The Music Industry Task 10

In this task, we had to watch two videos about marketing and write some summary notes to clarify our understanding of the topics.


  • Marketing is not just advertising, other elements of marketing include public relations which is all about managing your star image of the artist, this also includes getting the star onto chat shows or something which will enhance their image.
  • Another key element of marketing is ‘promotions’ which means offering the audience something that will interest them towards the star for example ‘free tickets to a concert’.
  • Finally, Branding, where you give the audience a lifestyle whereby to live in that style you have to buy their products.
  • Marketing isn’t free, you can do tweets and Instagram posts but to include links/threads it’s going to cost a lot of money because the platforms will charge you for it. One reason that this happens is that it knows your audience therefore lots of people might be interested in the promotion of the product so they charge you for giving you the correct target audience for your product.
  • Other expensive ways to market a product are things like billboards, a poster on a bus, TV advert.
  • Reasons for a marketing campaign are to generate attention/awareness to your star, its also to create excitement often during a big event happening e.g new album or a new tour. Finally to attract the paying customers towards your brand and interest them in what your selling.
  • AIDA, the Call to action is a huge impact on marketing, how do we want our audience to act, we need to create a desire for them, but in order to create desire, we need to catch their attention and achieve their interest.
  • Types of media – ‘Owned Media’ which is where you can use a conglomerate and use the smaller companies to market your star/brand using chat shows or appearances at a discounted price.
  • ‘Bought Media’ You can buy media space on twitter,  you can go to Tv companies and you can buy newspapers. Buying media/advertising space from a third party.
  • ‘Earnt Media’ getting people especially online on social media platforms to spread your message but in order to do this you have to do something unique and eyecatching to receive there attention and desire. ‘Word of mouth’ is a very good way of receiving more of an audience which will boost your awareness and your image.                                                                Definitions –
  • Viral Marketing – Using social media platforms to boost your star image and awareness and spread a message
  • Guerrilla Marketing – an ‘ambush’ effect, catching people’s attention when they least expected it.
  • Synergy – Two or more media platforms working together to create a bigger impact
  • Cross Media Convergence – When different forms of media come together e.g (The Music Industry and the Film Industry) to create something which will benefit them both and raise more awareness for both areas.
  • Word of mouth –  A friend tells you about something which you then go and check out which is very good for widening the artist’s audience.
  • Traditional Advertising methods – These include, Radio, TV adverts, Newspaper/magazine.
  • “Combining several media channels and tools under one big idea, in order to produce a greater experience to the consumer.”
  • The old methods to get a message across to an audience are, TV, Radio, Newspapers, Billboards and if the customer liked the message given across they would then buy the product.
  • The introduction of the internet increased the ways to advertise and ‘get the message across to the audience’ using every social media platform around to promote/ sell there ideas products and brand.
  • Integrated advertising isn’t just advertising on an idea, its advertising one big idea. A big idea meaning bigger than another marketing message, something that really interests the consumer, Gives them value and lets them take part in an experience, which they can then share with there friends so then the brand earns free/earned media.
  • The role of the advertising agency is used mainly to lead the process from to start to finish making sure everything is done correctly, making sure every channel really serves the big idea and analysing the effectiveness of the tool during and after the campaign. Making them ‘Brand Navigators’
  • All the elements of integrated advertising are a big idea, Integrated media tools, consumer experience and finally a Brand Navigator.




The Music Industry Task 9

In this task, I was assigned another case study to research, this was about is social distancing good for independent artists, and I found it really helpful understanding how artists are coping with these unusual times and still managing to create and distribute music even though being stuck in ‘lockdown’.

