Tech. accepted = downloading, social networking sites (e.g. MySpace) because cheap and idiot proof Consumer has more control – controlling means of production and distribution – and choice and therefore power Changing positions of recording companies (A&R diminished, profits affected but remain very powerful)
Against – it can’t be stopped (new technology developed), wrong people convicted, so we should accept it and adapt to it (e.g. new business models), government won’t pursue offenders (just scare tactics!) Digital economy bill – Billy Bragg (it’s self-defeating – in effect taking away your record player!) Gives more control to the consumer but big 4 still dominant (Marx – consumer as producer)
Discuss the issues raised bymedia ownership in theproduction and exchange ofmedia texts in the musicindustry?
Institutions and Audiences –what you must know• PRODUCTION (how is music made usingtechnology – “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, onlineshops like Amazon)• At local, national and international level• As well as British audiences’ reception andconsumption (e.g. Hertfordshire data)
Consumer has more controlMedia is more “democratised” but“big 4” still have huge powerWho “owns” music – the artist orthe consumer?
• Pros and cons of illegal downloading• Pros and cons of the “big 4”• In any music essay you must include:– Marxist theory– A paragraph on EMI (or XL)– Detailed reference to more than one musicalartist (e.g. Master Shortie, Lily Allen, Koopa,Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Rebecca Black, ArcticMonkeys…)
“It’s a trend…about a newdemocracy of ideas andinformation, about changingnotions of authority, about thereleasing of individualcreativity”Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-chief of The Guardian
Downloading• History of (e.g. Napster….illegal vs legal (Appledominating market)• Stats (your own, from BPI, Hertforshire etc) – how manydownload, 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 toconsumer (Marx) – but “big 4” still dominant• Is 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 thatparents are punished for their children downloading)?• INCLUDE EXAMPLES FROM YOUR OWNEXPERIENCE
COUNTERARGUMENTS1. The artist does not getpaid for his or herwork.2. Quality of musicreproduction lower.3. Not “tangible” (e.g.don’t get artwork).4. Weakens recordlabels as have lessmoney to put intofinding new artists.5. Too much musicaloutput – quantity overquality.6. Opens your computerup to viruses.AGAINST1. The artist makes money in otherways – most money goes to therecord label anyway.2. It’s free!3. Artwork (and lyrics) can bedownloaded.4. Music choice is greater than ever– artists are just using newtechnology to bypass the recordlabels, which gives them morecreative freedom.5. More choice is a good thing andwe have easy access!6. So do lots of other internet basedsystems.
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-nationalownership of the music industry.• Experimental: They can afford to experiment with new ideas,genres, artists. Mainly because they buy out smaller independentcompanies.• Competition: can’t 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. Themusic 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 priceof CDs. In the modern music consumer world, music can be obtained digitally for free, forcing themusic 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 musicindustry whereby in recent years US influenced music controls and dictates the market.• E.g: Estelle ‘American Boy’• Doesn’t allow smaller independent media companies to flourish.• The Smaller independent companies cannot compete with the big four, many of whom end up beingbought out.• Suppresses ‘creative freedom’ for the artists.• Many artists have complained that their record label dictates their creative output, not giving them thefreedom to make the music they want to make. This is particularly true in the mainstream pop marketwhere ‘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 aretherefore 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 tocompete.• Creates advancements in media technology. A number of smaller companies mergingunder the one can afford to become more technologically advanced.
• In pairs or groups of 3, research anyrecent music news that you think youcould reference in your exam:– Artist?– Record label?• Present back to the group at the end ofthe lesson.
Defining “Institutions”• 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)
EMI-EMI is one of the worlds leading music companies, home tosome of the most successful and best known recording artists,songwriters and music catalogues.-EMI has two operational divisions - EMI Music and EMI MusicPublishing.-- EMI Music deals with the artists and the promotion of music-EMI Publishing looks after the rights of songs. Every time asong is played on radio or used on TV for example thepublishing company ensures that the artist gets paid. This is asuccessful source of income for the company and they lookafter acts on other record labels as well as their own.-EMI is the only privately owned major music company
EMI Record Companies Owned-EMI have bought out and also own lots of other recordcompanies:
History – Key Developments-The Electric and Musical Industries Ltd formed in March 1931 from themerger of the UK Columbia Graphophone Company and theGramophone Company, famous at the time for its record label"His Masters Voice". From its beginning, the company was involved in boththe manufacture of recording and playback equipment and the provision ofmusic to play on its machines-In 1931, the year the company was formed, it opened the legendaryrecording studios at Abbey Road, London.-EMI released its first LPs in 1952 and its first stereophonic recordings in1955 (first on reel-to-reel tape and then LPs, beginning in 1958).
History – Key Developments-During the late 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, the companyenjoyed huge success. The groups and solo artists signed toEMI and its subsidiary labels -- including Parlophone, HMV,Columbia Graphophone and Capitol Records -- made EMI thebest-known and most successful recording company in theworld at that time, with a roster that included scores of majorpop acts of the period including the Beatles, the Beach Boys,the Hollies, Cilla Black and Pink Floyd.
History – Key Developments-Pop star Robbie Williams signed a 6 album deal in2002 paying him over £80 million ($157 million),which was not only the biggest recording contract inBritish music history, but the second biggest in musichistory-In May 2006, EMI attempted to buyWarner Music Group, which would have reduced theworlds four largest record companies (Big Four) tothree; however, the bid was rejected
EMI and New MediaTechnology- 1993: EMI Musics 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 albumdownload, David Bowies …Hours.-2001: EMI launched the first internet video single.-2007: EMI became the first major music company to make its
What is the government doing tocombat illegal downloading?• Digital Economy Bill to help “protect” musicartists – comes into effect last year but is underreview because it could “harm citizens”• Net Police to cut people off or limit the onlineservice of families caught – if this fair and howwill people react to it?• Is it fair to blame the an industry (the internet)that is arguably keeping the music industryalive?– Look at BBC blog commentary and Panorama extract• http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_8570000/8570394.stm• http://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 music sales, affecting thefinancial performance of record labels and outletsespecially. The government and music industry haveresponded, trying either to stop illegal downloading ordevelop alternative revenue streams to it by targetingyoung audiences. These have had mixed success – itseems that illegal downloading will continue to remainpopular with young people. Illegal downloading, as wellas the rapid development of convergence technology,has given consumers much more control over whatmusic they consume and how they consume it; it hasalso meant that they increasingly have the ability tobecome, in Marxist terms, the producers, marketers anddistributers of music with more control over the dominantideology. Despite this power shift, old hierarchies remainlargely in place – the big four record companies continueto dominate musical output. Creativity has therefore,despite the hype, not necessarily been democratised.