The ability to download music online is a positive thing for up and coming artists who are trying to have their music heard by the masses for the first time, downloading music is having a negative effect on the major record labels in the music industry.
It is major record companies who are being effected in a negative fashion and in particular, financially. In the past three years the music industry has been cheated out of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs from the increased popularity of online downloading. It has only been recently that illegal downloading has become much more of a threat. In 2001 the global percentage for illegal downloads rose 50%. Approximately two of every five recordings produced around the world are pirated copies. More than 2.6 billion pirated copies are downloaded each month. Another negative side effect of illegal downloading is music piracy.