In a fruitful move, Apple has teamed up with websites such as Myspace and Youtube in order to direct its users to purchase the songs they are listening to. By providing downloads which sell for 69 cents, a reasonable service has been provided with a percentage of the earnings going to both Apple and the original artists.
The economic recession casted a dark shadow over many businesses involved in trading because those who were out of pocket turned to black markets for their music, rather than providers such as iTunes. Sixty nine cents seemed too expensive for some consumers, and they risked the viruses and spywares in order to download free music from illegitimate sources. Those dominant in the music industry, for example Sony and Universal, stress that the higher prices are to cover the shortfall of web-distribution. By paying more, they claim that customers get a better service. A download, however, is a download; and bosses such as Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and chief executive, call these excessive prices “greed”.
Less well known websites crop up on the virtual landscape and compete fiercely with industry giants by providing slashed prices. By building a dense database of tracks to download, some companies are able to sidetrack this elusive ‘web-distribution’ charge and offer downloads for the bargain price of 9 cents per song. Yet experts in the field are quick to point out that several of these websites operate a black market. The infamous allofmP3.com website has been singled out by many as a particular case of copyright infringement. Growing economic markets have growing internet networks, and some individuals in countries such as China infringe upon international intellectual property laws by profiteering from the trade.
As this illegitimate market continues its expansion, less familiar websites are emerging and show that it is possible to turn a profit whilst remaining on the right side of the law. By legally acquiring the rights to sell songs, smaller business operations are able to sell songs for the value price of 9 cents each song. Providers such as soundike.com exchange tracks for as little as fifteen cents a song. Search engines throw up sites such as mp3fiesta.com, mp3search.ru and mp3caprice.com, who all sell their tunes for a mere ten cents each. By deducting a whopping one cent, some companies like legalsounds.com are able to sell songs for 9 cents.
As the number of internet users continues to grow, the competition to attract customers inflates too. Search engines such as Google and bing.com reveal millions of sites which provide a legal path to cheap music downloads. The right sight is not hard to find, and it is simply a matter of taste.