Contents 1 Basis 2 Impact on traditional retail 2.1 Music 2.2 Videos 2.3 Books 2.4 Video games 3 Challenges 4 See also 5 References

Basis[edit] A primary characteristic of online distribution is its direct nature. To make a commercially successful work, artists usually must enter their industry’s publishing chain. Publishers help artists advertise, fund and distribute their work to retail outlets. In some industries, particularly video games, artists find themselves bound to publishers, and in many cases unable to make the content they want; the publisher might not think it will profit well. This can quickly lead to the standardization of the content and to the stifling of new, potentially risky ideas. By opting for online distribution, an artist can get their work into the public sphere of interest easily with potentially minimum business overhead. This often leads to cheaper goods for the consumer, increased profits for the artists, as well as increased artistic freedom. Online distribution platforms often contain or act as a form of digital rights management. Online distribution also opens the door to new business models (e.g., the Open Music Model). For instance, an artist could release one track from an album or one chapter from a book at a time instead of waiting for them all to be completed. This either gives them a cash boost to help continue their projects or warns that their work is not financially viable. This is hopefully done before they have spent excessive money and time on a project deemed unviable. Video games have increased flexibility in this area, demonstrated by micropayment models. A clear result of these new models is their accessibility to smaller artists or artist teams who do not have the time, funds, or expertise to make a new product in one go. An example of this can be found in the music industry. Indie artists may access the same distribution channels as major record labels, with potentially fewer restrictions and manufacturing costs.[1] There is a growing collection of 'Internet labels' that offer distribution to unsigned or independent artists directly to online music stores, and in some cases marketing and promotion services. Further, many bands are able to bypass this completely, and offer their music for sale via their own independently controlled websites. An issue is the large number of incompatible formats in which content is delivered, restricting the devices that may be used, or making data conversion necessary.

Impact on traditional retail[edit] The rise of online distribution has provided controversy for the traditional business models and resulted in challenges as well as new opportunities for traditional retailers and publishers. Online distribution affects all of the traditional media markets including music, press, and broadcasting. In Britain, the iPlayer, a software application for streaming television and radio, accounts for 5% of all bandwidth used in the United Kingdom.[2] Music[edit] The move towards online distribution led to a dip in sales in the 2000s when CD sales were nearly cut in half.[3] One such example of online distribution taking its toll on a retailer is the Canadian music chain Sam the Record Man who blamed online distribution for having to close a number of its traditional retail venues in 2007–08.[4] One main reason that sales took such a big hit was that unlicensed downloads of digital music was very accessible. With copyright infringement affecting sales, the music industry realized it needed to change its business model to keep up with the rapidly changing technology.[5] The step that was taken to move the music industry into the online space has been successful for several reasons. The development of lossy audio compression file formats such as MP3, allows users to compress music files into a high quality format, compressed down to usually a 3-megabyte (MB) file. The lossless FLAC format may require only a few megabytes more. In comparison, the same song might require 30–40 megabytes of storage on a CD.[5] The smaller file size yields much greater Internet transfer speeds. The transition into the online space has boosted sales, and profit for some artists. It has also allowed for potentially lower expenses such as lower coordination costs, lower distribution costs, as well as the possibility for redistributed total profits.[5] These lower costs have aided new artists in breaking onto the scene and gaining recognition. In the past, some emerging artists have struggled to find a way to market themselves and compete in the various distribution channels. The Internet may give artists more control over their music in terms of ownership, rights, creative process, pricing, and more. In addition to providing global users with easier access to content, online stores allow users to choose the songs they wish instead of having to purchase an entire album from which there may only be one or two titles that the buyer enjoys. The number of downloaded single tracks rose from 160 million in 2004 to 795 million in 2006 which accounted for a revenue boost from US$397 million to US$2 billion.