Music Access in time past was always a concern for the nostalgic music enthusiast, especially the desire to hold on to music treasures from one’s growing up years. There was the concerned about scratching and breaking and not being able to find another issue. The digital innovation has liberated the music industry allowing for creative ways to store and listen on demand. Additional innovation has been the advent of music account storage that protects the recordings. The concern, as with the old neighborhood record store that closes for business, reemerges when a digital storage business’s service is short-lived.
The validity of this concern is underscored by the closing of mp3.com in 2003 and subsequently operational ceasing of IUMA (Internet Underground Music Archive) in 2006. The account holder’s reliance on having continual access to its purchased music all of the sudden goes nowhere. These two companies’ operational ending affected nearly 2 million account holders when the music went offline. The experience thus far has been that the digital means of streaming and storage and safekeeping does not ensure perpetual access to music.
Discussions about music access and music going offline has resurfaced over concern with audio storage companies having had recent financial statements below expectations. The streaming businesses are competing and facing struggles enhancing their platforms to provide revenues and adequate compensation to the music creators. The harm from this industry shift could be saddled most by the independent broadcasters and new artists who do not have label commitments. The ability to display their work with potential fans is huge for the new artist and a contributing benefit for known artists. The ability to be able to discover new and up and coming artists is as well highly beneficial.
The music access that streaming storage services provide allows musicians to upload their work, some for a fee by paying an intermediary before doing so and some platforms allow uploading for free. If these platforms cease to operate, the unsigned musicians will be hurt. One way to obviate this disappearance is to host the storage of the sites whose viability is in question. The direction toward enhancing the music access is the music archive solution. The absence of a viable means to address storage of music risks losing hundreds of thousands of created work on the internet. Digital means of media is not a sure thing for securing access to music and preventing stored music accounts from going offline. Streaming and storage platforms are adjusting to competition which challenges their business models which in essence drives innovation in the music archive industry. There is value in providing a venue for independent broadcasters and unsigned music creators.