5 ways the internet has changed the music industry

The internet has certainly changed the face of many different industries, and the music industry is no different. The internet can be a really powerful tool, so powerful that it has the potential to hinder or even destroy other industries – just take a look at the retail industry since online shopping became a thing!

However, with the music industry, while there have been some pretty big changes since the internet was created, you can still say with certain confidence that those changes have ultimately been for the better. It has helped to improve and shape the industry that we have today as well as make more music more accessible to people all around the world.

It is now super easy to download music, something that you certainly weren’t able to do before. While the internet has impacted the use of devices like the radio, it has still been able to adapt an you can now even listen to the radio online!

There is also research to suggest that radio usage is still loved by many, especially when people are in their car, jamming out to their favourite tunes. The radio still has a place in the music industry, even though the internet and things like online music streaming services have also come into the market.

The best thing about the internet and the music industry is that it has helped make music more accessible to all. There is also more choice on what we want to listen to and we are able to connect with our favourite artists via social media to see what they are doing.

It will be interesting to see how the music industry changes and adapts in the years to come and if it is due to a direct impact of the internet. In the meantime, have a read on below at some of the major ways the internet has already changed the music industry:

Online streaming

As briefly touched on in the introduction, after the creation of the internet, along came online music streaming. This makes music a lot more personalised and more importantly accessible to people right around the world. Now we aren’t just talking about the big names in music, the Taylor Swift’s or Ed Sheeran’s of the world, but ALL artists, big and small.

There are a lot of different online streaming services available, but the most dominant ones in the market are probably Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and Pandora. Online streaming services allow you to listen to music wherever you are and on the go. Some even have the ability to download songs so you can listen to them offline if you desire.

One of the great things about these streaming services is the amount of personalisation that is available for users. You can create your own playlists with your favourite artists and songs. As well as this most services will offer you suggestions on new songs that they think you will like based off what you have listened to in the past.

The great thing about online streaming services for unknown artists is that it becomes a bit easier for potential fans to find you. It is quite easy to fall down the rabbit hole with it comes to these services, so if you’ve got your profile set up with your songs on it, you are on your way to being found by countless users that are on the service every day.

Ways the internet has changed the music industry
Photo: John Tekeridis, Pexels.

Ease of publishing

With the help of the internet (and online music streaming services) it has become pretty easy to publish your own work online. You no longer really need a label or manager to help you on your way to success (although those things would be nice). But if you are just starting out, getting your songs to people right around the world has never been easier.

There are a lot of different places you can self publish your work. Firstly, you can create profiles on streaming services, which is a great way to go because so many people use them daily, but don’t forget to read the terms and conditions to make sure there aren’t any surprises down the line.

Secondly, you can publish your songs on social media. Social media is a truly powerful beast (just like the internet itself) and you will certainly need to take it seriously to ensure you spread the word effectively about your work. Be sure to post regularly and interact with others online to help cultivate a following.

Thirdly, you could create your own website and publish your new creations on there. Yes, this may sound a bit daunting, especially if you feel like you are technically challenged! But there are a lot of different tools out there that can help you on your way, try looking into WordPress or Wix to help you easily create an awesome website.

Online shopping

The internet hasn’t just helped artists get their music out into the world much more easily, but also helped music stores with the surge of online shopping. Online shopping makes products from right around the world available to people, all without leaving the comfort of their couch! This convenience and sheer availability of products has allowed online shopping to boom over the past few years.

Your typical music brick and mortar stores that have been able to adapt with the times will also have online stores. While there is a stack of new online music stores coming into play as they have the potential to operate in all different countries around the world, which massively opens up the number of customers they can target.

Potential customers can also read information about the product online as well as reviews. They can get all the information they need to make a purchase decision from a convenient location. Even if the customer does end up entering a physical store, you will probably find that they have done some sort of research online beforehand.

Discovering new artists

Music lovers are almost always on the hunt for the newest and freshest music, and the internet has certainly helped them on their quest. Again, with the introduction of online music streaming services it becomes super easy for music lovers to search and find music from new artists that they will love.

Also, with website’s like YouTube it is becoming easier to gain traction and attention. Many major artists these days were “discovered” on YouTube, including Justin Bieber and The Weeknd. No matter if you are just starting out or you are a more established musician, the internet has ensured it is much easier for fans to discover new artists.


These days you don’t need a proper studio to record your newest creation, all you need is an app! There is a lot of different music recording apps these days including the likes of Garage Band. Which also means you have the ability to collaborate with others anywhere in the world.

All you need to do is create your recording, share it with your co-creator and they can add, change or do whatever they like to it and send it back to you. This can really help the creative process, especially if you are stuck for ideas!