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Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts in the music industry.

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Introduction

´╗┐Jessica Perry Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts in your chosen media area. In this essay I will be writing about the music industry. The music industry is dominated by 'the big three' being three major conglomerate companies: Sony, Universal and Warner Music. There used to be four majors however EMI collapsed and split into subsidiary companies that were taken over by Sony and Universal. The major labels own many subsidiary labels too, the 3 majors try and have the widest reach possible therefore their subsidiary companies focus on niche tastes as well as mainstream. According to a Music and Copyright report published in 2012, the majors accounted for 74% of physical and digital sales globally, this means that they operate in an oligopoly where a few companies dominate and control the market. I will be focusing on 1 major and 1 independent record label. The major being Sony, a Japanese transnational conglomerate with their headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. ...read more.

Middle

The biggest impact on media ownership in the past two decades has been the digital revolution and the increase in peer to peer file sharing and illegal downloading. Napster, the first illegal peer to peer file sharing website was set up by Shaun Fanning. He started it because him and his friends were fed up with the high prices of music. Many independent record labels like Domino Records suffered as people weren't buying their music, they were illegal downloading it instead. And when record labels managed to put digital locks on their music so it couldn't be illegally downloaded, audiences stopped buying many of its products and went to other sources instead. To this day, many people are still illegally downloading using programmes like UTorrent and websites that have Youtube URL link to MP3 file converters. When the iPod arrived digital downloading started and since has become one of the main sources how people consume music, using programmes and websites such as iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and Bandcamp. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the artists page, when clicked on an particular artist, you are directed to the artist's official website. On Domino Record's official website, they too also have a link of all their artists. When you click on a particular artist information about the artist and a discography of their albums appear on the screen. Below each album and single there is a price list for its CD, Vinyl and Digital download. This way they can advertise the artist and give people the opportunity to buy their music. Both websites have their own merchandise page too. Domino Record's target audience tend to go to a lot of gigs, therefore there is a 'Live' link, when clicked there is a calendar of each date and what artist is playing where, this is a good way of earning money through gigs and marketing artists. Sony has a labels page so you can see what labels are signed with Sony, underneath each label is a link to their official website too. This is an effective way of marketing the subsidiary labels and showing how much ownership Sony have over subsidiary labels. ...read more.

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