Digital Life

Paying for Music in the Internet Age

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The technologies that record companies blame for the downturn in retail music sales — computers, CD burners and the Internet — are allowing musicians to do more of the things that record labels used to do. In a three-part series, NPR's Rick Karr profiles some of the artists and Internet sites embracing these emerging business models:

Part 1: Searching for a Patron

Looking for someone with deep pockets to finance an artist's creative impulses is a time-honored tradition Karr profiles artists who use the Internet to connect with supporters.

Part 2: Online Micropayments

Emerging artists are discovering that many music fans on the Internet are willing to pay small amounts — dubbed "micropayments," usually for sums less than a dollar — for access to exclusive downloads.

Part 3: Taxing the Internet

Some music industry insiders, including former major-label executives, want Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and computer makers to pay record companies in proportion to how much of their music is being shared and copied online.



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