Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts in the music industry?
Institutions and Audiences what you must know PRODUCTION (how is music made using technology means of production) DISTRIBUTION platforms (proliferation of formats CD, radio, mobile phone, MP3, computer, TV etc) MARKETING (advertising, PR role of A&R) EXCHANGE (downloading, CD shops, online shops like Amazon)
At local, national and international level As well as British audiences reception and consumption (e.g. Hertfordshire data)
Consumer has more control
Media is more democratised but big 4 still have huge powerWho owns music the artist or the consumer?
*Tech. accepted = downloading, social networking sites (e.g. MySpace) because cheap and idiot proofConsumer has more control controlling means of production and distribution and choice and therefore powerChanging positions of recording companies (A&R diminished, profits affected but remain very powerful)
Pros and cons of illegal downloadingPros and cons of the big 4In any music essay you must include:Marxist theoryA paragraph on EMI (or XL)Detailed reference to more than one musical artist (e.g. Master Shortie, Lily Allen, Koopa, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Rebecca Black, Arctic Monkeys)
Its a trendabout a new democracy of ideas and information, about changing notions of authority, about the releasing of individual creativity Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-chief of The Guardian
DownloadingHistory of (e.g. Napster.illegal vs legal (Apple dominating market)Stats (your own, from BPI, Hertforshire etc) how many download, how much does this cost the industry.What effect has it had? Reduced power of the big 4 (use EMI as a case study) given more control to consumer (Marx) but big 4 still dominantIs it wrong? Quote Billy Bragg (music industry healthy, just the big 4 who are suffering) from Panorama?Can it be stopped (Digital Economy Bill is it fair that parents are punished for their children downloading)?INCLUDE EXAMPLES FROM YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE
COUNTER ARGUMENTSThe artist does not get paid for his or her work.Quality of music reproduction lower.Not tangible (e.g. dont get artwork).Weakens record labels as have less money to put into finding new artists.Too much musical output quantity over quality.Opens your computer up to viruses.AGAINSTThe artist makes money in other ways most money goes to the record label anyway.Its free!Artwork (and lyrics) can be downloaded.Music choice is greater than ever artists are just using new technology to bypass the record labels, which gives them more creative freedom.More choice is a good thing and we have easy access!So do lots of other internet based systems.
*Against it cant be stopped (new technology developed), wrong people convicted, so we should accept it and adapt to it (e.g. new business models), government wont pursue offenders (just scare tactics!)
Digital economy bill Billy Bragg (its self-defeating in effect taking away your record player!)
Gives more control to the consumer but big 4 still dominant (Marx consumer as producer)
Multi nationals .. A reminder.Large profits:
The big four accounted for 71.7% of the global retail music sales:
Universal Music Group 25.5% Sony BMG Music Entertainment 21.5% EMI Group 13.4% Warner Music Group 11.3% independent labels 28.4%
Other reasons for multi-national ownership of the music industry.
Experimental: They can afford to experiment with new ideas, genres, artists. Mainly because they buy out smaller independent companies.
Competition: cant afford to be left behind and be taken over.
Takeovers: Can afford to take over any direct competitors (e.g.. Sony and Bertelsmann)
Public perceptions and image: can develop a brand loyalty.
Criticisms of multi national ownership
Creates Monopolies. When a single media organisation dominates production and distribution in a particular industry. The music industry is controlled by the big four.
Exploits the consumer.For many years the music industry was accused of exploiting the consumer particularly over the price of CDs. In the modern music consumer world, music can be obtained digitally for free, forcing the music industry to create on line music stores.
Is culturally imperialistic.The idea that one culture can dominate and dictate to other cultures. This can be said of the music industry whereby in recent years US influenced music controls and dictates the market. E.g: Estelle American Boy
Doesnt allow smaller independent media companies to flourish.The Smaller independent companies cannot compete with the big four, many of whom end up being bought out.
Suppresses creative freedom for the artists.Many artists have complained that their record label dictates their creative output, not giving them the freedom to make the music they want to make. This is particularly true in the mainstream pop market where the brand is very important.
Support for the multi nationals
Creates more consumer choice. Monopolies have more money and greater power than smaller companies and are therefore able to offer more.
Established brands are maintained as the status quo. Customers have confidence in well known brands
Saves smaller labels from going under. Investment from large companies can save small companies who cannot afford to compete.
Creates advancements in media technology. A number of smaller companies merging under the one can afford to become more technologically advanced.
In pairs or groups of 3, research any recent music news that you think you could reference in your exam:Artist?Record label?Present back to the group at the end of the lesson.
Who are institutions? The Record Industry as a whole, which includes:Record labels (e.g. EMI) Retail outlets (e.g. HMV)Internet sites (e.g. youtube, spotify)Media (e.g. TV)Technology providers (e.g. Apple)Government too (e.g. Digital Economy Bill)
EMIEMI is one of the world's leading music companies, home to some of the most successful and best known recording artists, songwriters and music catalogues.
EMI has two operational divisions - EMI Music and EMI Music Publishing.
- EMI Music deals with the artists and the promotion of music
EMI Publishing looks after the rights of songs. Every time a song is played on radio or used on TV for example the publishing company ensures that the artist gets paid. This is a successful source of income for the company and they look after acts on other record labels as well as their own.
EMI is the only privately owned major music company
EMI Record Companies OwnedEMI have bought out and also own lots of other record companies:
History Key DevelopmentsThe Electric and Musical Industries Ltd formed in March 1931 from the merger of the UK Columbia Graphophone Company and the Gramophone Company, famous at the time for its record label "His Master's Voice". From its beginning, the company was involved in both the manufacture of recording and playback equipment and the provision of music to play on its machines
In 1931, the year the company was formed, it opened the legendary recording studios at Abbey Road, London.
EMI released its first LPs in 1952 and its first stereophonic recordings in 1955 (first on reel-to-reel tape and then LPs, beginning in 1958).
History Key DevelopmentsDuring the late 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, the company enjoyed huge success. The groups and solo artists signed to EMI and its subsidiary labels -- including Parlophone, HMV, Columbia Graphophone and Capitol Records -- made EMI the best-known and most successful recording company in the world at that time, with a roster that included scores of major pop acts of the period including the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Hollies, Cilla Black and Pink Floyd.
History Key DevelopmentsPop star Robbie Williams signed a 6 album deal in 2002 paying him over 80 million ($157 million), which was not only the biggest recording contract in British music history, but the second biggest in music history
In May 2006, EMI attempted to buy Warner Music Group, which would have reduced the world's four largest record companies (Big Four) to three; however, the bid was rejected
EMI and New Media Technology 1993: EMI Music's first websites went live
1998: EMI streamed the first complete album over the internet, Mezzanine by Massive Attack.
1999: EMI was the first company to release a digital album download, David Bowie's Hours.
2001: EMI launched the first internet video single.
2007: EMI became the first major music company to make its music available without digital rights management (DRM) software.
What is the government doing to combat illegal downloading?Digital Economy Bill to help protect music artists comes into effect last year but is under review because it could harm citizensNet Police to cut people off or limit the online service of families caught if this fair and how will people react to it?Is it fair to blame the an industry (the internet) that is arguably keeping the music industry alive?Look at BBC blog commentary and Panorama extracthttp://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_8570000/8570394.stmhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rl4dl/Panorama_Are_the_Net_Police_Coming_for_You/
Extended ConclusionIllegal downloading, fuelled largely by a young audience, has contributed to falling mu