Music has been a huge part of the Web since the days when Geocities-hosted fan sites offered Nirvana MIDI files and 15-second clips of songs in WAV format. A decade ago, we saw the rise and fall of Napster, the remnants of which were recently sold yet again. From the ashes of Napster rose a new era of digital music, fueled in large part by the iPod and iTunes Music Store. The traditional structures of the music industry may never return to what they once were, and that's okay. Today we have access to more music than ever before and the tools for creating it are available to anyone who can afford a laptop.
Music is still a huge - and growing - part of the Web today. This year, we watched a number of trends unfold in the digital music space. Picking the five most significant was no easy task, but we manage to narrow it down. This space is still evolving, and we can only imagine how it will look another decade from now.
Top 5 Online Music Trends in 2011