General Observation essay

Under this chapter the results of the survey obtained on the basis of the responses received from the respondents for the questionnaire are provided for the information of the readers. The surveys were conducted by sending the detailed questionnaire prepared to 150 different individuals to gather information on the impact of the internet on the music industry. The questionnaire also contained questions regarding the internet usage and purchase of music products by the respondents and also their awareness on the piracy of the music products.

This chapter also contains an analysis of the results obtained from the responses received from the samples selected. The questionnaire was sent to a sample of 150 individuals selected randomly to gather information on the impact of internet on the music industry. Out of the 150 individuals 22 people did not send back the questionnaire after answering. On the 128 responses received 10 of them indicated that they did not have any interest in music and regretted that they were not able to contribute any information.

The findings arrived at on the basis analysis of the 118 responses received is tabulated and reported under this section. Though the questionnaire received a good response from the respondents the views and opinions expressed by the respondents on the various questions follow more or less the views found from the review of the literature. However, only 4 out of the 106 respondents were having interest in the Indian Punjabi music. This has limited the scope of the study to world music in general rather than studying the impact on the Indian Punjabi music.

The questionnaire did not pose any straight questions on the P2P file swapping as the issue could not be directly dealt with the respondents and any questions on this issue may not produce an honest and sincere reply from the respondents. This is so because when some illegitimate action like swapping the music files without payment to the respective online agency the person doing that will not be prepared to accept such act to anyone. Though millions of swapping is done everyday it may not be really possible to estimate the extent through a questionnaire circulated to a random sample of people.

Hence the survey avoided the questions relating to this delicate issue. The responses received for all other questions raised in the questionnaire are analysed and reported in the following section. Basically the analysis relates to the discussion on the impact of the internet on the world music in general and Indian Punjabi music in particular to the extent possible. This section makes a detailed analysis on the responses received from the samples on the various questions contained in the questionnaire.

On the basis of the information received from the respondents on the basic demographic information the study has made the following analysis of the respondents with respect to their age, gender, employment and income status. The demographic information is required to be analysed to judge the suitability of the samples selected to represent the bulk of the population with respect to the issue in question. Generally the demographic information in respect of the individuals is collected to reflect the age group, gender, marital status, education, employment and income levels.

Based on the correctness of the random selection of the samples the qualities of the sample population should ensure the capabilities of the samples to give their views/opinions on the questions raised. This is vitally important for the success of any research conducted using survey method. In the present research on the impact of the internet on the music industry an analysis of the demographic information received reveal the following: The maximum numbers of the respondents fall within the age group of 18 – 22 years.

This represents 53.38 percent of the total respondents. Considering the issues of the internet and music which the research intends to study this sample population representing the youth is ideal to express their views on both. This is so because youngsters in this age group especially those who are students are particularly interested in the music that too in enhancing their interest through internet. The sample can thus be considered ideal based on the age factor.

The next maximum number of 25 people falls within the age group of 23 – 27 years making a percentage of 21.18 percent. When the sample selection was stratified it was considered necessary to get a sample population representing most of the age groups. Accordingly the responses also have been received from 17. 80 percent of the people in the age group of 28 – 32 years with 21 out of total 118 people responded. It may be noted 59. 32 percent of the people responded are males and the balance 40. 68 percent represent females. This denotes that the sample population is more or less equally distributed between males and females.

The P2P file swapping might also be resorted to by not only the male population but also by the females. Since the peer-to-peer may affect both genders equally. The distribution of the sample population between males and females in our study strongly indicates a possibility for that eventuality. Since the majority of the sample population represents students 99 out of 118 people responded to the questionnaire are single and this population is equal to 83. 90 percent of the samples. One respondent did not want to indicate the marital status and the balance of 18 (15. 25 percent) people are married.

On the educational status of the respondents it is observed that 57 of the 118 respondents are graduates and 49 of them hold a masters degree. Perhaps these figures include those currently nearing the completion of the respective courses. The level of education among the participants again improves the quality of the respondents which is also necessary to have a comprehensive view of the subject being studied. The responses received on the employment status of the respondents show that most of the population represent the students who are particularly interested in the music especially music online.

The following is the diagrammatic representation of the distribution of the sample population among the different occupations. The data on the income level more or less correspond to the employment status indicated by the respondents. Since majority of the sample population represented students it is quite obvious that they may not have any disposable income of their own. This is what is found from the information provided by the respondents on their income level.

