Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



A failure to adapt to and adopt new and changing technology caused the music industry to crash, a fate that the information industry currently faces. This paper is an overview of the music industry's crash, as a result of emerging digital technology, and the lessons that the information industry can learn from the music industry's mistakes in order to avoid its own crash now that technology allows for quicker, easier, and cheaper publication. In the 1980s and 1990s record companies refused to effectively adapt to and adopt the new digital technologies of CDs, MP3s, and digital recording. This resulted in a slow downward spiral toward the demise of major record companies. Though the music industry has recently embraced digital technologies and is trying desperately to catch up, it is much too late for them to return to their former power and economic status.

Today the information industry (including publishers, vendors, libraries and universities) faces a similar struggle with new digital technologies, especially institutional and digital repositories, which could result in publishers and vendors facing the same fate as record companies. This paper will give an overview of both industries as well as the mistakes which the music industry could have avoided and that the information industry should take as cautionary tales. It will also look at potential solutions, or ways to circumvent the music industry's mistakes and consider the future of publishing, vendors, libraries, universities, and institutional repositories and offer ideas for the success of the information industry as a whole.