[5] Videos[edit] This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Many traditional network television shows, movies and other video content is now available online, either from the content owner directly or from third party services. YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Video, Synaptop, FlickRocket and other Internet-based video services allow content owners to let users access their content on computers, smart phones, tablets or by using appliances such as video game consoles, set-top boxes or Smart TVs. Many film distributors also include a Digital Copy, also called Digital HD, with Blu-ray disc or a DVD. Books[edit] Some companies, such as Bookmasters Distribution, which invested US$4.5 million in upgrading its equipment and operating systems, have had to direct capital toward keeping up with the changes in technology. The phenomenon of books going digital has given users the ability to access their books on handheld digital book readers. One benefit of electronic book readers is that they allow users to access additional content via hypertext links. These electronic book readers also give users portability for their books since a reader can hold multiple books depending on the size of its hard drive.[6] Companies that are able to adapt and make changes to capitalize on the digital media market have seen sales surge. Vice President of Perseus Books Group stated that since shifting to electronic books (e-books), it saw sales rise by 68%. Independent Publishers Group experienced a sales boost of 23% in the first quarter of 2012 alone.[7] Tor Books, a major publisher of science fiction and fantasy books, started to sell e-books DRM-free by July 2012.[8] One year later the publisher stated that they will keep this model as removing DRM was not hurting their digital distribution ebook business.[9] Smaller e-book publishers such as O'Reilly Media, Carina Press[10] and Baen Books had already forgone DRM previously. Video games[edit] Main article: Digital distribution in video games Online distribution is changing the structure of the video game industry.[citation needed] Gabe Newell, creator of the digital distribution service Steam, formulated the advantages over physical retail distribution as such: The worst days [for game development] were the cartridge days for the NES. It was a huge risk – you had all this money tied up in silicon in a warehouse somewhere, and so you’d be conservative in the decisions you felt you could make, very conservative in the IPs you signed, your art direction would not change, and so on. Now it’s the opposite extreme: we can put something up on Steam, deliver it to people all around the world, make changes. We can take more interesting risks.[...] Retail doesn’t know how to deal with those games. On Steam [a digital distributor] there’s no shelf-space restriction. — Gabe Newell, Rock, Paper, Shotgun[11] Since the 2000s, there has been an increasing number of smaller and niche titles available and commercially successful, like e.g. remakes of classic games.[12][13] The new possibility of the digital distribution stimulated also the creation of game titles of very small video game producers like Independent game developer[14][15] and Modders (e.g. Garry's Mod[16]), which were before not commercially feasible. The years after 2004 saw the rise of many digital distribution services on the PC, such as Amazon Digital Services, Desura, GameStop, Games for Windows – Live, Impulse, Steam, Origin, Direct2Drive,, and GamersGate. The offered properties differ significantly: while most of these digital distributors don't allow reselling of bought games, Green Man Gaming allows this. Another example is which has a strict non-DRM policy[17] while most other services allow various (strict or less strict) forms of DRM. Next important thing is that the digital distributions is greener than physical. Optical disc is made of polycarbonate plastic and aluminum. The creation of 30 CDs requires the use of 300 cubic feet of natural gas, 2 cups of oil and 24 gallons of water. The boxes for CDs are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which increases the risk of cancer.[18]

Challenges[edit] This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) A general issue is the large number of incompatible data formats in which content is delivered, possibly restricting the devices that may be used, or making data conversion necessary. Streaming services can have several drawbacks: requiring a constant Internet connection to use content; the restriction of some content to never be stored locally; the restriction of content from being transferred to physical media; and the enabling of greater censorship at the discretion of owners of content, infrastructure, and consumer devices.

See also[edit] Application store Online shopping Cloud gaming Comparison of online music stores Content delivery network Digital distribution in video games E-book Electronic publishing Electronic commerce Film distribution Film distributor Internet pornography List of Internet television providers List of mobile software distribution platforms Streaming media Video on demand Uberisation

