The music industry
I. Introduction: The music industry.
In this section of my paper, I will provide an introduction to the music industry. I will primarily use information from Modern Music and After by Paul Griffiths and The Music Business and Recording Industry: Delivering Music in the 21st Century by
Geoffrey Hull et. al. I will also include some facts from the RIAA website and The Economic and Employment Impact of the Arts and Music Industry, a government document. I will also include a few important introductory questions that I will answer throughout my paper.
A. Quick overview of the transfer of power in the music industry over time.
The main point that I would like to make here is that, before recording technology became widespread, the power of the industry was in the hands of the musicians. Live performances were the only way to make their music known. When recording and listening technology became widely available, the record companies took over the power. In today’s digital age of the industry, the power has been transferred into the hands of the consumers.
B. Statistics about the change in music sales over time.
These statistics will lead into my opposing view. Music sales increased heavily all the way through the 1980s and, since then, sales have declined drastically. Many believe that these statistics prove the ultimate failure of the music industry.
C. Thesis statement broken down into sentences.
This part of the introduction will present the opposing view that the music industry will fail, followed by my view that the music industry will continue to endure.
II. How have musicians made money in the
B. The Copyright Act of 1906 and the Copyright Act of 1976.
These two acts began the protection of intellectual property. In this portion of my paper, I will discuss how copyright laws led to musicians gaining
income from the use of their protected works.
C. How did musicians make money when physical record sales began?
My previous discussion of the copyright laws will lead into this section.
Here I will discuss the difference between mechanical royalties and publishing royalties, both of which can come from record sales. I will also discuss performance royalties, which became a big part of an artist’s income when radio play became widespread.
III. How has the music industry made money in the past?
This section will be basically the same as the previous section but from the perspective of the industry instead of the perspective of the artist. The same sources will apply. Understanding the ways in which the industry as a whole makes a profit and how they have changed over the years, instead of just the artists’ profits, is essential for predicting the future of the industry.
A. Was there even a music “industry” before recorded music?
In this section I will discuss the other major players in music besides artists in the years before recorded music became available.
B. Live performance venues and merchandise.
Live performance venues have changed significantly, from huge concert halls, to clubs and bars, to sports arenas. These venues, including their promoters and the booking agents that they work with, make up a huge portion of the music industry. They make money primarily from ticket sales and food and drink sales during events.
C. The record company’s cut in record sales.
In this section, I will continue my discussion of mechanical royalties and will begin to discuss the ownership of sound recordings and masters. I will
also discuss the relationship between publishing companies and record companies and introduce a concept called cross-collateralization.
IV. How are musicians making money today?
This section is where the sources about the new digital millennium will come into play. The Music Business and Recording Industry: Delivering Music in the 21st Century will still apply in this section. The only sources I will not have used after this section are Music Industry Braces for the Unthinkable from The New York Times and An Introduction To Music Technology by Daniel Hosken. This section’s purpose is to prove that the industry went through a rough change in the new millennium, and, even though sales are down, artists are always finding new ways to make profits.
A. Live performances and merchandise.
With record sales at an all-time low, musicians today rely more heavily on live performances for a source of income. Artists are not only paid by venues to perform, but merchandise sales are a massive portion of an artist’s income today.
B. Streaming (YouTube, Spotify, Internet Radio).
This section will discuss the important, though minimal, income that the digital age of the industry has provided for musicians. Although at first the
industry struggled to control the online stream of music, legislation was eventually passed to protect the use of artists’ copyrighted works.
C. Digital sales (iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon).
While artists tend to make less money off of digital sales than physical sales, digital albums and singles are cheaper for consumers. While iTunes and Amazon tend to have the vast majority of the market share, there are also many other online music distributors. Artists make money from every
sale, even though it is not technically a “physical” sale. The industry has so far caught up with the Internet to keep digital sales under control.
V. How is the music industry making money today?
Every one of my sources will have something to contribute to this section. This section’s purpose is to prove that, not only are the artists finding ways to cope with the digital millennium, but the industry as a whole is as well. It is the last piece of the music industry puzzle that I will bring together before I can draw my conclusion.
A. Live performance venues.
With record sales declining, live performance has become a massive part of the artist’s income, therefore creating a huge demand for venues. The
need for touring produces jobs in promotion and booking, all of which contribute to the success of the industry.
B. The role of the record company in today’s market.
Many people believe that, with the rise in home recording equipment, there is no need for record companies. It is true that, with the correct
equipment, anyone can have their very own home recording studio. This concept is becoming more and more popular every day. Record companies
provide services, however, that many people do not realize. Primarily, they provide funds and expert advice and help to artists for top of the line
equipment, recording engineers, hiring studio musicians, and tour support.
C. Digital distributors and Internet radio.
While retail distributors have taken somewhat of a hit, digital distributors such as iTunes and Amazon have taken advantage of the digital revolution. Not only do these companies keep consumers buying music, but they also make it easy for any and all artists to make their music available to the public.
VI. Conclusion: The music industry will continue to endure.
In my conclusion, I will restate a few important points from the previous sections in order to lead into my thesis statement, which has changed slightly since I submitted the assignment weeks ago.
A. Quick review of important points from sections II – V.
This section will restate some important points from sections II – III in order to concisely begin to lead into my thesis.
B. Concession to opposing views and quick proof of my view.
This section will include a concession that some opposing views may have a good argument. Following the concession, I will quickly prove why I
believe that the music business will prevail. This concession and proof will lead into my thesis to end my paper.
C. Thesis Statement: While sales are down and many believe that the music industry will fail, artists and other professionals who depend on the industry
will continue to find new ways to keep the industry alive.
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