Identify and Evaluate those key elements which

In the 21stcentury, Britain is a taking participant in the planetary popular music industry, buying more recorded units per caput than in any other state in the universe and besides let go ofing more albums than any other state except the US ( ( 1 ) ) . It is besides cardinal in the planetary classical music industry. This is mostly due to the manner it has successfully responded to many of the chances of the last century.

The alterations most impacting the music industry can be divided into several cardinal classs: socio-cultural alteration, technological developments, interaction with other media, legal developments, political developments and commercial alterations, peculiarly to the construction of the industry. By sing these countries separately, a full image of the complex influences on the music industry, to which it must react, can be built.

One of the biggest alterations in the 20Thursdaycentury was the outgrowth of a youth civilization in the 1950s, but the musical environment leting this evolved in old decennaries. In the 1930s and 1940s, markets in the US became perceptibly segmented. Large set music formed the nucleus of mass entreaty popular music. At the same clip, the possible market for niche audiences was recognised taking to a development of the music industry into black music ( referred to at the clip as ‘race’ music ) and hillbilly ( a precursor of state ) . Stylistic influences from black and hillbilly music were a major component of the following major music revolution: rock’n’roll.

The reaching of the musical manner of rock’n’roll coincided with important societal and technological developments which interacted with it. A market emerged of immature people with disposable incomes and the replacing of shellac with vinyl enabled record companies to bring forth more lasting, longer-playing recordings. These three factors interacted to bring forth a immense chance for record companies who cashed in consequently.

At the same clip, the UK had its ain typical musical subculture in the 50s in the signifier of skiffle sets, with a DIY moral principle that has been compared with hood. Skiffle music was a mix of popular and common people manners, with lively vocals played on home-made instruments. While there were mainstream skiffle stars – most notably Lonnie Donegan – it is important that the skiffle scene flourished on its ain footings, proliferating in java bars and nines. Although possibly non cashed in on to the extent it could hold been, skiffle no uncertainty helped set up the UK as one of the biggest participants in the international popular music industry because it provided easy entree to music-making and inspired so many people to take portion. Among them were members of the Quarrymen, who went on to organize the Beatles.

Subcultures have provided many chances for the music industry. It will shortly be discussed how the reluctance of the big leagues to go involved with hood provided the chance for an addition in little independent labels which have continued to stand for a important proportion of the music industry.

Some musical subcultures have arisen through migration and improved communications: there are now ample markets for bhangra music and universe music. Furthermore, musicians’ consciousness of a greater scope of manners has led to cross-influences. These provide chances for the music industry to provide to niche audiences and besides to take new music to a wider audience. At the same clip, selling to subcultures may necessitate a different scheme to those that have proved successful in the yesteryear.

The hip hop group Wu Tang Clan’s record company, Loud, adapted its selling scheme in acknowledgment of a ‘street’ music, described by During ( 1995: 129 ) as “swamping select sites in the immature, urban, black populace sphere – hoops games, local shops, schoolyards, nines – with gross revenues material.”

A current challenge that the music industry has is in the selling of classical manners. Personality-based publicity, such as that of the Three Tenors or Russell Watson, has generated grosss in unrecorded public presentations and recordings. However, for many ensembles and soloists seeking to gain money from unrecorded public presentation, there is a challenge in how to show themselves to audiences in the current cultural environment. Classical music is widely perceived in the UK as for older audiences. Should classical performing artists continue to show their public presentations in the traditional formal concert hall scene, or are new methods likely to increase audiences? Although assorted methods have been tried ( the Kronos String Quartet, for illustration, frock less officially than many classical performing artists and include a version of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’ in their repertory ) , it is arguable whether any important discovery has been made in this manner to a larger, younger audience.

Media Developments

A first measure towards a mass amusement industry was the development of Music Hall in the UK in the 19Thursdaycentury. The music halls provided locales for a broad scope of performing artists, including comics, acrobats and wonders, but chiefly musical public presentations. It provided a vehicle for the development of popular vocal for a mass audience and for publishing houses who would sell sheet music of the vocals outside locales. Some classical plants were performed excessively: the Alhambra in Leicester Square on a regular basis put on concert dances and light operas, and Gounod’sFaust( 1859 ) was introduced to British audiences through infusions performed in music halls.

A considerable displacement in the music industry took topographic point around the bend of the century with the coming of the gramophone. For the first clip, public presentations were available in the place to those without any musical accomplishments or the resources needed to use instrumentalists.

Broadcast medium was the following major development to impact the turning music industry. Commercial wireless services, which were peculiarly widespread in the US, led to an addition in record gross revenues as music began to have airplay and hearers bought the records to play on their ain gramophones. The big multinationals that are so influential in the music industry today were set uping themselves in this early portion of the 20Thursdaycentury, including RCA, which became one of the first multi-media companies when it diversified into film, in portion to set up itself in the proviso of movie soundtracks.