References[edit] ^ a b "Digital Distribution Law & Legal Definition". Legal Definitions. USLegal. Retrieved 25 April 2012.  ^ Kern, Philippe. "The Impact of Digital Distribution – A Contribution" (PDF). Think Tank. Retrieved 26 April 2012.  ^ Sen, Abhijit (Spring 2010). "Music in the Digital Age: Musicians and Fans Around the World "Come Together" on the Net". Global Media Journal. 9 (16).  |access-date= requires |url= (help) ^ Canadian Press (2007-05-29). "Sam the Record Man to shut its Yonge St. doors". Entertainment section. The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2009-01-18.  ^ a b c d Janssens, Jelle; Stijn Vandaele; Tom Vander Beken (2009). "The Music Industry on (the) Line? Surviving Music Piracy in a Digital Era". European Journal of Crime. 77 (96). doi:10.1163/157181709X429105.  ^ MacInnes, Ian. "Impediments to Digital Distribution for Software and Books" (PDF). ProQuest. Retrieved 8 May 2012. [permanent dead link] ^ Rosen, Judith (2012-04-16). "Distribution in a Digital Age". Publishers Weekly.  ^ "Tor/Forge E-book Titles to Go DRM-Free". Retrieved 24 April 2012.  ^ Geuss, Megan (2013-05-04). "Tor Books says cutting DRM out of its e-books hasn't hurt the business - A look at the sci-fi publisher a year after it announced it would do away with DRM". Arstechnica. Retrieved 2013-07-07. Early this week, Tor Books, a subsidiary of Tom Doherty Associates and the world's leading publisher of science fiction, gave an update on how its decision to do away with Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes has impacted the company. Long story short: it hasn't, really.  ^ "Tor/Forge Plans DRM-Free e-Books By July". Publishers Weekly. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.  ^ Walker, John (2007-11-22). "RPS Exclusive: Gabe Newell Interview". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2013-06-28. The worst days [for game development] were the cartridge days for the NES. It was a huge risk – you had all this money tied up in silicon in a warehouse somewhere, and so you’d be conservative in the decisions you felt you could make, very conservative in the IPs you signed, your art direction would not change, and so on. Now it’s the opposite extreme: we can put something up on Steam, deliver it to people all around the world, make changes. We can take more interesting risks. [...] Retail doesn’t know how to deal with those games. On Steam [a digital distributor] there’s no shelf-space restriction. It’s great because they’re a bunch of old, orphaned games.  ^ "The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition Tech Info". GameSpot. Retrieved November 15, 2011.  ^ Onyett, Charles (June 2, 2009). "E3 2009: The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition Preview". IGN. Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2011.  ^ Garr, Brian (17 April 2011). "Download distribution opening new doors for independent game developers". Archived from the original on 21 April 2011.  ^ Stuart, Keith (27 January 2010). "Back to the bedroom: how indie gaming is reviving the Britsoft spirit". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 November 2012.  ^ Senior, Tom (2012-03-16). "Garry's Mod has sold 1.4 million copies, Garry releases sales history to prove it". PCGamer. Retrieved 2013-06-28.  ^ Caron, Frank (2008-09-09). "First look: GOG revives classic PC games for download age". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2012-12-27. [...] [Good Old Games] focuses on bringing old, time-tested games into the downloadable era with low prices and no DRM.  ^ "Why digital is greener than the boxed video games?". 2016-04-22. Retrieved 2016-08-04.  v t e E-book digital distribution platforms Active Amazon Kindle Archive of Our Own Barnes & Noble Nook FanFiction.Net Google Play Books Hoopla Digital iBooks Store Kindle Direct Publishing Kindle Store Kobo Lulu NoiseTrade OverDrive, Inc. Playster PocketBook Reader Pronoun Scribd Smashwords Wattpad Wikibooks Discontinued Sony Reader Oyster v t e Music digital distribution platforms Digital library Music download Online music store Streaming media Active 7digital Amazon Music Anghami Apple Music Baidu Music Bandcamp Beatport CD Baby Classical Archives Claro Música Deezer Digitally Imported Ditto Music Djshop Electric Jukebox EmuBands eMusic Google Play Music HDtracks Hoopla Icecast iHeartRadio iTunes Store Jamendo JOOX Juno Records KKBox KuGou Line Music Live365 Magnatune Melon Mixcloud MOOV Murfie MusicStation Music Glue Mziiki Napster NetEase Music Nimbit NoiseTrade ONErpm OverDrive, Inc. Pandora Patari PayPlay.FM PlayStation Music Playster Pono Qobuz QQ Music Radionomy Saavn Sellaband Slacker Spinlet Spotify SoundCloud Shazam Style Jukebox Tidal Twine WiMP YouTube Discontinued Amie Street Aupeo Beats Music BlackBerry World Blinkbox Music BuyMusic GhostTunes GoMusicNow Groove Music Grooveshark Guvera Internet Underground Music Archive imeem iMesh Kazaa Mixcrate Mog Music Unlimited Nokia Store MixRadio PlayNow Arena PressPlay Puretracks rara Rdio Simfy Songza Spinner SpiralFrog Stardock Central Streamwaves Ubetoo Wowloud Yahoo! Music Radio/LAUNCHcast Yahoo! Music Unlimited Zune Marketplace v t e Software distribution platforms and content delivery networks App store Cloud gaming Digital library Online game store Package manager Software distribution Streaming media Active Personal computer Allmyapps Amazon Digital Game