Exam Questions & Question 9 Write Up

Exam Questions

1.The Music Industry is dominated and controlled by global institutions.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? Refer to both audiences and institutions in your answer.

Do you think the Big 3 control and dominate the music industry? Discuss with reference to audiences and music labels/companies.

INTRO

  • Yes, they dominate. However, they are losing control because of convergence.

MAIN

  • Sony Case Study compared to Soul Jazz approach
  • Dub FX – No label needed – Convergence, Pledgemusic.
  • Apple case study
  • Recent News: Sony are dependant on UK talent shows
  • Technology companies are becoming more powerful, working with artists directly. Clean Bandit with Microsoft Nokia Lumia.

CONCLUDE

  • Key findings;
  • Active audiences are changing the nature of the music industry
  • No longer traditional as a business model.
  1. How is Creativity affecting the Music Industry? Refer to issues in production, distribution and consumption, as well as at least one UK-based record label in your response.

How does creativity cause problems with music production, distribution and consumption? Mention a UK-based record label in your response.

INTRO

  • Active audiences can cause problems for record labels through their convergence technology as they can both make their own music and remix already existing music.

MAIN

 

  • ‘Everythinks A Ripple’ was a remix album of Dub Fx’s songs made by his fans through their convergence technology. No Record Labels Were Involved

 

  • Across many Social Media Platforms, there are hundreds of thousands of artists making money off of their music through completely independant production, distribution and marketing thanks to convergence technology and ad revenue.

CONCLUDE

  • Active audiences and convergence technology are collaboratively making Record Labels Irrelevant
  • Artists are more than capable of making a living from music without the help of a conglomerate.
  1. Discuss the issues raised by an institution’s need to target specific audiences within a media industry which you have studied.

Discuss why having a target audience is important to the major conglomerates within the Music Industry

INTRO

  • Having a set target audience means that companies can expand on that particular area of their market.

MAIN

  • Sony realise they have a lot of teenagers listening to artists on that are signed to them. They also realise that the same age group make up the majority of people buying and playing on PlayStations. So, they allow audiences to listen to their music on their product, also making the PlayStation itself a convergence device that they can control in the process.
  • This also means that these multimedia companies can release future products and features to existing products that are more likely to please their specific audiences.

CONCLUDE

  • By having a specific audience, companies can promote both artists on their label and their products at the same time while also allowing them to make plans for the future that revolve around pleasing their audiences.
  1. Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts in your chosen media area.

Discuss the issues that result of copyright and how it affects the audience’s consumption of the music.

INTRO

  • Copyright / The Ownership, although protecting the artist’s best interests in terms of income, does affect the audience experience.

MAIN

  • Copyright discourages audience interaction as they will be almost punished for downloading, remixing and re-uploading an artists music.
  • However, a number of artists and independent labels would say this is a great form of marketing and will support these active audiences like Dub Fx did with his album ‘Everythinks a Ripple’
  • Many would argue that if audiences can’t remix an artist’s music, it takes away from the music experience.

CONCLUDE

  • While some would say copyright is for the best because of the money, others would argue it’s all about the experience and that redistribution is a big part of that experience.
  1. Discuss the issues raised by media ownership upon the diversity of media products and services available to audiences in the contemporary media area you have studied

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  1. Cross-media convergence and synergy are vital processes in the successful marketing of media products to audiences.” To what extent do you agree with this statement in relation to your chosen media area?

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  1. To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the media area you have studied?

How much does allowing digital downloads of albums impact the marketing and consumption of an artist’s music?

INTRO

  • Every artist currently producing will allow their audience to download their music in a digital format from somewhere.

MAIN

  • Allowing digital downloads makes your music far more accessible to audiences and makes marketing a lot easier
  • When marketing for a digitally downloadable album, the artist or label can use banners on social media sites like facebook which, when clicked, will take you directly to the download page. This means minimum effort for the buyer, making far more likely they will make the purchase.

CONCLUDE

  • Digital marketing is a lot easier on audiences as they can have the album on their computer in minutes with minimum effort.
  • Allowing digital downloads also makes remixing and redistributing easier on audiences that are focused on that music experience.
  1. Discuss the ways in which media products are produced and distributed to audiences, within a media area, which you have studied.

Explain how music is made and distributed to audiences

INTRO

  • Anyone can make music thanks to the constantly growing array of convergence devices available to the public.

