Media Communication – Pop Industry The music industry and young people An understanding of young people and popular music requires some understanding of the nature of the music industry itself and how the industry functions within the mass media. The music industry is part of several inter-related industries which between them generate large amounts of money and which either directly or indirectly influence our lives. It was estimated that $US12 billion was spent by consumers on recorded music alone in 1987 (Brown 1987, p.7).
This figure does not take into account the money generated through related industries, such as commercial radio, advertising, retailing, distribution, audio hardware and blank tapes. The music industry is big business. Like all other big businesses the music industry is principally concerned with selling products and making profits.
Artists are not signed to major record companies because someone happens to think they are good (if this is the case then it is a bonus), but because they think the artist will sell. A good example of this is both EMI and A&M signing the Sex Pistols in 1976/77. The music industrys main concern is selling large numbers of records as quickly as possible. The major record companies are not so much concerned with quality as quantity. They are liable to stay with the old reliable artists like The Rolling Stones, Phil Collins, or mainstream versions of current popular trends – Collette rather than Technotronic (Street 1985, p.2).
... five minutes of recorded sound. The music genre Jazz also greatly lifted the music industry and in my opinion saved the music industry. Now that the ... 's they make the artist buy back their own music to sell it. The RIAA has some serious concerns though, according to their ... the people. A recording artist should be proud if his of her music is being downloaded, not concerned with the money they might ...
They are reticent about trying out new products.
But whatever record companies feel about it, they are forced to try new products in order to survive. Until the arrival of the teenager in the 1950s, popular music had been generally family music. (There are exceptions to this which I will note later.) Most family households had only one radio or phonograph, so music had to appeal to all age groups and offend no one (Frith 1983, p.33).
The post-war consumer boom in the early 1950s along with the high spending teenager (a result of the increased affluence of the working class), created a market for youth music. Young people had the earnings independence that enabled them to purchase records they liked and the equipment needed to play them. Young people today are still willing to spend what they have on music (Brown 1987, p.7), and therefore have the power to shape what is popular and successful. Young people in the UK aged 15-19 make up only 8% of the population but they purchase 36% of all singles sold and 21% of all long playing records (Brown 1987, p.9).
This purchasing power and young peoples changing tastes create a tension between the music industry itself (the producers) and its audience. If the finished product is not to the liking of the consumers, they will not buy will. So it is still the consumers who decide what are hits and what are flops, no matter how much money is invested in the product, how it is packaged, advertised or hyped (Street 1985, p.2).
Young people do not buy Kylie Minogue records over those of kate Ceberano because they are cheaper, they buy them because they prefer them. But young people not only shape the music industry, they also influence some of the allied industries as well. In 1980 the British music press weekly, the New Musical Express (NME), was selling approximately 230,000 copies per week. It was the major music paper; it set trends and included extensive political coverage in its pages.
By 1985, however, its circulation had slumped to 105,000 copies per week (Brown 1987, p.39).
To recover its past circulation the NME had to go where the kids were at, and as a result it has become as racist and sexist as the kids themselves. Racism and sexism would not have been countenanced in the era pre-dating the circulation slump. As an industry, the music business has to meet the demands of its consumers. This is what gives the industry its longevity. With the changing youth market there is a constant search for new music to replace the old – it is this drive for innovation which injects new blood into the industry.
Many young people of this generation between the ages of ten and twenty live for music. They have become infatuated with music as if nothing else matters. After reading Allan Bloom's essay Music, Venise Berry's, Redeeming the Rap Music Experience, and Barbara Dority's The War on Rock and Rap Music", I was opened up to new ideas which previously had not occurred to me. When people are reading and ...
The music industry and popular music needs these injections from outside because it usually lacks the vitality to generate new music itself. As stated earlier the music industry is generally unwilling to spend its profits on bands or styles of music which may not turn out to be profitable. Music that is currently outside the mainstream needs a certain level of financial return that takes the artist or music beyond cult status as with, for instance. Midnight Oil, INXS, Hunters and Collectors, or Punk, African or Latin music. The music industry takes these new forms and commercialises them as quickly as possible, making them attractive to as wide an audience as possible, and so increasing profitability (Brown 1987, p.44).
But making the new form of music available to a wide audience eventually takes away all its original excitement, making it as bland as the Top 40.
