Tag Archives: Music Industry

Class notes 9/21/10

We began today’s class by finishing our discussion of the changes in music production and distribution from last time. Here’s the text from the slide I showed with short summaries of each of the 3 articles we read on this topic — each author’s name links to the article. Remember that your blog posts should include a short summary of the reading you choose to write about.

Article Summaries

• In this article Malitz reviews the Radiohead album “In Rainbows,” which was initially available only from their website as a free download.

Elton, a former music industry executive, discusses the many services that major record labels offer to support their musical artists.

Jones explores the growth in popularity of music groups on independent record labels, using the Arcade Fire album “The Suburbs” as an example.

For the rest of the class we discussed Web 2.0. Below are the words we wrote on the board when discussing the 2 articles we read (click to see a larger version of the image):

And here’s the text from the other slides we viewed during our discussion:

1. Conversion to digital (both text and non-text media) –> ability to INTERACT with these media

2. Issues w/participatory media?
• Quality
• Expertise
• Economics
• Organization (findability)

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Reading Response – The dotted line: What do record labels do now?

Working in and around the music industry for the past 8 years has been a very interesting ride. I am a avid music collector and can remember how exciting it was to get in line and wait for an “album” to be released in a store. Bringing it home and listening to it for a few weeks straight was the best thing in the world. Now with the convenience of mp3’s and the internet it collecting music is a lot easier. Yes the satisfaction of going out and buying the actual hard copy is gone but listening is still the same.  Depending on how good your ear is most people do not realize how bad the quality is. Yes the record companies and bands themselves are loosing out on royalties they would make from someone buying the CD. The music industry these days is not about selling records. In this article the author states that most label heads and lawyers acknowledged that pop smashes are what major labels do best; they can still produce records that permeate every night club, taxi, bodega, and drugstore. It is all about image. With the birth of MTV in the 80’s came a whole new side to the music business.  Now acts were being seen. People saw the bands and celebrities in a different light rather than just out on stage. Bands now have to get out there and tour non stop and make appearances and do everything they can outside of the studio to make their money.  It is not strange to see bands belonging to Indie labels are selling out venues like MSG these days. Most bands go Indie just because of the more home like environment. They can work on the music instead of being puppets. They still have access to some of the best producers and studio space in the world.  They are not told what to do as much by executives. There will always be the “pop” music that brings the money in for the larger mother companies.