This paper looks at how the net neutrality debate relates to the music recording industry and considers how new media audiences consume music as social experience and with generative impulse. As the Internet appears to force the music recording industry to re-evaluate its function and change its approach to distributing music and making money, music artistes seem to no longer need to rely on “record deals” to launch or build a music career; and music audiences no longer have to rely on Top-40 radio to be told what is popular listening. This phenomenon has serious implications for new and emerging Internet social networking audiences that are interested in new and innovative forms of music experiences. This paper explores the issues of corporate control on new forms of music consumption and commoditisation, where a dichotomous relationship has emerged involving the recording industry (which seeks to monetise and control access to music) and generative audiences (which seek to consume “music on tap”). The centrality of generative music audiences to the changing relationships between professionals and amateurs in the music recording industry is discussed. The paper contends that the generative impulse of new music audiences present far greater opportunities to narrow the gap between what audiences derive from their desired music experiences and how the recording industry delivers those experiences now, and for the future.
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