Most of these companies sold music without any copyrights from the authentic Electric and Musical Industries Ltd. The phenomenon of illegal downloading spread like wildfire due to ease of access and zero cost. This resulted in huge losses for the music industry. The industry had to act quickly as sales at retail CD/DVD shops plunged at an unprecedented speed. It could either fight against the latest technology, or adapt to it. The initial response was of resentment. Representatives of the music industry stormed to fight against this latest innovation which, according to them, threatened the very existence of wholesale and retail CD/DVD shops and stores. However, they soon realized that the internet served as a huge opportunity for private owners to reach a much wider audience if they channelize it properly. Consequently, attempts were made by the music industry to offer all the music tracks through internet by creating legal websites in order to make sure that the consumers could access them anytime from anywhere and avoid the dilution of the music industry resulting from illegal downloads. Online albums of renowned artists were made available through legal websites. The availability of music online via legal means proved to be the saviour for the music industry which had suffered considerably as a result of piracy. Hindrances: Despite this bold step, the music industry failed to gain expertise on how to utilize full potential of the internet as a result of technical difficulties. Formats of music files varied and website owners who had supplementary products provided a format of music only compatible with such supplementary product, e.g. the Apple iTunes store provided music formats that were only compatible with the iPHONE. Songs of other file formats were needed for other music players resulting in significant inconvenience. The Way forward for EMI: 1) Availability, Security and Adaptability:- EMI must overcome the issue of incompatibility if it is to prosper in the online music sales business. The instinctive suggestion is to ensure availability of music in all formats. however, with significant patent laws and legal intricacies in place, it is important for EMI to measure each step when moving forward. The first step is to ensure an online facility that has a fully functional payment system, a method to keep a count of sales, consistent checks on potential violation of patent laws across the internet, and availability of technical personnel to ensure proper functioning of the system and availability of songs in all formats. Such technical people may include college graduates or free lance workers who have the expertise to toy with file formats and convert a specific file into a highly compatible and generic form. 2) Marketing and Promotional Mix: – The internet shall be the main medium to market EMIs online facility due to convenience and a lower cost. Several specific modes such as social networking websites and viral marketing is extremely essential to attract customers who are hooked to pirated songs. EMI shall also take steps to move towards a gradual transformation towards the internet in terms of remitting official patented songs along with DVD/CD stores. This step is extremely important as the entire functioning of the music industry hinges upon it.
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