With constant technological advances and development, there has been an increasingly divergent effect on the music industry over recent years. Technology has enabled swifter and easier distribution of music and yet also enabled the growth of illegal streaming and media trade. Technology has impacted the change in music ownership and distribution both positively and negatively. 


Although technology has improved the distribution of music through websites such as YouTube and Spotify, the internet also makes it incredibly easy to download music illegally. Platforms such as YTD and Napster allow music to be downloaded and distributed illegally without crediting authors and producers and allow copyright infringement to occur. These websites are also extremely dangerous and mean that people using them are at risk of getting viruses or malware on their devices. They also breach the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988. Although these platforms create huge amounts of profit, produces and shareholders lose out on the money they have made, and customers are at risk of malware.  


Technology and the internet have allowed the creation of different music streaming services and websites where music can be shared easily, and this is generally positive. Technology makes it easier for music to be distributed using platforms such as YouTube and Spotify. These services allow users to share and listen to music with a minimal monthly subscription or freely which means it is available to a larger audience. YouTube also uses Creative Commons Licensing where copyright permission can be granted to create work – others can copy, distribute and use the authors work while they still retain ownership. In countries such as Brazil, music can be bought as CDs in the streets and there are many free music streaming platforms online, but they come with risks such as containing malware and viruses. CDs and DVDS are often also not of good quality and are also sometimes quite pricey. YouTube and Spotify have good quality products, are trusted platforms that are protected against malware and are free unless you opt for the premium package. This means that people are more likely to use these platforms, and this is better for all Stakeholders – the customers can access free music and not risk exposure to malware, and the producers and shareholders can maximise their profits. 


However, this may not be possible in many less developed countries where technology is not as prevalent, and people are less computationally literate. There may a negative impact on music distribution because the use of the internet and new technologies in music creates a ‘digital divide’. This is when access to technology and the internet is not the same across a country for geographical, political and financial reasons. This is negative for both the customers and the companies that are producing the music because there isn’t an even distribution of the product across the country which minimises the amount of profit that the company is able to make and a cultural impact on the community.