DIGITAL MUSIC DISTRIBUTION
Digital music distribution is defined as the process of the online delivery of the product and services directly or indirectly form the manufacturer or service provider to the end recipient i.e. customer.
It is quite evident that it is not possible in case of all the goods and services but it is very much possible and is being commonly practiced in many services like music, software, books, movies, video, video games etc. of all these services, they are either in digital form ab initio or they are capable of being converted into digital form easily and quickly.
The basic requirement for establishment of digital distribution is only an internet connection apart from a website or something for meeting place of the seller and the purchaser. However for some of the digital distribution producers such a video, movies and large software’s or games, it is recommended to have a fast internet connection at both the buyer as well a purchaser.
The digital music distribution process basically has its own advantages, disadvantages and limitations. Advantages of digital distribution include the direct nature of the products and services i.e. the product and services are transferred from seller to purchaser mostly without or minimum level of intermediaries as opposed to non-digital distribution, hence removing middleman margin and resulting in a win- win situation for both buyer and seller, buyer getting products for lesser price on which they would be otherwise available and producers or sellers getting more profits than they would otherwise obtain.
The second benefit of digital music distribution is the global availability of the products. As internet is the distribution medium for digital distribution, more and more people living globally have the access to the product and distribution can also be made instantaneously to any corner in the world with very minimal delivery cost. This actually increases the target market as well as sales expectancy manifold than normal physical distribution.
Another benefit of digital music distribution is that it eliminates more production and storage of the product as the digitally deliverable products needs to be kept in single copy only with the vendor and can be very easily copied into as many copies as required and delivered. This also reduces the multiple manufacturing and storing overheads on the part of the sellers.
However digital distribution has certain limitations as well as drawbacks too. Limitation being that only a few of products can be distributed through digital distribution.
Further the digital distribution also leads to loss of publisher support to the creators of software, music or book etc. as no publisher is involved in the process. This also makes the project in early stage loose any kind of publisher advance funding and creators are left on their own for the arrangement of funds.
Another drawback of digital distribution is that it creates problems in digital rights management as the digitally distributed goods and services can be easily pirated and copied. This can be overcome by various digital rights management solutions available currently, like authorizing only one copy with one key of software’s and compulsory online registration for full use etc.
One more problem that comes in digital retailing is the lack of proof of purchase for legal issues.
However it is still beneficial for small creators like musicians or software programmers. Small music bands also have benefit of launching single track at a time online, than launching whole album and also it helps them in arranging fund for their next tracks.