Branston and Stafford ( 2003: 256 ) argue that although Hollywood took advantage of the promotion created by the music industry, utilizing music stars in movies, small was done to use the music itself within the films’ content. It appears the music industry failed to capitalize on the chances of the film until the late sixtiess, when the coming of the soundtrack album created a synergism between the two media: the vocals of Simon and Garfunkel helped advance the movieThe Graduate( 1967 ) and frailty versa.

Television has provided another vehicle to advance music, through programmes such as Jukebox Jury and Top of the Pops, but more widely through MTV and other orbiter channels enabling viewing audiences to pick a channel playing their preferable manner The recent Pop Idol phenomenon takes interaction to a new degree: the viewing audiences audition to look ( those neglecting doing as compulsive screening as the successful ) , the Television companies generate advertisement gross, phone companies generate gross from the vote and industry experts have considerable control over the short list, from which they will subscribe the eventual victor, holding already secured extended promotion for them and gauged public support. This would look to be a riskless attack for record companies: nevertheless, it relies on the public picking the creative person the record company wishes to work with. In 2003, the choice of Michelle McManus was infamously non so, and public involvement in her besides quickly waned. The new moving ridge of guitar sets conveying immense success to enter companies – Keane and Franz Ferdinand for illustration – have taken more conventional paths.

The innovation of the gramophone in the late 19Thursdaycentury saw a cardinal alteration in the manner music was consumed. Prior to entering engineering, music hearers had to go to a public presentation or have the accomplishments to execute themselves. The chances for an emerging music industry were immense and many of the companies that recognised this have evolved into the well-known companies of today: HMV and Deutsche Gramophon, for illustration. Initial recordings were made on wax cylinders or wax-coated phonograph record which could keep a really limited sum of music.

The innovation of the mike in the 1920s enabled a more intimate manner of singing than had been possible antecedently, and the ‘crooning’ manner became popular as a consequence, boosted by the innovation of 78s in the 1930s. Made of shellac, 78s were still delicate and still offered limited playing clip. The consequence was that the industry focussed on individual vocals and short infusions from classical plants.

The innovation of the long-playing ( LP ) format in the late fiftiess revolutionised the music industry as it offered double the recording clip of the 78. Record companies could now run in the album and singles market. Stereo offered further originative chances for 60s creative persons and enhanced the moneymaking album market.

Magnetic tape engineering had been invented at the very terminal of the 19Thursdaycentury utilizing wire. Early tape machines were big and unmanageable, and seldom used outside entering studios. However, in the 70s a more compact cassette format quickly gained popularity, and caused industry alarm as it was possible to copy LPs and singles to tape and portion them with friends, non unlike downloads and Cadmium combustion today. As a consequence, many states introduced a clean tape levy to counterbalance for lost royalties, although the UK resisted this.

The 1980s saw a figure of technological progresss. The Sony Walkman offered a far more portable manner of listening to music than had been available earlier. This boosted the popularity of the cassette still further.

It was barely surprising that record companies were acute to advance a new medium: the Compact Disc, or Cadmium. Promoted for its far superior sound quality when compared against vinyl and cassettes, the Cadmium had the added commercial advantage that it could merely be obtained through a record retail merchant as Cadmium combustion was non at this clip available to the populace. A Cadmium album in the UK in 1984 retailed for around ?12-13, while the same album on cassette or vinyl would be ?5-6. The differential far exceeded any difference in production costs.

Since its coming, Cadmium gross revenues have reflected both first-time purchases of an album and the purchase of the Cadmium format to replace a listener’s worn cassette or vinyl transcript, once more hiking record company grosss.

However, this is a diminishing tendency for two chief grounds: foremost, there is a finite figure of vinyl LPs that have been purchased and that the proprietor wants to replace with a Cadmium transcript ; and secondly, there is now the option of downloading paths and firing them onto Cadmium at place. This is a major revolution in music ingestion and provides both a menace to and chance for the music industry.

Although the cyberspace has existed in some signifier since 1969, its usage beyond academe and authorities was rare until the early 90s. The spread of place computer science and launch of the Mosaic web-browser in 1993 generated involvement in the engineering, and as the populace began to recognize its possible as a beginning of information, its usage quickly increased.

The cyberspace is of immense benefit to the music industry. Sites can advance single creative persons and their recordings and public presentations. Recordings and ware can be sold through web sites. However, the cyberspace has besides had a negative impact on music industry grosss.

The cyberspace offers music listeners the opportunity to portion music files and to interchange vocals digitally, downloading them to a Personal computer and firing them ( i.e. entering them ) onto a Cadmium. The Napster site was set up in 1999 to supply an easy-to-use database of music. However, this infringed right of first publication and the proprietors of right of first publication proverb no grosss.