Store Big Fish Games Chrome Web Store Digital River Direct2Drive DotEmu GameHouse GameShadow GamersGate Games for Windows – Live Game Jolt GNOME Software Green Man Gaming Humble Store Mac Games Arcade Mac App Store MacUpdate Metaboli/GamesPlanet Microsoft Store MSN Games Origin Playism Playster Pokki Steam Ubuntu Software Center Uplay WildTangent Video game consoles GameFly Microsoft Store Nintendo eShop PlayStation Now PlayStation Store Wii Shop Channel Xbox Store Xbox Live Arcade Mobile Amazon Appstore Appsfire Apple App Store Aptoide BlackBerry World Cafe Bazaar Cydia F-Droid GamersGate GetJar Google Play Handango Microsoft Store Nintendo eShop Samsung Apps SlideME Opera Mobile Store Playster Ubuntu App Store Windows Phone Store Arcade ALL.Net NESiCAxLive E-Amusement Discontinued Desura GameAgent GameTap Games for Windows Marketplace Impulse Intel AppUp Jumboplay Kazaa N-Gage Nokia Store OnLive PlayNow Arena Stardock Central Triton Windows Marketplace Windows Marketplace for Mobile Yahoo! Games Zune Marketplace Zylom v t e Video digital distribution platforms Digital library Streaming media Video on demand Free 3Player 7plus 9Now ABC iview Aparat AcFun afreecaTV All 4 Arte Boutique BBC iPlayer Bilibili BitTorrent Blinkbox Brightcove Buzznet Canalplay Chicken Pork Adobo Crackle Dailymotion Daum DittoTV DramaFever Facebook Watch Flickr Fotki France TV Pluzz Frequency Funimation Funshion GyaO Hoopla Hotstar Hunter TV iQiyi ITV Hub i Want TV Le Lightbox LiveLeak Mango TV Metacafe Mixer My5 MyTF1 VOD MyVideo Naver NeuLion The NewsMarket Niconico Noggin OneWorldTV Ora TV OverDrive, Inc. Pandora TV PictureBox Films Pluto TV PLUS7 Popcornflix PPTV Putlocker Queensland Online TV RTÉ Player Rumble Rutube SBS on Demand SchoolTube Sky Go Sohu Sony LIV Sina Video Spirit Show Network Spuul Starlight Networks Steam Streamworks International STV Player SVT Play TalkTalk TV Tank Top TV TAPP TV TeacherTube Teaching Channel Telly Inc TENplay thePlatform Toon Goggles Trilulilu Tubi TV Tudou TV UOL Tvigle TVNZ OnDemand TVPlayer tvyo UKTV Play Ultraviolet VBOX7 Veoh Vevo Viddsee Viewster Viki Vimeo Viu Voddler VyRT Wistia Wuaki Xfinity Streampix Xunlei Kankan Yahoo! View Youku YouTube YuppTV Zattoo Sports Fox Sports Go WatchESPN Pornographic PornerBros Pornhub PornMD PornoTube RedTube XHamster Xtube XVideos YouPorn Comedy Funny or Die Paid All Japan Pro Wrestling TV Acorn TV Amazon Video AnimeLab CBS All Access CraveTV Crunchyroll CuriosityStream Club WWN DirecTV Now DDT Universe Demand Progress ESPN+ FandangoNOW Fandor FilmStruck Foxtel Play Fullscreen FITE TV Global Wrestling Network Google Play Movies & TV HBO Go HBO Now Hillsong Channel Now HOOQ Hulu Honor Club Icflix iflix iTunes Store Mubi Netflix New Japan Pro-Wrestling World Nintendo eShop Now TV PlayStation Store PlayStation Video PlayStation Vue Playster Rooster Teeth FIRST SHAHID Showmax Showtime Shudder Sky On Demand Sling TV Stan STARZ Stardom World TVPlayer UFC Fight Pass VidAngel Vudu Warner Archive Instant Windows Store (Microsoft Movies & TV) WWE Network WWNLive YouTube Red Discontinued Azubu BBC Store Blip Blockbuster On Demand (now part of Sling TV) BlogTV CinemaNow Daisuki Fearnet Flixster Google Video imeem iMesh Intel AppUp Joost Kazaa LoveFilm Megavideo MUZU.TV Nintendo Channel Nintendo Video Nokia Store Openfilm Presto Quickflix Redbox Instant by Verizon Revver Seeso Shomi Sony Entertainment Network Stage6 Super Deluxe TouchVision Triton TroopTube Twango Vdio Vessel Viddler Vidme Vine Vongo WeShow Windows Media Center WWE Classics on Demand Yahoo! Screen Zune Marketplace v t e Software distribution Licenses Beerware Floating licensing Free Free and open-source Freely redistributable Open source Proprietary Public domain Compensation models Adware Commercial software Retail software Crippleware Crowdfunding Freemium Freeware Pay what you want Careware Donationware Open core Postcardware Shareware Nagware Delivery methods Digital distribution File sharing On-premises Pre-installed Product bundling Retail software Sneakernet Software as a service Deceptive and/or illicit Unwanted software bundling Malware Spyware Trojan horse Worm Ransomware Scareware Shovelware Vaporware Software release life cycle Abandonware End-of-life Long-term support Software maintenance Software maintainer Software publisher Copy protection Digital rights management Software protection dongle Hardware restrictions License manager Product activation Product key Software copyright Software patent Torrent poisoning Retrieved from "" Categories: Online content distributionDigital rights managementE-commerceFilm distributionRetailingStreaming media systemsStreaming music servicesSoftware delivery methodsVideo game distributionVideo on demand servicesHidden categories: Pages using citations with accessdate and no URLAll articles with dead external linksArticles with dead external links from December 2016Articles with permanently dead external linksArticles needing additional references from October 2006All articles needing additional referencesArticles needing additional references from July 2014All articles with unsourced statementsArticles with unsourced statements from July 2014

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