The Music Industry Task 7

Video 1 – Part 1

  • The getting it out there stage of the process e.g getting the music to the audience
  • A&R representative from ‘Rick’s Records’ meets ‘Sid’ and likes what he hears and offers him a recording contract which will be heavily weighted in the record company’s favour.
  • ‘Sid’ Records his music which then gets put onto tape, the music is edited and mixed at the studio
  • The music/tapes get taken onto a van which costs a lot to transport, the driver takes the music to the vinyl factory where the tapes get pressed into vinyl. 
  • Then they press another 1,000 vinyls which then again will need to be transported by a van, the van will drive to Radio Stations, TV Stations, Airports, Train Stations and Boat ports which will then be frated to elsewhere in the world.
  • ‘Sids’ Album release has given him concerts, Tv appearances, Live radio slots/radio plays, Fanclub from his fans writing to him.
  • Sid has to travel the world using planes, trains, cars all to get his music out there

Video 2 – Part 2

  • Sid can be alone in his room or in a studio, create/compose his own music and upload it to various social platforms such as Soundcloud, Spotify, Youtube and Ampled.
  • He can get his fans to do the marketing for him using various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • He can also record his own music video on his smartphone and upload it to his various social platforms.
  • This method is cheaper, more simplistic, more efficient and less stressful for the artist with it only being a few clicks and it’s all done, but this is a very crowded place with many people trying to distribute and market their music online, you have to be innovative and unique to get yourself seen 
  • Sid’s record deal with ‘Ricks Records’ didn’t go to plan so essentially he is back to square 1.

Video 3 – How the Music Industry works

  • Record companies would ‘take advantage’ of the younger artists who didn’t really care about the money.
  • There are lots of problems with bands not getting paid correctly from their labels.
  • The record labels will pay for everything, then once the album has been recorded and distributed and sold the total earnings from the album the label take 85% of it, then start adding all the recording/video/marketing costs back on leaving the artist in debt to the label.
  • There are hidden costs which the label use to be ‘cheeky’ and try to gain money in any way that they can. For example ‘packaging costs’ the label can deduct up to 25% of the artists cut for the packaging of the albums. Also ‘breakage costs’ during shipping can be up to another deduction from the artist by 10%

Video 4 – What is distribution – then and now

  • The process of music distribution is getting the music from artist to album to a shop which then makes it available for the public to purchase or to download.
  • There are often music distribution companies then will sign deals with record labels or independent artists, which then gives them the right to sell them to shops. The distribution company acts as a ‘middle man’ between the artist/record label and the shops.
  • The distributor will take a cut from the income of each unit sold and then pays the label the remaining balance, who then pays the songwriter through mechanical royalties
  • Brick and Mortar used to be the only way that artists and record labels could distribute their music, but digital distribution has changed all of it for the better, in 2015 digital sales surpassed physical sales and since then it has been the same each year.
  • The artist can gain royalties on how and where their music listened to online through streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon Music.
  • Benefits of digital vs Physical music
  • Reduced shipping time
  • Reduced Manufacturing time
  • Low Upfront costs
  • Reach Bigger audience
  • Boost your Profile
  • Faster money flow
  • Better data and analytics

Video 5 – who are the Digital Distributors – who’s the best and what do they do?

  • So many artists wanted to be signed by a record company because it would get your music into stores. Once the music picked up the record label would get the artist onto radio and TV and get your music in the right places.
  • Due to digital streaming, anyone can release music meaning there are so many more independent artists around.
  • Online distributors get your music into online stores/platforms, they will then collect the royalties for the artist. Distributors have really good technology where they can detect where your music is being played and collect the royalties from various platforms such as youtube, Spotify or the radio.
  • Instagram stories are a very good way to distribute music as it directly includes a Spotify or other platform link directly to the song/artists page increasing the chance of your songs/album being played.
  • CD Baby costs $10 a year with a 9% commission whereas Distrokid costs $20 a year and you can upload as many songs as you wish with 0% commission.




