This chapter makes some concluding remarks as a recapitulation of the various issues discussed in the study and also makes some recommendations for making the use of internet to facilitate the marketing of the music products and maximize the earnings for the recording companies and other stakeholders of the industry. There has been a growing tendency in the music industry to take more efforts in protecting their copyrights and the industry is reacting swiftly in bringing court cases against those who infringe the copyrights.
It is observed that though the music industry has depended on the digital media for quite some time in the past, it is only quite recently the incidences of the adverse impact of the online media has increasingly started to affect the marketing of the music products. The research has identified the combined effect of the compression algorithm which is highly unsecured, the easy availability and the increased usage of internet facilities and the emergence of the peer-to-peer networking have been found to be the reasons for the change in the circumstances that has resulted in the increased adverse impact on the music industry.
In the period prior to the introduction of the internet marketing the major recording companies have been controlling the operations of the industry by owning and exploiting the contents of the artists’ creation which is the main source of value creation in the industry. However with the advancement in the information and communication technology this control of the recording companies have been diluted although still the major part of it remain with them in so far as making the contracts with the artists and arrange for the production and distribution of the music products.
The lack of control of any single recording firm or even for that matter of any country over the activities that are being carried out on the web, it appears that there can be no immediate solutions to the problem of the issues of piracy in the music industry. The extent to which the recoding companies can exercise and retain their control over the music industry will largely depend on their ability to protect their copyrights. However the protection of the copyrights has become a more complex issue and hence acts as a barrier for the record companies for expanding their business.
This has put an increasing pressure on the music industry to look for new business models that will ensure them to protect their genuine rights over the products created by them. Being highly fragmented and extending to a higher geographical area the world music industry remain highly fragmented devoid of any statistical indications on the volume of global sales figures or any other relevant statistics. This has placed a serious limitation on the research. The following are some of the recommendations that might be useful to the recording companies and other online agencies dealing in the music products.
The legislations governing the protection of copyright may be made more stringent so that the agencies acting to indulge in illegitimate activities of downloading or unauthorized copying of the music files is kept under strict control. The penal provisions like hefty fines and imprisonments to the individuals should be strengthened so that the illegitimate activities in this direction may be controlled to a large extent. The recoding companies should encourage the distribution through more number of retailers and completely avoid the direct distribution to the ultimate consumers.
Once the control is decentralized there are ample chances that the retailers would be able to control the unauthorized copying of the music downloads. Similarly the artists should also refrain from marketing of their creations directly through their own websites. Naturally they may not able to exercise stricter control as it is possible for bigger recording companies. The artists should leave the distribution exclusively to the recording companies. Alternatively they can join indie labels like merlin to promote their products.
The P2P network technology can be looked at very closely to make use of it for the betterment of the marketing of the industry by incorporating suitable protective mechanisms in the network technology. This is very much possible by undertaking serious and continued research and development in this direction as the technology is growing day by day. The recording companies and all other intermediaries should consider the distribution of their products at considerably competitive prices as the high cost of the products is one of the reasons people resort to illegal downloading.
In fact new product can be promoted with special offers whereby the companies can offer old products as free or at affordably lesser prices. The recording companies can offer music products created prior to certain periods as free downloads to those consumers who buy new products in a legitimate way.
References: Aaker, A. David, V. Kumar and George S. Day (1995), “Marketing Research,” 5th edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY Adler P. A. & Adler, P. (1987) ‘Membership roles in field research’, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. http://www.asiasource.org/news/at_mp_02.cfm?newsid=24091#audio