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The Rise of Digital Music



1991: CBS records is bought by Sony for $2 billion. 

1992: CD's start to spread as the most popular listening medium, but CD recording technology is still very inaccessible. 

1994: Kurt Cobain dies and mp3's surface as a new way to encode audio.

1996: Tupac Shakur and Notorius B.I.G. are killed 6 months apart from each other (Biggie in '97). MCA Music Entertainment Group is renamed Universal Music Group.

1999: 5 major conglomerates, Sony, BMG, Warner, EMI, and Universal, control 84% of the 754.8 million albums sold this year.


2001: KaZaA launches as the most popular P2P music sharing network.

2003: The iTunes store is created and the new digital download model starts to grow. 

2004: BiTorrent launches as a large P2P torrent network. It accounted for 35% of all internet traffic this year. 

2006: Record sales fall by 18% since 2000 as piracy grows.

2008: Both Spotify and BandCamp launch as alternatives to iTunes. Spotify will soon rise as the most popular subscription-based streaming model.

2009: US consumers only pay for 37% of the total music acquired this year. Piracy is at an all time high.