The Music Industry Task 6

Production & Ownership Essay

Question – Discuss the pros and cons of traditional media production/ownership and compare to those of new emerging models of music production/ownership

My response –

Today I’m going to discuss the various pros and cons of traditional production/ownership versus the new emerging models of music production/ownership. What is meant by production is the creation of the music and a brand that can be sold to an audience whereas ownership is all about who owns the rights to the music that has been created and who has the right to claim the profit. The idea of ownership has been drastically changing over the last decade with the huge rise in ‘DIY’ artists/Independent artists demonstrating the ‘emerging’ model and how the production element is so accessible and simplistic, and the ownership aspect becomes much more in favour towards all the artists, which is much different to the traditional model where the record labels will take the right to the music and most of the cut of the profits produced.

The traditional model is all about record labels and the ‘Big 3’ which are three conglomerates in the music industry being Universal Music Group, Sony BMG and Warner Music Group these global institutions take up almost 80% of the music industry. Universal Music Group is the largest music company in the world. Universal Music Group develops, manufactures, markets, sells and distributes the full spectrum of recorded music in 63 countries worldwide which shows a dominating 98 percent of the world’s music market. Some positive elements to the traditional model are that the record labels have the resources and money to provide support for production, distribution, marketing, touring and music videos. There are also many negative elements such as record labels taking a heavily weighted percentage of the profits generated from music sales, streams, licensing deals, and them also having control over your music, the label can make deals and decisions with your music without your approval which can be extremely unfair for the artists. Record labels also pile on all the expenses for your music video and other expenses often leaving the artist in debt to the record label. “EMI was once one of the big boys—but Universal Music purchased EMI in 2012.” This case study is significant because it shows who the ‘Big 3’ are and the percentage each global institution owns “They can own up to 80% of the music market in a given year.” It also tells us that These larger conglomerates are made up of smaller music labels that always have to abide by the parent company but are allowed to make lots of choices by themselves.

The emerging model is all about DIY/Independent artists and how much freedom and control they have compared to the previous traditional model. Independent artists can use their smartphone and laptop to produce, market, distribute and sell their music all from their homes which is extremely efficient and simplistic and very cost-effective. All their music can be easily uploaded to streaming services online such as Spotify where your music can be heard worldwide, they can use various social media platforms to promote and share their music, but mainly to market it as social media is a very quick and easy way to get your music shared around and heard by many people. The most valuable and enticing thing for becoming/being an independent/DIY artist is that you have complete control/rights to your music therefore you can do as you wish with your music. “If you are very proactive and your music is in demand by the site, then you can earn an income of about £23,000-£30,000 a year.”I think this is significant because it shows how ‘easy’ it is for anyone with a passion for music to start earning an income from it, you could easily do this through the social media platforms such as youtube or Instagram, but also you could publish your music onto Spotify for people to listen to which could easily get picked up by somebody who might be able to boost your platform and get your name out there. The case study shows how simple and effective doing this can be in sustaining an income can be. The main benefits of being a DIY artist is the complete control you receive but also how all the money that is generated from the streams goes straight to you. However there are many negative elements of being an independent artist such as funding just isn’t possible for so many people, they would have to consider all these very important things distribution, marketing, merchandise, touring, and other expenses, they are very expensive and lots of artists simply don’t have the resources or the time as being a DIY artist is very time-consuming it’s essentially a full-time job. Conclusively one major issue with being an independent artist is how much competition there is, to ‘make it’ you need to have a serious flare and be very unique as there are thousands of people all with the same ideas and the same goal, therefore not everyone can ‘make it’.

Digital technology is the main reason why many artists have a much better flow of income and a much better model to work with, many more artists are collecting all the money possible through companies like Kobalt who collect all of the royalties generated from everywhere the song is streamed and give the artist all the profit from the song, this is good because DIY artists can produce as much music as they want and publish it to streaming services and Kobalt will do all the work for you making the process much more enjoyable and simple for the artist. “Kobalt, founded in 2001 is the music industry’s back office, Its publishing arm collects royalties sometimes in micro-payments of less than a fraction of a penny, for 8,000 artists around the world, generating revenues from 600,000 songs and collecting in 100 territories.” This case study is significant because it really shows the extreme depth that Kobalt goes in order to collect every penny possible for the artist, 

The main thing that it gets across to the audience is the ownership aspect is massively changed and now the artist gets the rights to the music which is the opposite to the traditional model. It also shows how much they have grown as a business since 2001 which shows the huge potential for this model to be extremely successful. Some positive points with digital technology is that it enables a much more balanced system in that the artist collects a more realistic amount of money and the company only get a small cut, this is much better than the traditional model where it was all unbalanced. 

