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The New Sounds of Music In this issue, we look at the innovations and emerging business models in the music industry. A note from Editor-in-Chief Amy Cosper.

By Amy Cosper

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Amy C. CosperMusic is more than entertainment. It's more than lip syncing your way to the office, or making your air guitar gently weep while listening to Linkin Park. Music is business--and an extremely provocative business at that. Billions and billions of dollars are pumped into the industry every year by enthusiastic, passionate fans. Whether it's streaming through iTunes, Pandora or Rdio or spinning on old-school vinyl, music means money.

Music provides the background for everything we experience. It surrounds us as we drive, entertains us when we run, streams to our computers as we rock a spreadsheet and motivates us to make a purchase. It's a powerful force and an exceptionally unique category of content.

But hang on--that thumping and thudding you're hearing isn't Eminem's latest cut. It's the sound of the music industry's traditional business model collapsing. Last year, the overall music market dropped by 9 percent, and the industry's increasingly outdated distribution channels experienced a complete free fall. Analysts predict that by 2012, digital music downloads will outsell CDs for the first time. Combine digital distribution with social media's impact on music, and you have an entirely new industry that looks nothing like it used to.

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