of physical media, as well as a decline in sales of digital downloads from legal services like iTunes. The music industry responded by lobbying for tougher copyright laws and taking legal action against pirates, but these efforts have had little impact.

The challenges faced by the music industry today are similar to those faced by other industries that have been disrupted by digital technology, such as the newspaper and book publishing industries. The difference is that the music industry has been slower to adapt, and its response has often been heavy-handed and counterproductive. As a result, the industry is in crisis, with artists struggling to make a living and many people wondering if we still need record labels at all.

Why you should care

In 2010, a group of music industry insiders leaked a trove of files that revealed the strategies these moguls had used to game the system and fix the prices of CDs. The documents showed how the industry had colluded to inflate prices and keep them higher than they would otherwise have been.

It was a stunning revelation, and it rocked the music world. But for consumers, it didn’t have much of an impact: by 2010, many of us had already stopped buying CDs. We were buying our music online, from iTunes or Amazon or any number of other digital retailers.

The price-fixing scandal was a reminder that the music business is an oligopoly: a handful of companies control the majority of the market. And when oligopolies fix prices, consumers suffer.

But there’s another way that oligopolies can hurt consumers, and that’s by stifling innovation. For example, imagine you’re a start-up with a new idea for how music can be distributed or sold. You’re not going to get very far if you have to go up against the entrenched interests of the major labels. They have all the power, and they’re not going to let you disrupt their business model.

So when you hear about major labels suing napster or suing YouTube, know that it’s not just about protecting their business model; it’s also about protecting their market share. And when you see them fighting against things like free streaming services or artist-friendly platforms like Bandcamp, know that it’s not just about making sure they get paid; it’s also about making sure they stay in control.

The good news is that there are ways to fight back against oligopolies. antitrust laws are designed to protect competition and promote innovation, and they can be used to hold oligopolies accountable. And as we’ve seen with platform monopolies like Facebook and Google, even big companies can be forced to change their ways if enough people demand it.

So if you care about getting fair prices for music, or seeing new innovation in how music is distributed and sold, then you should care about breaking up oligopolies like the major labels. It’s time for a new era of competition in the music business – one that puts power back into the hands of artists and fans instead of a handful of corporations

The story of one song

In the world of digital music, a handful of entrepreneurs and musicians have managed to upend the industry and give control of music back to the people who create it. One such figure is musician and producer Brad Fanshaw, whose song “How Music Got Free” has become an anthem for a new generation of music lovers.

Fanshaw’s story begins in the early days of the internet, when he was part of a group of pioneering musicians who traded music files online. This small community grew into a global network of music lovers, and eventually led to the creation of sites like Napster and YouTube.

Fanshaw’s song captures the excitement and sense of possibility that accompanied this new way of sharing music. It also points to the potential for much more than just free music; it speaks to the possibility of a future where all creative works are freely available to everyone.

This vision may seem radical, but it is already beginning to become reality. With the help of technologies like blockchain, we are moving closer to a world where all works of art are accessible to everyone, regardless of their income or location. This is an exciting time for fans of music and other forms o art, and Brad Fanshaw’s story is sure to inspire many more people to fight for a future where creativity is truly free.

The cost of free music

When it comes to the topic of music, the internet has been a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it’s made it easier than ever to find and listen to our favorite songs. On the other hand, it’s contributed to a sharp decline in album sales and music piracy has become rampant. In recent years, streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have tried to address these issues by offering monthly subscriptions that give users access to millions of songs for a small fee.

Despite these efforts, music piracy is still a major problem. In 2015, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) estimated that global music piracy losses totaled $4.2 billion. This is a significant decrease from previous years, but it’s still a huge amount of money. And as digital media becomes more prevalent, it’s likely that music piracy will continue to be a problem.

There are many factors that have contributed to the decline in album sales, but one of the most important is the fact that music has become much more accessible. In the past, if you wanted to listen to a particular song or album, you had to buy it on CD or vinyl. Nowadays, you can simply go online and find countless websites where you can listen to music for free.

The ease with which we can obtain free music has had a major impact on album sales. According to the IFPI, global album sales have declined by 50% since 2000. This is partly due to the fact that people are simply downloading less music overall, but it’s also because albums are being replaced by individual tracks. In other words, people are buying fewer albums and instead opting to purchase individual songs or stream them for free on sites like YouTube and SoundCloud.

The decline in album sales has had a ripple effect on the entire music industry. Artists haveseen their incomes decline sharply in recent years as record labels struggleto adaptto the new digital landscape. Many labels have been forced topartner with streaming services in order tow bring in revenue, but thisis often not enoughto sustain artists financially. As a result, many musicianshave been forcedto find alternative ways to make money such as touringand sellingmerchandise.

The situation is not all doom and gloom however; there are some positives factors that have emerged from this new digital age of music. One of these is the rise of independent artists who are able tomake a living without signing witha major label. In addition,the internethas madeit easierthan everformusic fansto connectwith eachotherand share theirfavoritemusic

How the internet changed music

In the 1990s, the music industry was booming. CDs were flying off shelves, and artists were raking in millions of dollars in sales. But then something happened that would change the music industry forever: the internet.

