Technology And Change: The Effects On Music And The Artists Who Create It

1994 words - 8 pages

Introduction:
In the past, music has been a costly business, where only people with a lot of money could enter and be successful in the industry. Changes in the music industry coupled with new computer technology have made it much easier for people without a lot of money to compose, produce, and distribute their creation. In order to get a better understanding of the music industry in comparison to 2014, one has to look at its history. There were many things that happened from the 1980’s onward, and they brought on a significant impact towards the music industry. Development in computer technology has also made a big impression on music. Many things within these fields have enabled artists to connect with their fans in a way they couldn’t before, and on a lower budget. In this paper, the discussion will be about all of these topics, and about the factors that help transform the music industry into something altogether easier for new people to contribute.
History:
Back in the early 1980’s, record labels controlled what people could hear through airplay, record distribution and manufacturing, and selective promotion of music based on their judgement of their audience. An artist’s only feasible option was to go through this system. To obtain music of high quality, people had to buy vinyl singles or albums or tape, and later, only CDs. There was no practical way to listen to music before buying it without listening to or taping off the radio. Music was very restricted by several different record companies.
The record labels in the industry select what music they think people want to hear, and they try to sell the music. Although a lot of times the artists the labels push are not successful, there are also times where they succeed. Artists such as Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, AC\DC, Foo Fighters, Journey, The Beastie Boys, Eddie Van Halen, Rick Springfield, The Beatles, and Nirvana are all examples of successful artists who were picked up by record companies because they were the next new, big, thing and\or because they were considered to have potential for making money.
The record industry has been around for about a century, and recently the record industry has taken on a transformation. There were many changes in the business of music records from the 1980s onward. For example, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 law was passed. This enabled a free-for-all in for the record companies and granted them the ability to compete with anyone in the market. What ended up happening was the companies bought each other left and right until there were 5 or 6 big companies that ran everything. The record industry controlled music production, distribution, and airplay on the radio. Radio started out on the AM frequencies, then later the FM higher fidelity stations. The only way to get music through to the masses feasibly was to go through the highly selective record companies because they were the only ones who could mass produce music. To distribute, first...

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