Virgin is a mother company with 300 children companies all around the world and a huge variety of products and services. But when it started in 1970 as Virgin Records, it started with the sole purpose to bring energy and diversity to an industry monopolized by big corporations. Born from the free spirits and the idealism of its time, this one company made inspirational changes in the global culture of recorded music. Inevitably succes has led to a speedy growth in which the branches have reached a height so far from the root – as far as the space to be accuratethat the root became forgotten. The legendary Megastores shut down in USA, Europe, Canada and UK, the home country. With so many territorries yet to be discovered, music became an adventure from the past.
My project starts at this point of the story, firstly by looking at what changed since 1970, with Virgin and with the recorded music industry in general. By analyzing the consumer and the competition which are equally diverse and complicated as the people`s personal encounters with music. Understanding the challenge, that it is no longer about breaking free, but instead about finding a role in the enourmous diversity of the post-iPod era.
With internet and the invention of mp-3, a huge breaking-point appeared in the music industry to change the system forever. Things have become much more complicated, in the point of view of traditional recorded music business, yet more possibilities have been born. For some, internet has democratized the whole industry. Above all the different views, there is one certainty - that internet has changed the way people interact with music. Virgin`s re-invention as a music company lies in these interaction possibilities created by the digital communication tools. My thesis aims to discover new roles that music can take in our digitally enriched (surrounded) lives that constantly travel between the real and the virtual worlds.