Music downloads have made a massive impact on the music industry, changing the way the industry interacts with their fans as well as the very process music fans obtain the music they love.
For decades, music fans bought their music on a physical medium such as a vinyl LP record or a compact disc. With the popularization of the Internet and the widespread usage of high-speed Internet connections, music fans are able to download digital musical files. The most common digital music format is the MP3.
Music downloads are now so commonplace that the iTunes Music Store, run by Apple, emerged as the largest music retailer in the United States. iTunes became popular for allowing fans the opportunity to download music for a nominal cost and for allowing them to buy individual tracks rather than having to buy an entire album at full price.
Music downloads weren't always popular with the music industry. Napster and other file-sharing programs became popular with music fans because they allowed people to download music for free. Some artists, such as AC/DC, continue to have a dim view of the idea.