So young people, then the music industry, go off in search of another musical style and the cycle continues (McGregor 1984, p.95).
The cultural role of popular music It has now been broadly recognized that specific youth music came about in the 1950s with the recognition that young people had money to spend. Alongside the growth or music specifically aimed at young people was a similar development of youth cultures – forms of dress, standards of behavior and taste in music which helped set them apart from their parents (Brown 1987, p. 9).
What popular music provides, and thrives on (Unreadable Text) vehicle for the idea of young people reacting against the values of their parents generation, and young peoples desire to set themselves apart (Brown 1987, p.9).
Musical artists tap into this idea with songs like My Generation, Volunteers, Children of the Revolution or Pretty Vacant. Popular music thrives on its ability to shock and outrage the previous generation.
Positive environment A positive environment is one that supports all aspects of the child’s development; staff members/carers can provide the children different ways to extend their developments. By doing activities and guiding the children through their learning, this creates a positive environment for them. Example: Reading and writing activities will help the child or young person’s cognitive ...
It is this ability of popular music and styles to provoke that makes it attractive and exciting to young people. Everyone loves to shock. As outlined earlier the spectacular sub-cultures that Hebdige talks about appear to be the most shocking (Hebdige 1979, p. 18).
They are shocking in the sense that they are obvious expressions of youth and masculinity. They tend to stretch societys codes on sexual mores, dress and most of all, behaviour.
They are in effect breaching the consensus within society and are seen as a threat to the dominant ideology. Their particular ways of dressing and the music they consume are ways of speaking to people (Hebdige 1979, p. 129).
They are forms of communication and expression, whether that is an expression of working class-ness (Skinheads) or a way of shunning the system (Punk, Hippie).
The studies of youth cultures and sub-cultures have mainly ignored young Black people, and as McRobbie (1980, p .43) has pointed out women are redundant in most sub-cultures. As yet there has been no serious attempt to look at young lesbians and gays and their relationship with popular music.
It is important to remember that popular music does not have a homogeneous audience. Young people differ in many ways including ethnicity, gender, sexual preference and class. As a result they experience popular music in different ways. Ironically, the music industry still treats young people as a homogeneous block, constantly emphasizing generational difference-a safer option than emphasizing differences in class, ethnicity or sexual preference. This is why young women, young Blacks, young lesbians and young gays have been marginal to the music industry. The music industry, and popular music, is like the society that produces it, racist, sexist and heterosexist.
It is not surprising that Black people are marginal to the mainstream music business given that hey are economically disadvantage minorities in the major record exporting countries (USA and UK), and given the influences of racism. The fuss generated by the early Elvis Presley was partly due to his sexual explicitness and partly due to the black influences on his music. The fact that this type of music could have brought young Blacks and Whites together was an alarming thought in America of the 50s (Brown 1987, p.24).
Mom Said I Could As young children our moms and dads would reward us for our actions, or punish us. However, for some kids a reward may have been a new toy, being taken out to their favorite restaurant, or a privelage. At the time of adolescence a privelage may have been dta ying up past your bedtime to watch a movie, or sleeping over a friends house. Whatever it was you were allowed to do ...
This now seems strange given the acknowledged African origins of most western popular music. It was the traditional Afro-American slave laments that eventually developed into Gospel, Blues and Jazz. These in turn were transformed into Soul, Funk, R&B, Rock n Roll, Swing, Pop, Rap, etc.
All of the the creation of oppressed, alienated ex-slaves who thus provide for oppressed, alienated, post-industrial man (no accident this), his pervasive pop music (McGregor 1984, p.81).
As stated earlier, there were pre-50s exceptions to family music. Music made by Black people was the major one and has always attracted Anglo-Europeans to it: The attraction of Black music for hip youth, whether the blues of the 20s or Rastafarian music today, lies in its danger, in its very exclusion of white fans from its cultural messages (Frith 1983, p.23).
The power that young white people are attracted to in Black music is in itself an expression of Black power. While young white people can revolt on the level of style, they can nearly always re-enter the mainstream when they wish. The same is not the case for young Black people.
Their skin colour alone sets them outside of the mainstream and is seen as a disability within an Anglo dominated society (Hebdige 1979, p.131).
The cultural significance attached to music by young West Indians living in the UK, or young Aborigines living in outback or non-urban Western ….