Soul Jazz – Initial Findings

I found it quite interesting that there is music available from the site. This stood out to me because of the amount of sites that don’t have a lot of music available from the site. I believe this to be a great way of working with the customer and excluding the third party.

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The site’s format is quite colourful, This is a very different approach to appearance than most of the leading labels and artists have gone for. The main page also displays a lot of album covers, actively achieving multiple goals whilst improving the appearance of their home page. These achievements include making their content easy to find and advertising.

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In terms of audience interaction, fans of the artists they represent can choose to create an account or request their newsletter. Fans can also do both of course if they choose to. I find this interesting because it’s very different to what you’d expect, given what similar sites offer in terms of audience interaction.

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Lesson Notes – 28/02/17

Nick Gatfield – Sony Music UK Boss.

“Sony are too reliant on X-Factor”

Sony Music Case Study.

  • Sony has a range of sub labels for different genres Eg. Artista (Country), RCA (Pop), Epic (Chart Pop), Legacy (Classics)
  • Each label draws in a specific audience to make a mass audience
  • Sony is an umbrella corporation
  • Sony uses a business model for music
  • Can’t easily access range of music or videos through official Sony artist sites – Drake, One Direction,
  • Sony promote only latest releases – funneling – no wide choice for audience
  • Consumers can’t buy directly from label – sends to third parties Eg. Apple iTunes store, Spotify (for streaming) and merchandise through third party sellers
  • Sony Music do not offer fan interaction opportunities
  • Sony’s model is a vertically integrated model (walled garden)


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Sony Music


Sony has Sub-Labels. These Sub-Labels include:

  • Columbia Records
  • RCA Records
  • Epic Records
  • Arista Records
  • RCA Records Nashville
  • Columbia Nashville
  • Legacy Recordings
  • Sony Music Latin
  • Masterworks
  • Vested in Culture
  • RCA Inspiration
  • Provident Label Group

These Record Labels Represent Artists Such As:

Columbia Records


  • George Michael
  • Bob Dylan
  • Beyonce
  • Mariah Carey
  • One Direction
  • James Arthur
  • Adele
  • Katy Perry
  • David Bowie
  • Frank Sinatra

RCA Records


  • Elvis Presley
  • Taylor Swift
  • Sia
  • Chris Brown
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Britney Spears
  • Shakira
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Pentatonix
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Pitbull
  • Dolly Parton

Epic Records


  • Michael Jackson
  • Fifth Harmony
  • Drake
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Meghan Trainor
  • Future
  • Zara Larsson
  • DJ Khaled
  • Bobby Shmurda
  • AC/DC
  • Olly Murs
  • Wham!

Arista Records


  • Whitney Houston
  • Alicia Keys
  • Barry Manilow
  • Prince
  • Usher
  • Kenny G
  • Pink
  • Jennifer Hudson
  • CeeLo Green
  • The Monkees

Legacy Recordings


  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Johnny Cash
  • Céline Dion
  • Paul Simon
  • Earth, Wind and Fire

Sony Music Latin

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  • Ricky Martin
  • Enrique Iglesias
  • J Alvarez
  • Camila
  • Charlie Zaa
  • Pee Wee
  • Joss Favela



  • The Piano Guys
  • 2Cellos
  • Kurt Elling
  • Jackie Evancho
  • Bill Frisell
  • Lexi Walker
  • Branford Marsalis

Vested in Culture


  • Kat Dahlia
  • Quadron
  • Casey Veggies

In Summary

Sony as a whole promotes primarily Pop, Rock and Acoustic artists. The majority of these artists are very successful, topping the charts worldwide.

People can access these artists music via their websites. My chosen example is Drake. His site is very basic, it’s only purposes being information such as who ‘Drake’ is and tour dates, videos and his Social Media links.

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Finally, there’s a link available to the store where fans can purchase his music.

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Lesson Notes -20/02/17

The Big Three

  • Universal Music – A multimedia Company with music and film distribution
  • Warner Music – A multimedia company with ilm production and TV studios, as well as music division
  • Sony Music – A multimedia and a multiplatform company with a music division, called Sony Music. As well as hardware (TVs, Blu-ray players and Gaming Consoles – Playstation). Own TV and Film production studios too.
  • EMI (Used to be part of Big 4) – Sold off to Sony and Universal. EMI couldn’t compete in the music industry due to poor sales and lack of profit. EMI was music-only with some publishing – had nothing to fall back on.

