Music Industry Music and Artist Promotion
Music consumption – a recap • MP3 technology and download sites have revolutionised the ways we consume music. In fact the very word consumer is changing in terms of music as fewer and fewer people are actually paying for music. • Some 90% of singles sales are from downloads. Of course millions of songs are being illegally downloaded and wont feature on any official charts or figures. Many of these sites are being forced to go mainstream and turn into pay sites. • The music industry is attempting to do everything in its immense power to prevent illegal sites from functioning including trying to get laws passed to ban or block sites and to get greater access to your internet user profiles so that they can prosecute you!! • The music industries argument is that illegal sites will eventually have an impact on the industry hindering their attempts to financially support new acts and therefore weakening their creative output. • However in recent years many young ‘digital’ artists have grasped the internet as a way to cheaply market and promote themselves…..
Proliferation of Formats • The advent of digital media has led to the sudden creation of many new music formats available to the average consumer. • In 2003 there were less than 10 formats available, but by 2010 there were over 100. • Today a single artist release can be packaged in multiple formats. Can you name some formats? • On line MP3 purchase • CD single • Vinyl records • Music Video downloads • Ringtones • Mobile full tracks • DVD • Video games
A & R • A&R stands for artist and repertoire. It is the part of the music industry that attempts to discover and then manage/market new talent. • Task: discuss the ways in which a new music artist can be discovered, promoted and marketed by a record company’s A&R: • Radio airplay • Live performance/club nights • Music press interviews • Reality TV shows • Promotional videos • TV appearances • Websites • Word of mouth
A & R • Task 1: discuss what you know about the following music artists. What for them would be the most important marketing method: • The Arctic Monkeys: • Indie pop/rock band, represent a change in the way bands are promoted (i.e. no advertising) but the internet has helped them enormously (facebook, fan based websites (word of mouth), headlined Glastonbury in 2007 (festivals/gigs), awards (NME, BRIT, Mercury) have helped to give them credibility…. • Matt Cardle • Rihanna Task 2: Can you think of another artist that has been marketed in a non- traditional way? Gorillaz for example?
Matt Cardle: • TV (Reality – X-Factor), worked his way up playing pub gigs before getting his big break, signed to Syco, lack longevity, autobiographies • Rihanna • Media focus on her personal life (newspapers, TV news) • Selling her “face” using “above the line” advertising (e.g. TV, posters…) • TV appearances • Her own day • Fan pages….. • More traditional marketing methods with less dependence on the internet
A & R continued • Most of these are traditional ‘pre-digital’ ways of a promoting/marketing a new artist and most are still being used by the industry. • However in recent years some artists have embraced the internet to promote themselves. Why? • Exposure - Potential to be seen or heard by millions. • Directness - Cuts out the record industry- no auditions demos, concert performances. • Cheaper – you can make your own music and even your own video very cheaply without a record company's financial help. • Freedom – allows you to express yourself in the way you want . • As a result of falling record sales, many A&R staff have been made redundant. It is not clear whether A&R executives will still shape the future of musical tastes in the same way they have in the past.
The consumer as producer. • Task: Make a list of the worlds leading media producers. • The Marxist approach -Karl Marx said that one reason the masses were being dominated by the dominant ideology was through the media. • What is the dominant ideology? • The government, big businesses, religion….. • Antonio Gramsci; ‘If you can control the means of production then you can control the message’. • In the 21st century ‘digital world ‘ the means of production has been increasingly handed over to new groups of society – us! The masses and not the dominant ideology are setting the agenda for making media. • Dr Aleks Krotski - ‘ the democratising of the media through the internet’
The consumer as producer • Why are the means of production being handed over to us? • Because modern digital technology is? • Smaller/compression • multi-functional/convergence • easier to use (‘idiot proof’) • Accessible and compatible to produce and distribute • and crucially cheaper in the long run! • Recap: before digital photography cameras how would you have taken and produced photos. List the procedure?
Digital Technology- your use. • What are we using new media technology to produce? • Films (DV cameras, i-movie etc) • TV (Community Channel, Multi Channel satellite) • Music (home recording, distribution, pirate radio) • Written word (Desktop publishing, internet blog sites) • Think of any media you have ever created, perhaps the prelim task? • List the in 3 columns the software, hardware and websites you used to create it.
MySpace and YouTube and ‘user generated content’ MySpace and YouTube specialise in ‘user generated content’. What does this mean? MySpace began as a version of MSN, whereby people could simply chat to each other. It has now become a forum for debate, as well as a promotional space to promote whatever product/service you have. My Space has been bought out by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Youtube started as a small scale alternative to mainstream ‘industry controlled programming’ whereby anyone could post a video. It has since been bought out by Google has a lucrative partnership with Apple and has been embraced by many of the worlds biggest TV networks including NBC and Channel 4.
Lily Allen and MySpace • It has been claimed that pop artist Lily Allen's fame is also due in part to her being promoted on MySpace. • In response to an interview question "The way it's been portrayed in the media, is that you were almost like discovered by MySpace; how accurate is that?" Allen responded "Not accurate at all, I had a record deal before I set up my MySpace account so, erm, that ... couldn't really be further from the truth." • Nevertheless, Allen's work was widely circulated and gained popularity due to her MySpace profile. • Allen’s success reflects the ‘digital zeitgeist’ of her fans and is perhaps a benchmark for the future whereby artists can cut out the record industry A&R completely. • Read article: ‘Mister Space Man’.
Vertical Integration • Vertical integration is a business model that has usually been applied to big companies and conglomerates. • This was when a company controls every stage of production. Companies will produce, market, distribute and sell the product therefore controlling every stage of production without involving a third party. • Disney for example… • However in the digital world vertical integration can now be applied to the individual or ‘digital micro industries’ and the idea of DIY media?
Master Shortie • London rapper Master Shortie is among a new wave of artists to use digital technology to produce, market and distribute their music, almost completely cutting the music industry’s A&R department. • http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/5fabb404-3252-4655-8c01-5ba575033c86 • http://www.mastershortie.com/ • Have a look at this website for the modern musical age. • http://kurbartistmanagement.info/ • Is it possible to breakthrough as an artist without any input from the music industry? • We have already discussed how important radio is in gaining ‘initial exposure’ for a song. But how would you get your song on the radio if a record company weren’t involved?
H/W • Research a musical artist of your choice write about how they have been marketed: • Using traditional marketing? What methods? • Or non-traditional marketing? What methods? • Or a combination of both? • How successful have they been? • How much input has the music industry had?