Music distribution and all things related to it are very interesting. Are you interested in learning more about the history of music distribution?

1. Where does music distribution come from?

We seem to have passed a decade when music distribution became known as a form of bringing music across stores for sale. Music players will select their favorite songs and buy their CDs to listen to through a disc player.

The distribution of music has radically changed over the past few decades. With the decline of physical formats in favor of streaming services, artists’ distribution plans have changed. In previous years, musicians relied on record stores to distribute their music, however, now the focus is on digital distribution. For the first time ever in 2015, digital music revenue surpassed sales of physical music (CD, vinyl, etc.). Artists are now expected to have a strong online presence where they can interact with their fan bases and promote their music. In this article, we look at the history of music distribution and what modern music distribution services are best for contemporary artists.

2. What forms of music have been distributed?

Sheet music

People were familiar with sheet music even before digital music distribution was born and developed.

Gutenberg’s invention of the movable type printer in the 15th century made it possible to print and distribute sheet music on a large scale. The widespread use of the modern print press in the 19th century made mass-produced sheet music affordable and popular. Seeing the opportunity to grow, publishing companies created opportunities for musicians to distribute their songs to a wider market. Music enthusiasts can now visit their local music store, where a local musician will play and purchase copies of the songs they like (similar to a listening station in a store). CD).

Pre-recorded music

A step forward in music distribution was marked by the advent of pre-recorded music. In 1877, Thomas Edison invented the microphone and phonograph for recording and playing back sound. Originally, this recording was stored on a wax cylinder (later discs), but the standard format changed to a 7″ disc made from a shellac-based compound in the 1920s. These discs provided the perfect format for the mass distribution of recorded music, with disc sales reaching around one hundred million by 1927. In 1948, the first 78 RPM vinyl record was introduced, soon standardized to 33⅓ RPM. These long recordings (LPs) are larger than 78s and have more dense tracks allowing for 25 minutes of sound per side (fifty minutes in total). The 33⅓ RPM LP and cheaper 45 RPM single remained the dominant format throughout the 1950s. Vinyl was replaced by compact audio cassettes in 1963. Audio cassettes dominated other formats after their introduction. of the Sony Walkman in the late 1970s. The Walkman allowed listeners to experience music anywhere, and within five years of its release, the cassette had sold more than records. However, all of these formats were eventually replaced by compact discs (CDs). The first iteration of a CD could hold about 80 minutes of music, and after its release in 1982, this music distribution service quickly became the most efficient way to store music. By 2007, more than two hundred billion CDs had been bought and sold worldwide.