Digital distribution

From WE Computers Museum
Digital distribution
Developer Various
Publisher Various
Platforms AOL Desktop,, Nintendo Switch Online (Genesis, NES, NES, SNES), Steam, Telltale Games, Virtual Console (3DS, New 3DS, Wii, Wii U)
Released 1969-present
Added to
See Digital items owned by WEC Museum

Digital distribution is the distribution of software, music, films, television series, books and comics through digital means.


Digital distribution of software began in 1969 when the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) went live. Software developed would be shared between mainframe computers connected to the ARPANET.

Terminals could connect to mainframe computers through timesharing services such as Call-A-Computer of Long Island, NY.

Bulletin Board Systems

Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) allowed users to connect to computers via modems. The first was Community Memory, which launched in 1973. It allowed users to connect to an SDS 940 timesharing system in San Francisco via a 110 baud modem from a teleprinter at a record store in Berkeley.

Until the early 1990s, dial-up Bulletin Board Systems were among the most popular ways to digitally distribute software.

World Wide Web

Since the World Wide Web went live in 1991, it has been the most popular digital distribution method.