In conclusion, there has been a huge amount of change within the production and ownership aspect from the traditional model and the new emerging model. The majority of the change has been positive with only little negative points to make, the balance of the emerging model is a much better system with the majority of the earnings going to the artist, also the control is now within the artists, so they can do as they wish with their music. I think the traditional model is good for building up a star and getting the artist a bigger audience with the resources and funding they have, but the weight distribution is completely unfair which is why I personally agree much more with the modern emerging model as it really focuses on the rights of the artist and what they deserve as a producer of music.

Feedback –

  • You could have developed a few more points about the impacts of user-end converged technologies. Otherwise, this was amazing!
  • It’s an exceptionally precise and concise explanation of music production and A&R. If you can, perhaps include a few more simple specific examples from case studies, you will be getting full marks!
  • Terms 5/5 Examples 3/5, Explanation 15/15


The Music Industry Task 4

Here is my first case study that I was assigned, I wrote about sony opening a vinyl factory due to an increase in demand for vinyl, doing the research for the case study was really helpful as it enabled me to understand how on top of the demand these conglomerates are in so many different areas.

The Music Industry Task 1

We were assigned with the task of watching this video and answering some relevant questions all about the music industry model and music labels.

Questions –

  1. Who owns the music in a traditional record deal? –  The record company own most of the music 
  2. How many major labels are there and what percentage of western music do they own? –  There are three major labels that own over half of the western music
  3. Which is the biggest label? – Universal studios is the biggest label worldwide
  4. According to Nick Raphael (Capitol Records) is the most important job of a record label?  – The most Important thing for them in to be able to find talent in order for the label to make money and make an artist.
  5. Why do artists feel that traditional music contracts are unfair? – Because it’s so heavily weighted towards the label that they get all the profit from the albums to the point where the artists themselves aren’t making much from it
  6. What did Radiohead do that disrupted the music industry once they were released from their contract with EMI? – They put their new album ‘rainbows’ on the internet for people to buy but people could pay whatever price they felt was right for the album, this caused a highest success as it was there highest selling album.
  7. What does Kobalt do for well know artists such as Snow Patrol? – It gives already successful bands a boost and keeps there name well known, they don’t need anymore development so this lets them create. music and keep it for themselves
  8. What services is it now offering new and upcoming artists? – It is offering them a service that they can use which lets them create. music and they can keep all the rights to the music they just have to pay fees for the services Kobalt provide.
  9. What is the major label’s best defense against Kobalt? – Major labels are able to create a star much easier as they have the platform and the team to develop and create a star but Kobalt don’t have that popularity as a label to be able to release music for new artists that will get heard.
  10. Why is the major labels’ back catalogue so important? – . It gives Sony a flow of income, of around a billion a year which they use to invest in new and already famous artists.
  11. How are new artists now emerging without the help of a record label? – Some artists are using social media platforms such as youtube to release music, this gives them an audience/fanbase that are already listening to there music and enable the artist to grow much quicker and do things at there own pace.
  12. In what way are fans powerful in promoting artists?  – They are sending/sharing clips and music around social media spreading awareness of that artist around gaining them some popularity.
  13. How is the record contract signed by Jacob Whiteside & BMG different from traditional deals? – His deal was specifically different because he was able to negotiate with the label that he owns the music and his relationship with the label is more of a partnership than an normal label as he didn’t really need the label to boost his name as he had already done this himself through social media platforms and through his fans.