MAIN

  • Independent and DiY artists are thriving now more than ever thanks to the fact that they no longer need record labels, studios, bands or even a great deal of talent.
  • An instrumental can be thrown together in programmes like Garageband in just a few moments. Even vocals can be modified to hit the right notes provided the creator in question is capable of such editing.
  • Distribution can be done for free through Social Media’s like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and even Instagram. However, for a small fee, anyone can get their tracks on Spotify, iTunes and other major Media Outlets.

CONCLUDE

  • From creation to distribution to consumption, anyone is capable of being a musician.
  • Musical talent is now more down to the ‘artist’s’ editing abilities than their musical talent.
  • It’s completely cost free to distribute your music online
  1. Evaluate the role of digital technologies in the marketing and consumption of products in the media area you have studied.

Explain how convergence technology has a role in the marketing and consumption of music.

INTRO

  • Technology is key in music from creation to consumption, technology plays a major role now that the majority of music distribution and accessibility is online and digital.

MAIN

  • A lot of artists do not release all their tracks in physical formats because it is simply not necessary. There are just so many ways to distribute online that physical format purchases are more preference than necessity.
  • Music has been primarily digital since the introduction of convergence devices such as the iPod or iPhone, allowing you to download 1,000’s of your favourite tracks and take them with you wherever you went via iTunes.
  • These devices were a big part of Apple’s growth, As Jeff young, Digital Analyst said ‘music was the perfect synthesis for apple’
  • Throughout history, technology has made the consumption of music possible from the Phonograph to the cassette Player to the CD, the boom Box, the Walkman, all the way up to the current day with iPods, Phones, Laptops and more.

CONCLUDE

  • Throughout history, technology has been essential to the marketing and consumption of music. We have relied on it from the Phonograph to the iPod to be able to play recorded audio repeatedly and now, we use it to make our own.

Question 9 Write Up

Evaluate the role of digital technologies in the marketing and consumption of products in the media area you have studied.

Explain how convergence technology has a role in the marketing and consumption of music.

Technology is essential in music from creation to consumption, it plays a major role in allowing active audiences to easily access their favourite tracks and even market their own. Now that the majority of music is both distributed and accessed through the internet, audiences are given the choice of accessing their favourite artists and tracks through sources such as YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and many more. The effect this takes on marketing is very positive. It means that both labels and independent / DiY artists can promote their music through banners that directly link their audiences to the download page or website for their music. This means the music is easier than ever for audiences to access and with an absolute minimum amount of effort.

For a variety of reasons, a large number of artists do not release all their albums and / or tracks on physical format. This is mainly because it simply is not necessary with the amount of options for online distribution and promotion available to them, many of which actually cost less, although not always turning as much profit. This is made evident by statistics for Spotify’s revenue which shows that it would take up to 4 million streams or more for an artist’s profit to match the monthly minimum wage.

Music distribution and consumption has been primarily digital from the introduction of convergence technology such as the iPod which revolutionized mobile devices, allowing audiences to download and carry 1000’s of their favourite tracks with them via ripping their CDs or downloading music from the iTunes Store. On which, artists and labels continue to promote their music, games and various other apps to this day. Again, showing the extent to which you can market content via digital technologies. These convergence devices were and continue to be key in audience consumption, while aiding excessively to Apple’s growth and popularity. As Jeff Young, Digital Analyst said ‘Music was the perfect synthesis for apple.’.

Throughout history, technology has made the consumption of music possible for audiences from the Phonograph to the Cassette player to the CD, onward to the BoomBox, The Walkman, all the way into the present day with iPods, Phones, Laptops and more. The Creation, Distribution, Marketing and Consumption of music have been made both possible and profitable through the use of these devices via sponsorship, exclusive content, merchandising and accessorising. A prime example of this sponsorship would be 50 Cent in his music video for ‘P.I.M.P.’ in which the first iPod makes a, not so subtle, appearance.

To conclude, the implementation of technology has been – and will continue to be – essential in the marketing and consumption of music. We have relied on it throughout the ages from the Phonograph to the iPod, allowing us to purchase, play and repeat our favourite tracks from our favourite albums by our favourite artists. With the help of technology, music has become more easily accessible to audiences and marketing a whole lot more effective. It has now made convergence devices crucial for the music industry if it wants to continue working in the direction it’s headed as the traditional music industry is beginning to dye out.  

