The I n t e r n e tThe internet has had an enormous impact on the way in which audiences consume music. Withglobal access to any artists from all over the world and of all different genre’s has created aproliferation in the amount of styles of music we now consume.Online alone there are vast amounts of ways to access music from YouTube to soundcloud.Artists and bands create websites where they can market their music, merchandise, genre andtour dates to the masses. This ability to get ‘online’ has helped out smaller bands and artistswhen looking to be discovered by talent scouts, labels and even just establish a fan base. Byhaving websites and social networking pages set up they are able to share their talent withpeople and get them to spread the word, which if done correctly can spread like a fire. Smallerartists might start off on soundcloud of unsigned.com and start to process through the ranks tocreating YouTube channels and starting to produce videos to share with their Facebook andtwitter followers.To put into perspective how crazy YouTube fame can become the international success of PSY’sGangnam Style has resulted in the video reaching over 1billion views on YouTube in under 6months. This genre is Korean Pop something that until last year never travelled into British Popculture.
Yo u Tu b eLeading on from the previous slide YouTube has been influential in creating fame ofundiscovered talents to artists from all over the world.The site was launched on February 14th 2005. It was set up by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley andJawed Karim. The men started up the site and ran it from 2005-2006 when they then sold theright to the site to Google for $1.65 billion. This extreme investment from Google has paid off asYouTube is one of the most visited sites on the web.Before it came along there were no real sites dedicated to allowing people to set up and sharevideos online. This gap in the market was perfectly filled and thanks to the site the musicindustry has been able to utilise this with artists and labels setting up channels and broadcastingvideos for the world to view. It has been an idea way for international stars to access a wideraudience and not only become famous and successful in their home country but also inothers, an example of this which may seem obvious is the ability for British audiences to accessAmerican music. Before the internet and especially YouTube it would be much more difficult foraudiences over seas to get hold of music from other countries let alone continents.
I Tu n e sThis platform for discovering music was created by apple. It acts as a database for mostly signedmusicians to advertise and sell their music. It offers over 28 million songs, videos, eBooks andapps for sale all available online. This virtual Store possesses 400 million active user accounts, andserves over 315 million mobile devices, including iPods, iPhones and iPads.This online store allows audiences instant access to music of all different genres. There arevarious ways in which to search/discover new talent for example if you like a specific genre thereis the option to search by genre alternately you can search an artists name or even look at whatstaff at apple are listening to currently. These mass of options allow people to become interactivewith music, to pro-actively search and discover new styles, tracks, artists and influences.None of this would be available without the internet, therefore enforcing how massive it’s impacthas been on the music industry.
Unsigned websitesAlthough lots of artists are established on the ITunes store there are many more unsigned artistswanting to get their music out there for people to consume. These unsigned artists are not aslikely to have their music readily available for download on ITunes, therefore they turn to othermediums such as sites specifically catering for unsigned acts. A popular example of this isusigned.com.By giving these unsigned acts a platform for getting their music out there it is again diversifyingthey music industry more than before. Again the internet has been key in helping this processalong. By providing a vast set of alternate genre’s and artists to the spoon fed pop culture societyis predominantly exposed to people are free to develop their own tastes and this in turnconstructs identity. This supports the Post Modernist views that we use ‘bricoloage’ to constructidentity and are no longer constrained by traditional groups. Maffesoli explained this as youngpeople living in ‘tribes’; this provides them with a sense of belonging and identification withothers. This helps artists to target specific groups of people and create an ideal targetaudience, this proliferation in social groups means there is more scope for artists to market musicto and more sub-genres are evolving to fit certain audience needs.
PiracyWhilst many people do download music from legal sources and pay for what they are listening tosome do not. The plus sides the internet has provided for the music industry have beenphenomenal however there is also the major downside of torrenting and illegal p2p sharing ofmusic.http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/18/illegal-music-filesharing-mainstream-ed-sheeranFrom reading this article I picked out a quote from Ed Sheeran which I think puts in black andwhite just how extreme illegal music downloading has become When asked about piracy, Sheeransaid: "Ive sold 1.2 million albums, and the stat is that theres 8 million downloads of that as wellillegally.” This means that more illegal copies of his music has been downloaded than legal. Forsmaller artists breaking onto the scene this can be problematic as the potential profit the totaldownloads could make is not being generated, when people download and share files I think theyforget that the sale of albums is in effect a musicians career and they are actually stealing fromthem.However known these statists are, piracy is difficult to tackle as sites are set up all over the worldto avoid regulations and legal issues, then anonymous users log on to upload files and share themfor others to download and use. The sheer amount of music shared makes it difficult to monitorall movement online and to find the sources of the downloads.
