The music industry has significantly evolved from the moment of live concerts to recordings and now to streaming platforms. These changes have had impacts on sales as well as many other sectors in the music industry. Retail, on the other hand, was first traditional. However, the regular physical exchange keeps evolving and is more online as the necessity to be physically present has almost been annulled.
Can this evolution be likened to that already seen in the music industry? These changes in the music industry will be measured against those ongoing in the retail sector to enable us to ascertain if there are similarities. If so, could the retail sector tow the same path as the music industry? To determine these, we first need to highlight the changes that have happened in the music industry and the changes that are happening in the retail sector.
The Change in The Music Industry:
Over the past years, there has been a significant change in the music industry, from sales to how music is listened to, even music distribution. This change has made an impact on how music is consumed on a global scale. For a long time, music relied on record labels, and musical influences were only limited to what was in circulation. In the early 90s, internet connections improved, and complex disk spaces were cheaper. This allowed for more music to be accessible via the internet. People could listen to these songs without buying a compact disk. However, music was being shared illegally on the internet on various websites making musicians lose money.
In the early 2000s, mobile phones became popular, and music streaming platforms became more intentional (almost putting an end to music piracy on the internet). This allowed a broad range supply of music. The supply pool grew more extensive, and listeners had more access to music than any physical stores. People could listen to whatever genre they wanted to, and popularity was not solely based on what was put into circulation but on what the listeners constantly streamed. However, there was a challenge; the fans wanted to know the artists more personally. Most times, artists could only be seen at meet and greetings, and not many people had money to go for it.
Since the 2010s, social media has been prevalent, creating a whole world of possibilities for artists and fans. This helped the music industry incredibly; artists could share their music on these platforms and interact much more with their fans. Faces could then be matched to the voices behind the music fans loved. As a result, sales in the music industry skyrocketed, and streams were on a steady high. Because of this evolution, the music industry is now one of the most impactful, recognized, and high-grossing industries.
The Change Ongoing in The Retail Industry:
As in the early centuries, there was a rise in urban markets, shops, and even department stores. Retail was more physical, and buyers had to go to these stores to buy needed items. There was always the issue of rowdiness, and it was a tedious task to go and purchase these items. In the early 2000s, e-commerce had already started. However, there were reservations regarding e-commerce; this included the product’s authenticity, quality, and if it could fit the desired need as the shopper could not feel these products physically.
Since 2010, there has been the use of social media. Sales were made using this medium. It was, however, not trusted for fear of fraudsters since there was no way to validate the sellers. So, sales that used that medium were at an average. However, online sales were high in 2019 when there was a global pandemic. This was because people could not be physically present, and items needed to be bought.
Most recently, with the use of mobile phones and social media, many stores have gone online. Social media has brought more online stores than physical ones. Here, the shoppers can have a perceived view of the product and its quality. They are also able to look at reviews from other shoppers to confirm. These reviews help confirm the seller’s validity. There are also other platforms strictly for retail where buyers and sellers can meet, and verification using particular technology has already taken place, so one does not need to fear fraud. Retail online is getting more traction and patronage with each passing day, thus increasing sales.
One similarity between the changes that have occurred in the music industry and the changes still ongoing in retail is TECHNOLOGY. With every improvement in technology, the music industry boomed as it adjusted. So far, with every revision, retail has taken advantage and is already rising. Technology has constantly been a game changer in the music industry. Could that be doing the same for the retail sector, seeing that it is towing the same path that the music industry did? Is retail going to experience the same boom as the music industry, seeing that the technological advancement processes are somewhat similar?