The Smaller / Independent labels (the remaining 20%):

  • Domino Records (Arctic Monkeys)
  • XL Recordings (White Stripes, MIA, Dizzee Rascal, The Prodigy)
  • Soul Jazz Records
  • Fierce Pandas
  • Drift Records

a)“The music industry can be defined as the organisation of the various activities associated with performing and recording music and distributing access to those performances around the world. (b)Because the basis of music production is accessible to everyone with a modicum of talent, (c)the industry is both more ‘open’ than filmmaking and less easily ‘controllable’ than traditional broadcast television. (d)This has led to a long-standing institutional difference between small and large corporate ‘mainstream’.”

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Record Labels



  • Ref Jam Recordings
  • Roc Nation Records
  • SRP Records


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  • Virgin Records
  • Capitol Records
  • EMI

Red Hot Chilli Peppers


  • Warner Music Group
  • Warner Bros Records
  • Capitol Records
  • EMI / EMI Records / EMI Records USA

Arctic Monkeys


  • Domino Recording Company
  • Warner Bros Records
  • EMI



  • Shady Records
  • Aftermath Entertainment
  • Insomniac / Interscope Records
  • Rawkus Records
  • Goliath Management
  • Game Recordings
  • Web Entertainment
  • Bassmint Productions
  • Mashin’ Duck Records

Kanye West


  • Def Jam Recordings
  • Roc-A-Fella Recordings
  • Universal Music Group
  • The Island Def Jam Music Group
  • GOOD Music

Little Mix


  • Syco
  • Columbia Records
  • Syco Music



  • Roadrunner Records
  • Nuclear Blast

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes


  • Kobalt Label Services



  • Geffen Records
  • DGC Records
  • Sub Pop

Taylor Swift


  • Big Machine Records
  • Virgin EMI Records
  • RCA Records
  • Universal Music Group
  • Mercury Records

David Bowie


  • RCA Records
  • Parlophone
  • Columbia Records
  • Virgin Records
  • Rykodisc
  • Mercury Records
  • Dream Records
  • EMI Records
  • EMI America Records
  • BMG
  • PRT Records
  • Hansa Records
  • Vocalion Records

System of a Down


  • American Recordings
  • Columbia Records
  • Sony Music

Marilyn Manson



  • Insomniac / Interscope Records
  • Nothing Records
  • Cooking Vinyl
  • Loma Vista Recordings
  • Dine Alone Music Inc.
  • Hell, etc.
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Lesson Notes – 10/02/17

1 How do we access music?

– Computer

– Smartphone

– Record Player

– Radio

– CDs

Most Music listening experiences are portable and any-time, any-place experiences. ‘Retro’ formats are becoming popular again. Electronic formats (mp3s + streaming) are still the norm

2 When do we listen to music?

– When bored / need entertainment

– Computing

– Whilst working

– Whilst multi-tasking

– Bored

– Just want to

Any time activity – No longer depends on dedicated music listening time.

3 How do we get our music?

– Electronic Access, streaming, YouTube, Spotify

– Some still buy CDs and records

4 How guilty do you feel about illegally acquiring music?

– Not guilty, no-longer seen as illegal – no need to access illegally, because streaming is so widespread

5 How easy is it to make and distribute your own music?

– Very, Very easy through what we call convergence and prosumer technology (eg. Smartphone) and distribute through web 2.0 (user-based internet)

– Apps and software readily available – musical talent not required.

Key Overarching issues for the MI:

Production (How much is made):

– Prosumer Tech widely available Eg. Garageband.

– Labels and studios no longer needed.

– No Studio? No producer! DIY is increasing.

– Musical Talent is not needed.

– Everyone can Access software.

– Music is not just music anymore – it is multimedia – eg. Videos, Games, Apps, YouTube.

– Charts – Do they reflect what people actually listen to?

– Acts can be artificially created through Software Eg. Autotune.

Distribution (how the music product reaches the audience):

– Record shops at physical formats in decline (although supermarkets now sell vinyl)

– People now share music for free through social networking sites Eg. YouTube.

– Illegal downloading no longer an issue, but wide streaming is an issue, especially for the artist Eg. Spotify.

– Ownership of music is ‘virtual’ – Physical copies and even Downloads are not needed – it’s like you’re hiring music.