Martin James, laminitis of Beggars Banquet summarises the positives and negatives:

“I think the web is the authoritative menace and chance combined. For the sort of music that we do its a antic tool because it offers a manner of people happening and detecting music and passing on the word about it… Having said that … we ‘d be stand foring our creative persons severely if we allowed their music to be given away freely… ” ( )

The RIAA ( Record Industry Association of America ) has been aggressive in its reponse to file-sharing. In 2001, they gained an injunction against Napster on the evidences that its operations violated copyright jurisprudence ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ) . The site has later been relaunched to run lawfully.

Other sites continue to run illicitly, boosted by the promotion environing the Napster instance. RIAA’s legal instance against a 12-year-old illegal downloader, in which she was fined $ 2000, generated much unfavorable judgment against what was seen as industry heavy-handedness. Hackers sympathetic to illegal downloaders have targeted the RIAA’s web site on several occasions.

In the UK, legal action has besides been taken, with 23 illegal downloaders settling with the BPI in March 2005 and a farther 31 instances pending ( Gibson 2005 ) . Prior to this, legal proceedings had non been instigated, and the British music industry has been acute to concentrate on the chances of filesharing. Downloads are now included in the music charts, and downloaders are encouraged to utilize legal sites such as the iTunes and the relaunched Napster.

Research shows that in 2004, 9 million legal downloads took topographic point in the UK ( ( 2 ) ) , demoing important grosss for the music industry. However, the users of these downloads represent merely 11 % of the population ( Hanman 2005 ) , and merely 4 % of this 11 % are adult females. There is still clearly a big market for Cadmiums, hence, and the rise in Cadmium gross revenues ( ( 2 ) ) demonstrates this. This has helped the UK’s public presentation compared with other states with a high music ingestion: music markets in the USA, France, Japan and Germany shrunk between 2000 and 2004, while the UK’s grew by 3.4 % in the same period ( ) . This may partially reflect the success of the UK economic system in recent old ages across all sectors, but besides shows a healthy music industry despite the many recent challenges.

Further grosss are being generated by the licensing of nomadic phone ringtones.

It is of import for the industry to recognize an of import displacement in music as cultural capital taking topographic point. Expression of individuality through music is still of import, evidenced through the popularity of ringtones. Yet downloading removes this component from music ingestion. The entering becomes paramount, and the packaging’s importance is decreased. This is a displacement from the tendency since the sixtiess, when album covers offered a big infinite for graphics, with album screens such as Dark Side of the Moon ( Pink Floyd ) every bit iconic as the music looking on the album. Cadmiums excessively offered a similar infinite, with brochures inserted as screens and some Cadmiums – for illustration, Ministry of Sound Annuals – coming with a thicker brochure necessitating an extra composition board instance to keep the CD-booklet battalion.

A popular music industry with instrumentalists working to protect their involvements through sole acting rights grew around music halls. By the ulterior 19Thursdaycentury, it was common for a music hall star to be associated with peculiar vocals, which would be bought along with sole executing rights from a songster through a one-off payment. Action would be taken against anyone executing another singer’s vocal: Marie Lloyd, though frequently associated with ‘The Boy I Love Is Up In the Gallery’ , was prevented from singing it by Nelly Power who owned the public presentation rights ( Gillies 1999: 18 ) .

Simultaneously, there was turning acknowledgment of the demand to protect those doing a life through the industry. In 1912, the 1911 Copyright Act came into force. Although right of first publication had existed in some signifier for over 200 old ages to protect plants of literature, the 1911 Act incorporated alterations that recognised for the first clip the demand for right of first publication to use to music.

Songwriters, who had frequently been dissatisfied by the demand to go through over all rights to the buyers of their vocals, became eligible for royalty payments shortly after. The Performing Right Society was established in 1914 to roll up royalties for songsters, composers and publishing houses as it continues to make today. It works alongside the MCPS ( Mechanical Copyright Protection Society ) : the MCPS collects and distributes royalties originating from the copying and distributing of music as ‘hard copy’ , while the PRS collects and distributes royalties originating from public presentation and broadcast medium. Hence a cardinal component of the supply of music gained support and protection.

This was further boosted through Phonographic Performance Limited, set up in 1935, which licenses locales and broadcasters. The administration has a wide range: for illustration, if a freelance aerobic exercise teacher runs a category utilizing a local school hall, the school must hold a PPL license as the locale, and the teacher must besides hold a PPL license to air copyright recordings. Failure to hold the appropriate license can take to a significant mulct.