According to the information received on the questionnaire 78 out of 118 (66. 10 percent) represent people having annual income of less than 24000. This income group represents the student sample population who has participated in the survey. On the location of the samples the survey indicates that 85 of the 118 (72. 03 percent) respondents live in the urban areas and it is in agreement with a general hypothesis that the urban population is more aware of the music online and the ways of getting the music needs fulfilled through internet. 22. 88 percent of the samples live in semi-urban areas. The second part of the questionnaire relates to the general interest of the sample population on the music in general.

The observation on the interest on music goes that 12 out of the 118 respondents have indicated their lack of interest in music and hence their responses have been eliminated from the consideration for the rest of the questionnaire. It is interesting to note 56 out of 118 (47. 46 percent) of the people have shown that their interest is strong in the music and hence it can be said that to this extent the study has received responses from people who are seriously interested in the subject and are assumed to be well aware of the main subject of our study – impact of internet on the music industry.

13 of the respondents representing 11 percent of the sample population have expressed very strong interest in music while 29 of them have an average interest. Hence the question relating to the degree of interest on music is quite subjective to expect the participants to measure their interest and report as weak, average etc may not always represent an exact measure of the interest of the samples. However, since there is no other alternative way of expressing the interest it is chosen to get the response in this way and analysed.

On the total time spent on listening to music 40 out of 106 respondents have indicated that they spend number of times in a week listening to music. For this question these are the maximum number of people at 37. 73 percent. Next comes the 34 people (32. 08 percent) who spend once a week on listening to the music. Here again there seems to be a subjective element involved as no one just do the job of listening to the music only without doing anything else. In most of the occasions music is being listened even while some other serious jobs or tasks are being performed.

Hence the response to these questions might have only an academic background lacking in practicality. The interest of the respondents on the music is varied with different number of people listening to various styles of music. The responses to the questionnaire in this study reveal that the interest and the liking for the different music style do exist and it varies depending on so many factors. Hence it is difficult to establish any correlation between the demographic characters of the population and their interests in different styles of music.

In the present study maximum number of respondents (26 out of 106 – 24. 53 percent) listen to Reggae music and 19 people (representing 17. 93 percent) are interested in pop music. Only 4 respondents (3. 77 percent) have indicated that they listen to Indian Punjabi music. The quite interesting part relating to this study is the music device the participants use for listening to the music as it definitely indicates the relationship of the impact of internet with the music interest. The following diagrammatic representation shows the composition of the music devices being used by the samples.

It may be noted that the number of people using CD player is the maximum at 62. 28 percent with 66 out of 106 people using this device. From this figure the correlation between the number of file sharing under P2P network and the usage of the music device can be established. With the ease of downloading music from the internet by swapping the files, the music can be easily copied in the rewritable CDs. This has enhanced the use of CD players as the major device of listening to the music. It may be noted that none of the people are using the record players.

With the advent of new technologies the use of old devices are getting out of practice. The increased use of CD is one example of this phenomenon. It can also be observed from the responses that the number of people using the latest music device of I-pods is also increasing. This makes the job of copying the files much easier as the device itself can be connected to the computer for swapping the files. This way the need for searching the CD – R is also eliminated. This any technological advancement in this area increases the chances of piracy instead of reducing the same.

The importance of music in life is another subjective question where most of the samples have responded with the middle choice of ‘importance of medium level’. In any survey for some of the questions the researcher has to expect an answer which is in the middle, especially where the question asks for an opinion on an issue which is highly subjective and on which the participants are not sure about their stand to make a definite reply.

This is one of such kind of questions where the samples might have chosen to stick to the middle answer. For the question of ‘how important music is in your life’ 66.03 percent of the participants have replied that they feel a medium level of importance about music in their lives. The next section of the questionnaire requested the participants to indicate the kind of internet connection they were holding. This information would identify the possibility of assessing the impact of the internet on the music industry as depending on the kind of modem being used by the people the chances of downloading the files from the Net can change. With modems having more speed it will become easier for the people to download the music files faster.

For the question on the type of modem 75 percent of participants representing 69 out of total 92 people have indicated that they hold a broadband internet connection which will greatly facilitate the downloading of the music files. 17 of the participants equal to 18. 48 percent use wireless broadband which is even faster in aiding the downloads. Being the majority of them students 58. 70 percent of the samples are able to spend only between 1 and 3 hours on the internet for varying reasons. The following bar chart depicts the time spent on the internet by the participants.

