The Music Industry - The Big Four


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The Music Industry - The Big Four

  1. 1.  The Music Industry And the ‘Big Four’
  2. 2. The Basics  The music industry is massive, it consists of many different areas such as retailers, artists, producers, distributors, manufacturers, engineers, record labels, record studios, publishers, marketing agencies and song writers  An artist is signed under contract by a record company to produce a set number of singles and/or albums  The record company will then pay for the album to be produced, manufactured and marketed throughout the world and the revenue received from the sales of the album/single will go to cover the cost of producing the CD
  3. 3. Changes in the Industry  The music industry is feeling the impact of the changing market for music, as the way music is purchased is undergoing massive changes, along with the development on new forms of entertainment such as DVDs  Businesses that are involved with selling music have had to come to terms with the changes in the market as well, with the major retailers HMV, Virgin and Tower Records having to face renewed competition from online retailers such as Amazon  Online retailers have had global success because of their quick delivery times and extensive range of stock
  4. 4.  The Big Four Which companies are a part of the ‘big four’?
  5. 5. The Big Four –The Basics  There are the 'big four' labels in the music industry, which are basically the major record labels who represent the majority of the music industry, accounting for 75% of the total sales of recorded music in the world  Artists signed to a 'big four' label are either signed to the main label or signed to a subsidiary of the label, for example a band/artist might be signed to Sony, or they might be signed to Sony's subsidiary label Columbia Records  The subsidiary labels have their own employees and usually sign their own bands and artists and make their own financial decisions, however, they're still answerable to the main company, which sets their overall budget and makes big decisions such as reducing staff numbers, et
  6. 6. The Big Four –The Basics  The hierarchical structure of a 'big four' recording label can be complex, and can also differ from label to label  A 'big four' label is a company that manages several smaller companies as well  These major companies can also sometimes offer distribution to indie labels, where they offer the indie's releases to stores along with their own releases, but they don't have a say in what albums the indie releases or how the indie manages their label
  7. 7.  Sony BMG
  8. 8.  Sony BMG was born out of the merger of two music industry giants: Sony Music and BMG Music  Sony BMG hold a 25% share of the music market  The company has offices in more than 30 countries around the world and employs several thousand people  Sony BMG also own and distribute more than 20 labels, some of which are the biggest names in the business, for example, SoSo Def, Red Music Distribution and J Records  Some of the company's top selling artists include Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and The Fray
  9. 9.  Warner Music Group
  10. 10.  Warner Music Group began as a branch of a movie studio  Warner Bros movie studio began the label in 1958 as a way to release the soundtracks from their films  The timing for starting a music label was good because of the increasing popularity of rock'n'roll music and pop music, therefore it didn't take long for the Warner record label to grow  The late 1960s and early 1970s were important for Warner Music Group because in 1968 they acquired Atlantic Records, which at the time was the well- known for its jazz and R&B music
  11. 11.  Shortly after, Warner expanded again, this time by buying Elektra Records  The company also changed its name to Warner Communications but became better known in the industry as WEA (Warner Elektra Atlantic)  In 1987, Warner merged with the Time corporation thus forming the powerful media corporation Time Warner.  Time Warner sold Warner Music in 2003 for $2.3 billion  Warner Music Group owns or partially owns or distributes some of the world's best known record labels, for example Atlantic Records, Bad Boy and Roadrunner Records
  12. 12.  EMI
  13. 13.  EMI was founded in 1931 and was firstly manufacturer of gramaphone record players under the name of The UK Grammaphone Company  EMI was very successful in the record player market, but it was as a record label that the company really shot to fame  Also in 1931, the company opened the Abbey Road music studios in London, with Abbey Road being hugely significant in the music industry because of The Beatles who are the artists that later put EMI on the map  To this day, the Abbey Road music studio is still known as a musician's 'dream studio’  In the beginning, EMI had licensing arrangements with RCA Records and Colombia Records but these arrangements came to an in end in the 1950s
  14. 14.  Until 1957, EMI was predominantly a European label, however in that year the company purchased the controlling stake in a US label called Capitol Records  This relationship marked the beginning of a period of major commercial international success for EMI which was largely down to The Beatles  During this time, the company also launched several subsidiary labels such as HMV, Columbia Gramaphone and Parlophone  Other than The Beatles, EMI has signed many other top selling artists such as The Beach Boys, The White Stripes, Elvis and Pet Shop Boys
  15. 15.  The Universal Music Group
  16. 16.  The Universal Music Group is an American multinational company - a subsidiary of Universal Studios  In the early days, Universal Records was seen as an unimportant extension of the Universal Pictures Group who were the most successful movie studios in Hollywood - Universal Records was just the label which Universal Pictures would use to release the soundtracks from their films  Universal Records eventually grew and evolved, until it became the big label it is now  Now, the company employs nearly 7000 people, and is broken up into many different divisions such as Universal Music Publishing Group, Universal Music Group Distribution, Universal Republic Recording, etc.
  17. 17.  Although Sony BMG may be the biggest label in the world, Universal is the top selling label because not only do they have branches of the Universal label in nearly every country worldwide, they also own or partly own well over 100 other labels  Some of these subsidiary labels are amongst the best selling and most well-known names in the music industry, for example, Motown, Def Jam, Island and Verve  Some artists signed with Universal or with their subsidiaries include Kayne West, 50 Cent, Mariah Carey and Gwen Stefani