OWNERSHIP - is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property
PRODUCTION – the making of
MARKETING - is the process by which companies determine what products or services may be of interest to companies
DISTRIBUTION – e.g. selling
EXCHANGE – how we access the music e.g. HMV
How many of the artists and bands on Radio 1's playlist are signed to your major label? Choose a few of your favourite artists that are signed to your Major label. Draw a Long Tail for your artists by researching the following : Their PLAYS on Last FM; what similar artists does Last FM recommend and where would you place them on your Last FM Long Tail? 1. AFI - 38,765,971 plays (827,997 listeners) - Recommendations - Rise Against, Alkaline Trio & Aiden 2. Blink182 - 77,771,193 plays (1,488,519 listeners) - Recommendations - Sum 41, New Found Glory & +44 3. Lady Gaga - 52,847,045 plays (1,301,974 listeners) - Recommendations - Ke$ha, Rihanna & Katy Perry 4. Rise Against - 58,315,923 plays (820,876 listeners) - Recommendations - Anti Flag Signed to - Universal Music Group Daughter record label of UMG BBC1 Playlist.
Festivals. Reading 2010 Blink 182 Klaxons Weezer Guns ‘n’ Roses In your opinion, why have music festivals had a renaissance over the last few years? The music culture has progressed greatly, and even though fans have always been eager to see their musicians live, the demand has increased greatly. This may be due to the new generations of social groups formed around music. Emo, indie and chav are all hybrids of the well known goths, punks and townies which had a small foundation based around music, however, these new generations of social groups are much more music based. This younger, more music obsessed generation are one of the main reason festivals have had a revolutionary change in demand. Latitude 2010 Florence and The Machine Noah and The Whale The Maccabees
What other companies does the parent company own? Draw an organisational chart that illustrates all of the companies owned.
PRODUCTION: Does your label produce physical CDs or vinyl? http:// new.umusic.com/News.aspx?NewsId =182 Both. In what ways has media technology helped your MAJOR labels to find and recruit talented artists? Websites such as Myspace, are an easy way for musicians to get their sound out to the public. It’s services are free and easy to set-up. This freedom to produce music has increased creativity and has produced many new musicians. These musicians are unsigned and only have to pay a small fee to advertise themselves on the Myspace main page. This is a brilliant example of how media technology has helped labels to find, and recruit, new talented artists easily. Other examples are those such as local radio stations, which are small stations who focus mainly on unsigned, local talent. If Universal were to listen to one of these stations, they would pick up masses of talented artists. MARKETING: What marketing techniques does your Major label use to promote a new CD album or single launch? (e.g. web site, Myspace, press coverage, advertising, viral online campaigns etc.) Universal uses a range of techniques. They advertise singles launches on the Myspace front page and the artists Myspace blog, as well as on Facebook and the artists’ Twitter pages. Universal has also picked up on the new ‘digital age’ as it uses techniques such as creating iPhone apps . How does the label use Myspace to promote their artists? A dvertisements on the main pages Does the label use online forums, message boards, gig reviews etc to promote the band? These are all available, but whether they have been set up by the label itself or the fans is not clear. But it is a great example of how participatory cultures have effected promotion of artists and music. Does the label have a You Tube account? If so what is featured (music videos, interviews etc) Music videos! Universal also has a shared partnership with Vevo – a music video and entertainment website. What press, TV coverage can you find about the bands signed to the label? http://www.umusic.co.uk/News/ http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/01/umg-digital-sales/
DISTRIBUTION and EXCHANGE: Does HMV stock CDs from your Major label? Do Tesco’s or Morrison’s? If so how much are the CDs? HMV – Yes, examples such as Lady Gaga, Blink 182, GnR – no higher than £13.99 Tesco & Morrisons – Yes for around the same prices. Can you download tracks from the major label’s web site? If so, how much per download? Yes. It has an application download where you can quickly and easily download music for around the same prices as stocked in HMV. Does iTunes stock tracks from your label? Yes, of course!! How has new media technology effected the distribution of your Major label’s artists? iTunes is a much more convenient way to stock music, even though the artists signed to the label are at the top end of the Long Tail, and have their physical music stocked in retailers, other new media technology, such as Myspace, helps promote the music, thus benefitting the distribution. Other media technology, such as gaming has also benefitted the distribution. It is another platform for artists to get their sound out! e.g. Guitar Hero which features Block Party, The Killers & Kaiserchiefs – all signed to Universal. Streaming sites such as Spotify dramatically effect the sales of records. Last year Spotify was accused of paying Lady GaGa just £108 in return for one million plays of her song Poker Face! However, a recent news story states that streaming site We7 has ‘ finally broken even after three years after being set up in the UK by co-founder Peter Gabriel, it claims that ad-funded online music can work by paying all its running costs’ This is a breakthrough for record companies, as it now means the music royalty collection agency, and costs to music publishers are paid off! Apple is also planning to launch an online music service that, for the first time, which will allow customers to listen to tracks streamed over the internet – there is no end to live streaming! This year alone digital sales have gone down by 2.7 per cent — which is not good given that digital is supposed to be saving the music business. CD sales have plunged 18 per cent, ouch! In what ways has media technology radically altered the way music fans access music? It has altered It dramatically! Fans now have the easy, free option of file sharing. A simple Google search and you can have your artists album in seconds. Free. No strings attached. If you are not the illegal music downloading type, it is still just as easy to listen to the music for free! Sites such as Project Playlist and LastFM let you stream music online for free -It is so easy for fans to access music in this new media generation.
