Music distribution history

Timeline created by Sean-234
In Music
  • 1473

    Sheet music

    first machine printed sheet music
    allowed those who could read music to recreate compositions
  • Phonograph

    the first iteration of the record player
    poor-sounding records made from brittle, scratchy shellac became popular in the first few decades of the 20th Century
  • Vinyl

    more durable vinyl records were introduced in the 1930s
    more popular, bigger money making product
  • Compact Cassette Tapes

    first iterations were not suitable for music, until 1971 when they released the Model 201 tape deck
    kick started era of high fidelity cassettes 7 players
  • CD

    originally developed for storage & playback of audio, storing up to 80 minutes if uncompressed audio
    dominated the industry until the '90s
  • Napster

    sharing of MP3 music files and allowing users to search for and download tracks with relative ease
    the first widely used music downloading service of any kind, with 80 million registered users at its peak
    particularly popular for sharing hard-to-find recordings, such as live sets, demos, unreleased mixes and so on
    they lost a copyright infringement lawsuit in 2001, which ultimately led to its shutting down
  • Torrents & download sites

    after napster, there were many other sites allowing people to download music and other copyrighted files for free
    sites such as Rapidshare, Zippyshare and Megaupload began taking chunks out of record label sales, as did torrent services – which allow users to download different sections of one file from multiple sources at once to enable faster download and upload speeds
  • iTunes Store

    the beginning of the download era proper
    the only digital download store to offer the catalogues of all five of the major record labels, and aimed to provide a legal alternative to illegal peer-to-peer filesharing sites
    By 2008 it became the biggest music vendor in the USA, and by early 2010 it had become the world’s largest
  • Streaming platforms

    deezer in 2007
    amazon music in 2007
    Spotify in 2008
    allow users to listen to uninterrupted music of their choice for a monthly subscription fee/listen to a limited amount with adverts played between every few songs
    spotify soon became the most popular fully licensed streaming service in many of the markets it operates in
    YouTube remains the biggest music streaming platform across the world
    Content ID system identifies uploads of copyrighted music and allows rightsholders to have them blocked