There are now just three major record labels left on the planet: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group.

These three companies control as much as 80 percent of the music that is commercially available in the world — and not just in terms of sales. They also, in most cases, control the worldwide rights to the music they sell, which means they also control how that music is managed and promoted.

In the past, when music was only sold via dedicated physical media — records, cassette tapes and compact discs — labels and artists in one part of the world would negotiate and sell rights to localized companies in other territories, thus allowing those companies to distribute, manage and promote that music in accordance with regional demands and tastes.