One of the more disheartening pieces of information from the report is the decline of local artists in their home nations. However, the sad news is obfuscated by the IFPI's cherry-picking of statistics. For example, while Spain's local artist sales have dropped 65% over the past 6 years, France's decline is not as steep.
The SNEP charts for the year 2009 show that 59% of the top singles and 47% of the top albums come from foreign artists. More importantly, though, is who distributes them: In both Spanish charts, all listed are published and distributed by labels under the Big Four labels (Sony, EMI, Warner, and Universal)
A much more effective way of earning money is simply turning its artists into products , into potent brand names themselves (at least on a major level). The profits Disney earns from kids-pop musicians Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers are not from record sales and ticket stubs alone, but from the large amount of fan products sold under those brand names as well.
Stop selling records, start selling artists - The industry's implementation of "360 deals," which give labels a stake in every aspect of an artist's business in return for managing and marketing those aspects, is a promising start, but more needs to be done in exchange for increased profitability.
Let the fans decide! - Radiohead's "pay what you want" system for the 2007 album In Rainbows was successful enough to spur on other artists to do the same.
Releasing material digitally as soon as it’s done - The immediacy of the internet not only rendered hype machines obsolete, but also increased demand for new material as soon as possible. Sales are more important than hype now. All of these changes can cater to the continued survival of the major music industry, and possibly its recovery from this mess, all without the need for government intervention and invasive monitoring for suspected file-sharers!
Discuss the importance of media convergence in the industry you have studied.
Conglomerate - A combination of two or more corporations engaged in entirely different businesses together into one corporate structure.
Oligopoly - A market form in which a market or industry is dominated by a small number of sellers
Synergy - A synergy is where different entities cooperate advantageously for a final outcome
Vertical integration - A style of management control. Vertically integrated companies in a supply chain are united through a common owner.
Hardware and software - Hardware - A general term for the physical parts of technology Software - A general term primarily used for digitally stored data such as computer programs and other kinds of information read and written by computers.
Media convergence is the key to exploiting artists as much as possible! As already mentioned, Universal have made their music available on the internet, mobile phones, films, games and of course, TV. This is very important, as without the other forms of media, the artists would definitely not be where they are today. People like to be interactive, which is another reason why media convergence is important – people don’t go out and buy physical music anymore, they just ‘happen to come across it’ in a film, game or Myspace advert. This has dramatically increased record sales for Universal. Universal produce masses of merchandise for their artists, in the most non-conventional forms e.g. USB drives, i-Phone karaoke applications, and this has really helped to exploit their artists.
The Boat That Rocked is an example of a Universal synergy.
It was distributed by Universal Pictures and the soundtrack includes current or previous artists signed to Universal.
Lady Gaga is the perfect example of record labels exploiting artists as much as possible! Universal have produced a massive variety of merchandise for Lady Gaga. Examples are - a limited edition USB drive, t-shirts, jackets, posters, programmes, hats, bags, headphones, iPhone applications and covers. Some interesting news to bring you now, as it has been reported that Apple has signed a deal with Lady Gaga, for her to appear in the forthcoming Ad campaigns for their iPhone 4G handset! Overall top 5 record sales this year! Lady Gaga – 2.7 million Black Eyed Peas – 1.3 million Justin Bieber – 1.2 million Florence and the Machine – 500,000 Taylor Swift – 500,000
Drawing it all together!
Facts & figures!
Lady Gaga paid just £108 in return for one million plays of her song Poker Face – better for consumers, worse for record labels.
We7 are paying artists decent amounts of royalty for their song plays
Universal use Myspace and other means of participatory cultures to exploit their artists
Universal have used media convergence to their full advantage – e.g. iPhone apps, Guitar Hero (Kaiserchiefs, The Killers)
This year alone digital sales have gone down by 2.7 per cent — which is not good given that digital is supposed to be saving the music business. CD sales have plunged 18 per cent, ouch!
Last FM, YouTube, Myspace, Spotify, We7 and Apple’s new streaming service.
Streaming services have dramatically effected record sales
The IFPI’s digital music report 2010 have revealed that digital downloaded now account for 27% of label income