– Distribution channels are widespread – Eg, Access through a range of different sites, stations and SNS – Record Labels don’t know how to effectively target audiences.

– Labels and the law can’t monitor or punish (effectively) illegal distribution.

Marketing (How music is Promoted)

– Visual and Multi-Media approach – labels have to spend more

– Audiences self-market and distribute – labels have to understand audiences

– Active audiences are empowered

– Audiences are considered to be ‘Generation C’

Consumption (How Music is Accessed and listened to)

– Audiences don’t have to pay for music anymore

– Audiences like Multi-Media approaches

– Audiences don’t agree with pricing structure.

– Audiences will put up with adverts instead of paying for services (Eg. Spotify free)

– Audiences still like multiple formats. Eg. Mp3s, Vinyl, CDs, cassettes – Growing expense for Record Labels

– Audiences can consume, copy, remix and redistribute easily (SoundCloud)


– Audiences are now just as knowledgeable as industry: can download, produce, share, distribute independently

– Audiences using convergence devices

– Audiences using Web 2.0 and the global village – Everyone can communicate worldwide

– Technology enables free distribution and marketing.

– Production of Music is easier.

– Labels do not control the Technology, which means they do not control production, distribution, marketing or consumption. – the audience have more control over the music and Tech companies (Eg. Apple) currently dominate the music Industry alongside the streaming services (Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music)


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Plan B


Plan B is a British music artists who specialises in Hip-Hop, Acoustic, Soul, Drum and Bass, Dubstep, Grime and more. His music predominantly targets young people, more men than women as some of his lyrics are rather vulgar. He is 33 and has already claimed top charts with not only singles, but albums too. Not forgetting his career in film.


Plan B has signed with numerous record labels such as: Atlantic Records, 679 Artists, Mercury Records, Warner Bros. Records, Asylum Records and Cordless Records, Warner Bros. Records being the most major of all his record labels. Although he is not currently signed with any, due to recent happenings revolving around a recent album release, his previous labels have also represented well-known artists such as Ed Sheeran, OT Genesis, Green Day and more.

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Plan B’s website creates quite a professional look for him. There are many different links in relevance to all his work from across the years like Music, Photos, Videos, Free Downloads, when he’s LIVE and a Store.

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The link to the Store provides you the option to purchase his top selling albums, expressing his efforts in self promotion. You can of course purchase or listen to his music elsewhere. Just some of those places being YouTube, Spotify, Deezer, iTunes and SoundCloud. Some of these are browser based, however, most are options that are only accessible through apps that can be downloaded for free or specific phone brands.


My primary source of music is Spotify. I have on there all my favourite playlists, albums and even soundtracks. Spotify is free and legal, making it more ethical than the free downloading methods. That said, if I want music to listen to music without access to the internet or to put into a Final Cut Project, I use a YouTube to mp3 converter. This allows me to download the audio of any YouTube video in mp3 format or any other of my choice. If I wish to have a song on my phone, I download it via iTunes as Spotify uses 4G and the YouTube to mp3 converter doesn’t work. There is also the fact that I don’t download music for my phone often so spending 99p on a song from time to time doesn’t impact on my bank balance to heavily.


Piracy is a big problem that impacts both the film and music industry quite heavily. People do it however because it’s both easy and free. When people get their music for free, it means the artist isn’t making money and, thereby, neither are their record labels and potential sponsors.


Most of the current top charts contain lots of explicit language. If not in the form of direct swearing, then through indirect sexual lyrics. This makes it really quite difficult for children or even just people aged 14 and under to enjoy new music without being exposed to inappropriate content. Also, parents tend not to approve of this. 


The majority of artists involved in the music industry are at some point exposed to drug and excessive alcohol use. With their party-hard lifestyle and working in such a relaxed profession in terms of responsibilities, young musicians especially tend to go off the rails slightly at some point in their career.


The sexualisation of young female artists is another problem with the music industry. They’re used as marketing strategies and for getting views on their music videos. In hip-hop videos, this is a commonly used strategy. It’s very unlikely that you will see a Drake, Jason Derulo, Wiz Khalifa or any other hip-hop artists music video that doesn’t young women in exposing or no clothes.


Paparazzi create more problems than necessary for the music industry as they are an invasion of the celebrities privacy.  As musicians, most struggle to escape the prying eye of the media with the many cameras and microphones being constantly shoved in their faces.

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