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Dying Traditional Music Industry – Summary Paragraph

People, whether it be the audience’s, record labels or artists themselves, have to recognise that the traditional music industry is no longer functioning properly for a number of reasons. These reasons stretch from generation C and their enthusiasm for convergence technology, accompanied by their need for audience interaction. To the lack of record label essentiality and the unpopularity of their business model approach to music. With the constantly growing popularity of the global village and web 2.0 services, active audiences are now downloading, remixing and redistributing artists music via social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Many see this as cross-platform marketing and a great way to distribute while others, such as the big 3, believe it to be wrong and discourage it through copyright claims. However, audiences enjoy this approach to the music industry and will continue to do it regardless. Hence the traditional music industry approach dying out and record labels becoming irrelevant. As a result of this issue, lots of artists have remained independent or DIY artists. One of these artists is known as Dub Fx who does all his own promotion, production and even branding. He, like many, many other artists does live performances on top of this, and for good reason. Through performing live, almost any mainstream artist can make up to £3 million after one performance via ticket prices. This amount of money is equivalent to 2.7 Billion Spotify streams. This point concludes one of the reasons for the fall of tradition in the music industry while also leading into the next, streaming. Streaming is not a profitable way for artists to share their music if they don’t have a constantly growing fan base. This is because it takes up to 4 million streams to receive revenue equivalent to a monthly minimum wage. As a result, Taylor Swift, Jay Z and a number of other artists saw streaming as threatening to their income and began taking measures to protect their music. Taylor Swift took her album ‘1989’ off of Spotify and copyrighted the lyrics, meaning fans could not have them printed on any kind of clothing or accessory. This meant her fans had to purchase the album, resulting in 1.2 million sales in the first week. Jay Z however took a different approach and started his own streaming service named ‘Tidal’ with the intention of allowing artists more control over their music distribution. These two examples are hard evidence of the descent of traditional music industry influence as audiences and artists take control of their own production, distribution, sharing and redistribution through convergence technology and synergising with one another.

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Key Notes

DiY artist – can use convergence and prosumer devices (loop station, kaons pad, iPads, PCs) to produce, distribute, market and allow consumption by active audiences (Gen C)

  • Dub Fx produces though prosumer tech then distributes: SNS (Facebook) Linked to YouTube
  • Audiences can consume in a number of ways through HI methods: Bandcamp for music, convoy unlimited for Merchandise, YouTube for Videos, iTunes for downloads
  • Collective view on YouTube currently about 150m for all his videos combined, yet unheard of in charts and mainstream
  • Dub Fx not signed to label = uses crowdfunding and active audiences to generate an income and funding for live shows and albums:
    • Pledgemusic.com used for ‘theory of harmony’ album – purchased by fans BEFORE album was made. In return for loyalty / patronage, fans offered exclusive items. This is called a fanship.
  • Dub Fx allows his fans to remix his work and then passes any profits back through to fans (uses Bandcamp – pay what you want model. – This is an interesting form of synergy – users, audiences and producers now becoming one. – “Everythink’s a remix.”
  • Dub Fx is part of video games and apps too – has an app on iTunes called ‘ShadowboxerHD’ – using multimedia products to market and distribute music.

The Dub Fx digital convergence strategies follow Gauntlett 2009:

“Interactivity on Web 2.0 make users more creative” – implies users are now active producers and distributors in their own right.

Making is connecting” – this suggests that audiences are needed for convergence-based products to work. When Dub Fx makes, he connects with his fanship. Synergistic / Symbiotic relationship.

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Dub Fx

Dub FX is completely independent, using only live performance, word of mouth, internet social networking, and a number of easily accessible free samples.

He is the main founder of the label Convoy Unltd, which could be described as a co-op label for Dub FX’s own work and that of other artists such as Flower Fairy, Sirius and Mr. Woodnote with additional featured artists on separate songs of each album.

He is a  is a worldwide street performer and studio recording artist from St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia.

At the start of his career he was singing in a local alternative rock and rapcore band initially known as Twitch, which would later change its name to N.O.N (Never or Now).

Soon after releasing their debut album ‘Exeunt Omnes’ in 2004, which was also their only album, he moved to Italy and began a solo career.

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Essay Answer – Compare how a mainstream label and an independent label are each targeting music audiences, in light of the current problems faced by the music industry

“Compare how a mainstream label and an independent label are each targeting music audiences, in light of the current problems faced by the music industry.”