Thanks to file-sharing sites like Napster, music lovers could suddenly download their favorite songs for free. This had a devastating effect on the music industry, resulting in plummeting sales and mass layoffs.

But not everyone was unhappy about this turn of events. Many music fans embraced file sharing as a way to get their hands on more music, more easily. And for many artists, the internet provided a new way to reach fans and make money through digital downloads and streaming services.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how the internet changed music and why you should care.

The future of the music industry

The future of the music industry is a topic of great speculation. Will physical formats like CDs and vinyl continue to decline in popularity? Will digital streaming services replace them?

These are valid questions, but they ignore a more important question: how did we get here in the first place? To understand the future of the music industry, we need to understand its past. And that story begins with a man named Doug Morris.

Doug Morris is a music industry veteran. He started out as a songwriter in the 1960s, and by the 1980s he was running Warner Music Group. In 1995, he became chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, which is today the largest music company in the world.

Under Morris’ leadership, Universal made some very savvy business decisions. They were early adopters of digital technology, and they were quick to sign deals with popular new streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

But Universal’s biggest coup came in 2008, when they struck a deal with YouTube. At the time, YouTube was an up-and-coming video sharing website that was slowly gaining popularity. But it wasn’t yet clear how big it would become or what role it would play in the future of the music industry.

The deal that Universal struck with YouTube was simple: YouTube would pay Universal a fee for every song that was played on their site. This was a groundbreaking deal, and it set a precedent for other music companies to follow suit.

Thanks to deals like this, streaming services have become one of the most popular ways to listen to music today. But this revenue model has been controversial from the start. Many artists feel that they are not being fairly compensated for their work, and that streaming services are eating into their sales.

The situation came to a head in 2016, when Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalog from Spotify in protest of their free tier (which allows users to listen to music with ads). This generated a lot of publicity, and it put pressure on Spotify to change their policy.

In response, Spotify removed its free tier in some countries and started offering discounted rates for students and families. This caused some people to cancel their subscriptions, but overall it seems to have had little impact on Spotify’s bottom line.

So where does this leave us? It’s hard to say for sure. The music industry is in flux, and it’s impossible to predict what will happen next. One thing is for sure: whatever happens, Doug Morris will be there – he’s still chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group!

What free music means for artists

The internet has drastically changed the music industry, providing new opportunities for artists and new challenges for the music business. One of the most significant changes has been the availability of free music.

While some may see free music as a threat to artists’ livelihoods, others see it as an opportunity to reach a wider audience. Free music is often seen as a way to promote paid music, by building buzz and exposure for artists. It can also be a revenue source in its own right, through advertising or donations.

However you feel about free music, it’s important to understand how it got here and what it means for the future of the music industry.

How free music affects listeners

How Music Got Free and Why You Should Care is a book by Stephen Witt that explores the history of the digital music revolution. Witt charts the rise of MP3s, Napster, and iTunes, and how they changed the way we listen to music. He also examines the impact of free music on the music industry, and how it has affected both musicians and listeners.

The pros and cons of free music

Though it may seem like a given that music should be free, there are actually a few pros and cons to consider when it comes to this topic. Let’s take a look at a few of them.


1. Free music can help people discover new artists and bands that they may not have otherwise found.
2. It can also introduce people to new genres of music that they may not have otherwise explored.
3. Free music can be a great way to support up-and-coming artists who may not have the funds to distribute their music otherwise.
4. It can also be a great way to promote live shows and other events related to the music industry.


1. Free music can sometimes result in lower quality recordings, as artist may not be able to afford professional studio time or equipment.
2. It can also lead to less revenue for the artists themselves, as people may not be as inclined to purchase their music if it is readily available for free elsewhere.
3. Additionally, free music can sometimes encourage piracy and illegal downloading, which has a negative impact on the overall industry.

Why free music is here to stay

When Napster first hit the scene in the late 1990s, it was nothing short of a revolution. For the first time, people could easily share music files with each other without having to pay for them. This set off a chain reaction that would eventually change the music industry forever.

The rise of Napster and other file-sharing services led to a decrease in sales of physical albums and CDs. This, in turn, led to a decrease in revenue for record labels and artists. To make up for this lost revenue, many labels turned to DRM (digital rights management) to protect their music files from being copied and shared.

However, DRM only made it more difficult for legitimate customers to listen to their purchased music. In addition, DRM-protected music files could still be easily copied and shared using methods such as peer-to-peer file sharing. As a result, many people turned to illegal file sharing as their preferred method of obtaining music.

The recording industry has tried various methods to combat illegal file sharing, but these have all been unsuccessful. In the end, it seems that free music is here to stay. While this may not be good news for artists and labels, it is good news for consumers who can now enjoy their favorite tunes without having to worry about breaking the law.

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