history of music industry
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Pre-1850. The only earner in the record industry is the sale of sheet music. Sales people would travel the country, playing and selling this sheet music to music shops. Aside from live, public performances, the piano-forte and parlour piano is the main medium through which music is enjoyed.
1861 - Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line -- providing fast, coast-to-coast communications during the U.S. Civil War.
1877 - Edison invents the cylinder "phonograph" used to record and playback sound. Originally thought to be useful as a business machine for dictation (like the dictaphone which would become later.) Other uses: recordings of plays pre-dating Radio Drama nearly 50 years.
1889 - Louis Glass invents the modern jukebox (coin-operated phonograph) and installs it at the "Palais Royal" saloon in San Francisco where it is an immediate hit.
1900 - Eldredge Johnson perfects first system of mass duplication of pre-recorded flat disks
1927 - CBS - the "Columbia Broadcasting System" begins radio broadcasting on Sept. 18, formed by the demise of the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System, a chain of some 16 stations which originated out of WOR -- Newark, New Jersey. It was thought that radio would spell the end for the purchasing of records. Instead, radio proved to be huge marketing tool that led to a boom in sales.
1963 Philips introduced the Musicassette at the Berlin Funkaustellung.
1975 Recording had become such a complicated process that the computer memory was added to studio equipment.
1979 Sony introduced the Soundabout cassette player which was later renamed the Walkman. The innovative elements of this machine were the tiny headphones capable of producing good quality sound with only the smallest signal from the amplifier, and the increased output from the batteries which powered the machine. Initially considered a novelty and priced at $200 it was not considered a product for mass marketing.
1982 Michael Jackson�s �Thriller� album released by the Columbia subsidiary Epic Records ultimately sold 40m copies world wide and became the most successful product in the history of recorded sound. With the help of elaborate music videos, the album produced seven best-selling albums. Compact Disc (CD) hardware and software was launched in Japan in October.
1983 CD was officially launched in the UK on 1 March. It was hailed as "the most important development in the recorded music industry since the long playing record".
1992 Philips introduced the Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) which was compatible with the magnetic audio cassette. The DCC was the same size as the musicassette and the new players were capable of playing both formats. Unable to reach agreement with Philips over the format of digital recording technology, Sony responded to the challenge of DCC by introducing the MiniDisc (MD) which combined the reproduction quality of a CD with the ease of recording of the audio cassette.
1996 The first DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) product was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. DVD is essentially a faster CD with a huge capacity capable of holding video as well as audio and computer data.
1999 SDMI (The Secure Digital Music Initiative) specification published, aiming to provide a legal alternative to pirate music.
In the 21st century, consumers spent far less money on recorded music than they had in 1990s, in all formats. Total revenues for CDs, vinyl, cassettes and other physical formats in the U.S. dropped from a high of $14.6 billion in 1999 to $10.4 billion in 2008.
In the early years of the decade, the record industry took aggressive action against illegal file sharing, successfully shutting down Napster in 2001 (the leading online source of digital music) and threatening thousands of individuals with legal action. This failed to slow the decline in revenue and was a public relations disaster.
Legal digital downloads became widely available with the debut of the iTunes Store in 2003.
By 2009, more than a quarter of all recorded music industry revenues worldwide are now coming from digital channels. However, the loss in revenue from CDs far outweighs this profit.
In 2010, most bands relied on live shows and merchandise for most of their income, as income from music sales has dropped almost to the floor.
Changes in the music industry have given consumers access to a wider variety of music than ever before, at a price that is gradually approaching zero. However, consumer spending on music related software and hardware has increased dramatically over the last decade, providing a valuable new income stream for technology companies