There are a number of problems facing the music industry. A primary one of which was the introduction of convergence technology, which while improving the audience experience also took a lot of control away from the record labels and changed the way audiences will both consume and distribute their music forever. Mainstream and Independent labels are dealing with these problems very differently. For example, mainstream labels like Sony, Warner and Universal (Big 3) are very discouraging and against the idea of convergence technology because it provides their audiences with more control over their music in of consuming, sharing and redistributing. As Marrakesh’s survey findings from 2009 claim, most audiences access their music through illegitimate means so that it they can get it free. Making it apparent that most people don’t want to pay for their music and even prefer to have it in mp3 format over owning physical copies. Independent labels however, like Soul Jazz and Heavenly Recordings, are quite open to the idea and even support it. These labels allow their audiences to listen to their music on their site completely free.

This difference in views affects the audience experience in a wide variety of ways. For example, audiences enjoy sharing and redistributing their music via social medias. Convergence technology like smartphones, tablets, etc are what makes this possible and audiences into prosumers as they can both play and make music with just taps of the finger. These are not heavily supported by the Big 3 because they like to control the distribution of their music, as made apparent by the 80% of control they hold over the music industry. They are however supported by the more Independent labels because they allow their audiences to listen to their music through their site completely free. They do also however offer purchases in multiple formats such as CD, Vinyl and Mp3. Audience experiences benefit greatly from allowing this which is why the independent labels are all for it.

In conclusion, the Big 3 and more Independent labels have a very different audience due to the ways in which each of them approach prosumer and convergence technology. The Big 3 with their 80% of control over the industry are nearing completely against audience sharing and redistribution. Whereas Independent labels see it as a form of marketing and encourage prosumer activity amongst their audiences. In terms of audience experience, the Big 3 use third party applications and companies like Spotify and iTunes to distribute their music. On their websites you can view portions songs, however, if you wish to purchase them, you must also go through a third party. On the Independent sites such as Souljazz Records and Heavenly Recordings, you can view full songs on their website without the need for a third party. They also provide their audiences to purchase straight through their site on both physical copies such as CD, Vinyl and some even on Cassette and Digital formats like Mp3. The Big 3 are set on business and control, whilst Independent records have their minds set on the experience.

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Plan and Intro Argument MI Essay

  • Intro : There are a number of problems facing the music industry. They include… Mainstream and Independent labels are dealing with these problems very differently. For example, mainstream labels like…  are very discouraging and against the idea of convergence technology because it provides their audiences with more control. Independent labels however, like.. , are quite open to the idea and even support it. This difference in views affects the audience experience in a wide variety of ways.
    • Audiences that like convergence tech – Generation C or Active Audiences.
  • Develop : The convergence technology which is essentially smartphones, tablets, etc are all things that can be used to both play and make music with just taps of the finger. These are not supported by the big 3 because… and are supported by the more Independent labels because… This makes the audience experience much better for fans of the Independent labels.
    • Soul Jazz Caters to CDs MP3s and Vinyls.
  • Conclusion : In conclusion, the Independent labels approach to convergence technology makes their audiences experience far better in comparison to the mainstream labels.  
    • Discuss how Soul Jazz and Sony are better for different audiences. This means neither of them are better.

Intro :

There are a number of problems facing the music industry. They include, the introduction of convergence technology, improving the audience experience but also taking control away from the labels and changed the way audiences will both consume and distribute their music forever. Mainstream and Independent labels are dealing with these problems very differently. For example, mainstream labels like Sony, Warner and Universal (Big 3) are very discouraging and against the idea of convergence technology because it provides their audiences with more control over music distribution. As Marrakesh’s survey findings of 2009 claim, most audiences access their music through illegitimate means so that it they can get it free. Making it apparent that most people don’t want to pay for their music and want it in mp3 format rather than owning physical copies. Independent labels however, like Soul Jazz and Heavenly Recordings, are quite open to the idea and even support it. These labels allow their audiences to listen to their music on their site completely free. They do also however offer purchases in multiple formats such as CD, Vinyl and Mp3.

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Heavenly Recordings – Initial Findings

I find the format itself of the site quite appealing. It looks appealing, useful and simple all at the same time. It appears as though the site has been stripped to it’s bare essentials.

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Another thing I appreciate about the style of the site is the social media links. They are apparent from the first moment you enter the site, making them very easily visible to fans of the label’s clients.

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One more point of interest for me is the shop that the site provides. Unlike the section titled ‘Stuff’ on the ‘souljazzrecords.co.uk’ site which offers merchandise like clothing and bags, the Heavenly Records website offers albums.

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