Power at the Top

Many people wonder why the music industry has changed so much and why rap has lost all of its meaning and political values, well the answer is the corporations that own it. In 1996 the telecommunications act allowed for deregulation. This removed the many rules that did not allow the media to be owned by only a few corporations. This was passed thinking that competition would allow for more diversity and be better for the people; this was completely wrong and did just the opposite. Deregulation allowed for the top four corporations to to buy out all the music being put out and decrease the diversity in the industry.

With the music industry being owned by a few, the radio stations lost complete control of what they could play  over the radio. Many DJs are forced to have certain playlists that include the songs that the record labels want to play. No longer was it the DJs who would play music that they thought was good no matter who it was, but rather just a playlist of meaningless songs that would force the listeners to hear the same song 20 times a day. Now how many corporations really own the music industry? It is four corporations; Sony Music entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and EMI Group; four companies control the entire music industry in the United States.These companies having so much power do not want to invest in a different style of music because it is too much of a risk when it comes to money. With the internet preventing people from actually buying music now, record labels will only put out music that they know will make money and has a good chance of succeeding. If an artist fails at first, record labels are more likely to drop them right away than they would have in the past. Many artists who failed at first then became successful later on would not have had those chances today, for example Bruce Sprinsteen.

What is also amazing about these record labels are how far down the ladder that they
control. The big corporations not only own the record labels, but they own the music stores, the radio stations, movie studios, and more. These corporations can take one of their songs and use it for a video game, movie, or a TV show. This is called synergy, where the corporations can completely control how much their product is used and shown by combining one aspect of media with another to reach a bigger audience. With so much power in the hands of a few we cannot expect artists to have freedom of their music even if they wanted to, but the internet is slowly changing this for the better and I think the people will continue to stand up and allow for real music to be brought into the mainstream world.

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By fumbleprone

2 comments on “Power at the Top

  1. I like how this post outlines what is acutally going on with the music industry and why we hear what we do on the radio. It gives off the message that money controls everything in the on-air music industry, and that radio is now more about making money than making messages. I think a possible direction for a future post, or expanding on this one would be to look into what are the messages that current music is putting out to the youth, and maybe look into the implications of them. Music is such a powerful medium, but I think with the current framework of the music industry, the wrong messages are being put out. Nice Job.

  2. I think your blog was extremely informative. I like how you thoroughly explained the history and laws in place that have created the music industry that exists today. At the end of your blog I also like how you expressed hope for individuals to stand up for what they believe in and share their music with others through the internet. With the internet it is important to realize that an artist’s music can reach millions of people all around the world and it can be used as a way to gather followers and create social change.

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