The National Lottery was launched in 2004 as a manner of making extra support chiefly for athletics and the humanistic disciplines. In England, ?1.86bn of lottery money has been spent on the humanistic disciplines ( Moss 2004 ) . Moss describes how ab initio, grants were frequently big and controversial – ?78m to the Royal Opera House, for illustration – but since the Labour Government has been in power, this has changed to make more, smaller awards with regional instead than centralised control. However the support is distributed to musical undertakings, it is in consequence direct support for the music industry. Many more recent undertakings have focused on interfaces between, for illustration, professional instrumentalists and school kids, which, when combined with authorities policy on music instruction, may make a broader grasp of music and involvement in engagement in future coevalss.

Music in instruction has historically varied harmonizing to local authorization precedences, in peculiar willingness to fund extra-curricular activities such as Saturday forenoon orchestras. In 1999, the UK authorities announced a support programme for music in schools, assisting to pay for instruments and music lessons. In 2000, new Schemes of Work were introduced into the National Curriculum for music, demanding that a wide scope of hearing, public presentation and composing took topographic point in the schoolroom.

In UK Primary schools, few instructors are music specializers. Many have the extra challenge that kids in their category, peculiarly at the top terminal of junior school, may be talented instrumentalists with greater ability than the instructor. For music publishing houses specializing in schoolroom stuffs, this could be seen as a immense chance. Certain publishing houses, such as Music Gross saless and IMP, produced schoolroom stuff with ushers for instructors and Cadmium or cassette recordings for those without entree to a piano or piano player.

Publishers were, nevertheless, loath to bring forth music specifically aiming National Curriculum demands, as the lifetime of these merchandises would be unpredictable as it would depend on consistence of authorities and policy, and the clip and cost of fixing them would be important.

Commercial Changes

The music industry has been characterised through much of the 20Thursdaycentury by the laterality of a few big companies runing aboard a big figure of smaller, independent administrations.

Competitive advantage swung towards mugwumps in the 1970s. It is possible that the recording industry, progressively dominated by a few major participants, had become self-satisfied, and failed to recognize the commercial chances of hood. Martin James, a laminitis of the Beggars Banquet label describes how “this was 1976 and at that point there were n’t really many labels, and each one had already signed their one hood set – and that was it, ” ( ) traveling on to depict how a market demand greatly transcending supply enabled him to let go of a figure of successful hood singles with small competition.

Beggars Banquet was one of the first little independent record labels in the UK. Their success was to some extent dependant on larger companies. When a distribution trade with Island fell through, the label about folded, but was rescued through a licensing trade with Warners. James attributes the label’s go oning success through its rapid acknowledgment of new tendencies and manners and development of a group of labels, each with its ain specialization, to sell a broad scope of music.

However, the ‘indie’ ticket applied to music has caused confusion. ‘Independent’ in its rigorous use refers to music distributed independently of the major record companies. Without entree to their logistics, independent labels have struggled to vie on gross revenues, so hold developed niche musics and nurtured new creative persons. In early 1980, an Independent Chart was compiled which helped make involvement in the independent labels and the music they were bring forthing. Many independent labels went on to hold considerable mainstream chart success, viing with music from the major labels. But ‘indie’ is besides used to mention to the manners common among creative persons signed to independent labels, who were frequently more experimental in their musical attack and considered by many to be less accessible.

From around 1990, the big leagues began working to recover control in the market operated in by independent labels. Major labels bought independent labels or put up their ain ‘indie music’ divisions to sell music in an ‘indie’ manner, administering via independent distributers in order to be eligible for inclusion in the Independent charts. Iain McNay, a laminitis of Cherry Red records whose thought the Independent Chart had originally been expresses the feelings of many in the independent music industry: “The word ‘indie ‘ had become a selling word that was banded around and had perfectly nil to make with either the original purpose of the chart, or even the significance of the word.” ( )

Additionally, several buyouts resulted in a really little figure of large industry participants globally: Time Warner, Sony, RCA, MCA and EMI. Merely EMI is strictly concerned with music: all the others are multi-media companies. This increases the range for interaction between different media, the possibility of immense multi-media selling runs and besides the strength of the administrations lawfully. However, it could be argued that this makes it harder for smaller companies to vie and last, and as a consequence is damaging to the industry as a whole.


The above illustrations show how a broad scope of influences impact on the music industry. While some have strengthened the industry – right of first publication jurisprudence, for illustration – others still supply a challenge, most notably illegal downloading and the sustainability of a classical music industry seeking to appeal to a broader audience with a wider demographic. The hereafter of the music industry depends on how challenges such as these are met over the following few old ages.


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Muikku J ( 1995 )Money For Nothing? The hereafter of copyright wage for the usage of phonograms in wireless and the clean tape levy/feeinPopular Music Style and Identityexplosive detection systems. Shaw W, Johnson S, Sullivan R and Friedlander P ( Centre for Research on Canadian Cultural Industries and Institutions )

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Web sites

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( 1 ) Britishers are the world’s greatest music fans ( 22/3/05 )

( 2 ) BPI release 2005’s first quarterly reappraisal: 7:4:2005

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