Piracy continuedA major site responsible for various kinds of illegal downloads from music to films was Pirate Bay.In 2009, the website’s founders were put on trial in Sweden, they were being charged withfacilitating illegal downloading of material that was copyrighted. After being found guilty thefounders served a short sentence in prison and were made to pay a fine of US$3.5M as of 2009.Due to this outcome some countries revoked any access to the website and have blocked itentirely.Although this was a step forward in tackling illegal downloading many more sites are up andrunning providing people with free services that would otherwise cost them money they feel isunnecessary to spend. Personally I think that people will always find a way to illegally share andduplicate music no matter how many restrictions are enforced. However the effect this has had onthe music industry has not yet caused any artists to be greatly out of pocket. This then poses thequestion of should they charge so much for an album as if they didn’t would people be more likelyto support the artists music by choosing to buy the album rather than acquire it for free.
Music StoresThe face of music on the British high-street has been HMV, however their recent announcementof going into administration has shocked many. This substantial loss will effect the way in whichpeople purchase their music. From the 60-90’s the company grew and became a staple store onthe British high-street, it allowed customers to go in and look around examining albums, cd’s andmerchandise. The diverse mix of music available in stores set it apart from old record shops and aswe started to move into the digital age in music HMV’s stock of CD’s became an advantage for thecompany.“Deloitte, the administrators, confirmed that they plan to close a further wave of shops on top ofthe 66 closures announced earlier in the month. HMV will be left with a “residual portfolio” of 116stores once the closures have taken place within the next few weeks. When HMV collapsed intoadministration, the company had 223 UK sites and employed 4,123 staff.Hilco, the turnaround group, remains in pole position to buy HMV. It is in talks with Deloitte andHMV’s suppliers about a deal. “http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9882759/HMV-job-losses-hit-1600-as-37-more-stores-close.htmlThis information could be linked back the issue of piracy, with the amount of people illegallydownloading companies such as HMV are left with less turnover and as we are witnessing at thismoment this can effect companies on a large scale.
TV and RadioThe radio has been important for the music industry for a long time. In the past the radio wasused for discussions and getting information out to the public before the times of television, thiswas extremely important during the war. The influence of the radio has meant that people valuethis medium when it comes to listening to music.As television has developed music channels have been established, the most popular and wellknown channel is MTV. First launched in New York 1981, originally the channels purpose was toplay music videos guided by the on-air hosts. During its early stages MTVs main target audiencewere young adults however today their main programmes are targeted at adolescents andteenagers.As music genres have developed MTV have branched off to create new channels to cater for avariety of music tastes. For example MTV Rocks, MTV Dance and so on. This allows audiences toaccess a variety of genres and as it is easy to access they are also able to tune into channels whichplay a genre of music they may not necessarily choose to listen to, thus expanding their musictastes. Another aspect of MTV which has been successful is MTV Unplugged sessions. This iswhere rockers put down their electric guitars and turn off their amps to play acoustic covers ofsongs and allows audiences to see the artists talents on a different level which could lead them tolisten to more of their ‘Plugged’ music.
Festivals and GigsAnother way in which audiences are able to consume music is through attending liveperformances. When artists tour a country they often only visit the main cities of that country andperform for a night doing a 45min-1hour set following support acts. In Norwich there are twomain venues that you can visit to see an artist perform live, The Waterfront and the UEA LCR.There are all different styles of music hosted at these venues giving people a vast choice of whatgigs to attend.A similar way to consume music is for audiences to attend music festivals, there are many tochoose from however there are arguable some main summer music festivals in England. Thesefestivals host different genres of music however they tend to follow one specific genre and featuremore artists who fit that mould. An example would be Download festival, predominantlymarketed at Male Rock/Metal/Hardcore fans they would not organise for an artist like The Kooksto play there as they are a more mainstream indie band. Audiences access to live performanceson both of these scales means they have a wide choice of what genre to consume andfurthermore festivals in particular enable them to discover new artists and bands that appeal totheir music tastes.
Sources The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk T h e Te l e g r a p h http://www.telegraph.co.uk Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki Yo u Tu b e http://www.youtube.com