It may be observed that most of the people responded indicating that they spend between 1and 3 hours on the internet for achieving their various objectives through working on the internet. Since the people using the internet has only a limited working time on the internet they have to necessarily download as much music as possible so that they can listen to such downloaded music later. On the purposes they want to use the internet for, the participants to the survey have indicated online purchasing as the major purpose for which the internet is being used. 26 out of 92 respondents making up 28.

27 percent use the internet for online purchasing. While 22 of them (23. 91 percent) use it for sending and receiving the emails and 21 of them (22. 83 percent) use it for doing various types of researches. 7 of them use exclusively for listening to music online. The respondents were given the choice to indicate the purpose for which they use the internet may be indicated as answer to this question where they use the Net for more than one purpose. Since most of the people would be using the Net for more than one purpose the respondents would have indicated the purposes for which they put the internet to use mostly.

Perhaps this is the reason that the number of people using the internet for listening to music is only 7 out of 92. According to the response received from participants, internet is mostly being used to download music from internet. 54. 36 percent of the people use the internet for downloading music legitimately or illegitimately. The following graphical presentation shows the various purposes for which the internet is put to use. While 19. 56 percent of the people use the internet to listen to music 16. 30 percent use it for purchasing music products online.

The respondents to the questionnaire have indicated that 70. 66 percent of them buy the music products in the form of Compact Discs (CDs) this goes to substantiate the fact that most of the illegitimate downloading of the music files is taking place through internet and the downloaded files are transferred to CDs for listening to the music downloaded. The purchase of the CDs has a close correlation with the kind of music device being used by the participants. The proliferation of the CD – Rs is clearly showing the increased rate of downloading of the music files from the internet.

There has bee a gross reduction in the number of people buying cassettes over the period as the advancement in technology has made the use of the compact discs more popular than the other forms of mediums for purchase of music products. It is also observed from the responses received that 71. 74 percent of the respondents spend an amount of ? 11 to ? 15 on their purchases of music products. 13 of the respondents spend ? 6 to ? 10 and 10 of the participants spend ? 16 to ? 20 on the music purchases. 46 out of 92 (representing 50 percent) of the participants get their music by copying from the products owned by their friends and associates.

25 percent of the respondents get the music downloaded from internet. 13 of the participants get their music products by purchasing through internet and 10 of them buy through music shops. The statistics arrived from the responses from the participants to the survey indicate a higher percentage of people involve themselves in the downloading of their music needs from the internet. However, as already stated it is not possible for the survey to ascertain whether such downloads are made legitimately after paying the required cost or charges to the online company or any other legal service provider for downloads.

Since 46. 74 of the respondents of the survey have opined that the prices of the music products are high it is quite obvious that they might resort to any other inexpensive means of getting their music needs including through P2P networks or any other illegal means. As it is already observed most of the people who actually are interested in the music are students who do not have any high disposable income of their own would naturally look for cheaper alternatives for getting their music needs fulfilled.

4 Accomplishment of Research Objectives The research aimed at comparing the differences in the marketing approaches of the music industry prior to the introduction of the marketing through internet and after taking the E-market initiative. It is observed from the review of the available literature, with the introduction of the E-marketing the recording companies try to eliminate the retailers to maximize their revenues by not paying the retailers and distributing the music products directly to the consumers.

Similarly the artists also develop their own websites and market their products directly to increase their income. While the recording companies and the artists try to maximize the revenues the consumers try to take the market control on their hands by resorting to illegal downloads of music products without paying the legitimate charges payable to the online service providers or the recording companies.

It is also observed that with every advancement of technology the producers of the music products try to make more money and the consumers try to find new ways of getting the products without paying any money. It appears this is going to be a continuous affair and no one is going to win in this war. The research also reviewed the part played by P2P networks to assess its impact on the marketing of the music industry. It is found that the technology though can be used to the advantage of the industry is being often misused by the illegitimate people.

The music industry has responded to these adverse developments by tightening their control over their copyrights and also by bringing the companies like Napster who specialize in misusing the P2P networks to legal action for protecting the genuine interests of the music industry. Though the impact of the P2P networks and other downloading methods on the marketing of the music industry products could not be statistically provided in the absence of precise data, the research has more or less assessed the adverse impact of these technological developments on the marketing of the music products.

There is quite a good possibility that the illegitimate downloading and other ways of copying or sharing the music files to make them a highly dependable market tool for the music products. In fact already the online companies or service providers are using the same methods of downloading the music files on payment of the charges. Thus there is only a minor difference between the legitimate and illegitimate copying or downloading and making the methods legal and usable is in the hands of the music lovers.