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Key Trends and Cybersecurity Challenges in Music Industry

The internet is a dangerous place for anyone and music creators and lovers don’t have it any easier as compared to others. During 2013, Ryan Leslie was ordered by the court to pay $1.2 million in reward in exchange for the backpack that he lost during his Germany trip back in 2010. The stolen backpack contained his laptop, hard drives, cash, and jewelry.

The laptop was returned to Ryan Leslie, unfortunately for him – without the musical files. This is just one of the examples of the consequences of poor data security practices while traveling on a business trip without being cyber-secure.

In addition to this, there are many different trends and challenges that the industry is going through concerning cybersecurity. It is imperative that the industry adapts to such challenges to avoid the chances of data breaches that could compromise the intellectual property of artists and others.

Trends and Challenges in the Music Industry

  1. Risk of Digital Distribution Platforms

Many digital distribution platforms do not provide rigorous data security. Newer and smaller platforms tend to be more vulnerable and at-risk since they don’t have the required resources and expertise in terms of cybersecurity.

Tunecore is one such music distribution platform that was hacked. However, it is not just the music that is at risk with such distribution platforms.

Even the payment information and sensitive information of different artists also get compromised. As in the case with Tunecore, billing addresses, bank routing numbers, credit card details, and others were also compromised.

Thus, it becomes imperative for music creators to check the service they intend to use is secure or not and are there any cybersecurity incident happened with the platform previously.

  1. Protecting Customer Data

Another major challenge for the music industry is to protect customer data on different digital distribution channels. It is not only the creators who are getting compromised with data hacks, but even the data of customers subscribing to such platforms are at risk.

That being said, the customers also needs to ensure security on their end. By using good antivirus software they can better manage their devices and try to keep them secure from unauthorized access.

  1. Protecting Brands Identity

Another big challenge that the music industry is facing is to protect their brand identity, in case of cyber-attack takes place. If the database of distribution platforms gets hacked, the repercussions can be quite serious.

Music creators will no longer trust the ability of brands to safeguard their music and the customers will lose faith in their ability to protect their personal information. Thus, building the image of the brand again once it is hacked could be irreversible.

  1. Preventing Click Frauds

With the shifting trends in online habits, the music industry is getting exposed to click fraud. Such fraud takes place when bots imitate human browsing behavior by constantly clicking web pages, to incentivize the pay-per-click model.

Music streaming websites like Spotify pays royalties to artists, each time their track is played on the website. Hackers create bots to create fake tracks, often mimicking the original tracks of different artists.

These bots, later on, play the same track over and over again to generate revenue from the pay-per-click model. Preventing click fraud is going to be one of the biggest challenges in the years to come.

  1. Music on Demand

Among the many different trends that the world is currently looking at, services on-demand are right up there. Be it content, food or music – people are appreciating the convenience of “On Demand” services.

Thanks to smartphone devices, the musical world travels with you everywhere you go. With platforms like Spotify, you can play and stream music tracks online. However, all of these subscription accounts are being put at risk, the time you connect them to unsecured public Wi-Fi.

Cyber-criminals are always looking for your devices on such networks. Once they find you on these unprotected networks, they create a backdoor entry into your devices to steal all of your valuable data and information.

One way to prevent this is by using a VPN to connect to public networks. VPN can mask your identity on the internet and allow you to browse the internet more safely and securely. Your IP address will be hidden and thus no one will be able to access your device.

Final Thoughts

Cyber-threats are constantly evolving and thus becoming a challenge for each sector, including the music industry. From protecting the intellectual property of artists to maintaining the privacy of customer data, many challenges need to be addressed.

Apart from this, with the rise in On-Demand services – cybersecurity becomes all the more crucial in the music industry. The ability to remain connected and stream music online from anywhere in the world provides cyber-criminals the best opportunity to get a backdoor entry to your device.

Having said that, using antivirus software or VPN service can help in fighting against such cybersecurity challenges, to a great deal.


Michael Gorman is a true movie buff who has rated and reviewed more than 5000 movies and TV shows on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. He is a top-level movie and arts blogger who expresses his views through powerful blogs and articles. You can feel free to contact Michael on Twitter and Facebook.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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