1991 The Year Punk Broke Documentary Analysis

analytical Essay
3854 words
3854 words

Introduction "1991: The Year Punk Broke" is a documentary about the leading punk figures in the nineties such as Sonic Youth and Nirvana. In the continuation of the documentary, the viewer finds Thurstoon Moore of Sonic Youth asking young music enthusiats: “People see rock and roll as youth culture, and when youth culture becomes monopolized by big business, what are the youth to do?". In addition to the question, he states, "I think we should destroy the bogus capitalist process that is destroying youth culture by mass marketing and commercial behavior control and the first step to do is to destroy the record companies.” "The bogus capitalist process" that Moore talks about refers to the aggressive capitalist side of any market, but more …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that "1991: the year punk broke" is a documentary about the leading punk figures in the nineties such as sonic youth and nirvana.
  • Analyzes how and why the music industry became a monopoly in the 1990s, including the digital music revolution, economic theories, and globalization.
  • Explains that by 1980, the music industry was under control of the "big six", which included emi, sony, warner, universal, polygram, and bmg.
  • Explains that the music industry must adapt to the shift in the market with new advancements such as the internet.
  • Explains that the music industry faced a loss in profit and revenue with the emersion of the digitalization of economy.
  • Analyzes how the music industry was mesmerized by the success of napster, which was the pin point of the digital music revolution.
  • Explains that the 360 deal allowed record companies to hold on to artists a little tighter as they realized they weren't what they needed, but themselves and their fans.
  • Explains that the music industry is fueled upon the intellectual property of song writers and musicians. major and independent record labels are the driving force of the industry.
  • Explains that the fine line between major and independent labels was blurred after the introduction of the internet.
  • Explains that a monopoly is to the advantage of the one supplier because they can decrease or increase the price values of supplies and products as desired.
  • Explains the secret recipe for creating a monopoly in the music industry. theodore adorno believes that there is no individuality in popular music; it is the same product in different packages.
  • Analyzes how monopoly results in a lack of individuality and exploitation when resources and products aren't used productively.
  • Explains that the industrial revolution created industries and industries created employers and filled their pockets with gold nuggets. the music industry serves no other purpose.
  • Explains that digital music theft has been a major factor behind the global market decline of around 31 percent in the same period.
  • Analyzes how the merger between universal music group and emi was backed up by the european commission and the marriage of the two companies.
  • Opines that globalization makes the way for a worldwide monopoly, which was formed through the consolidation of the big three.
  • Explains that since itunes opened, record sales have dropped by 50% across the board. borders and tower records have closed, as have thousands of independent record stores.

The two biggest components are major and independent record labels. Major record labels are the driving force of the industry, “Big Four labels/major record labels represented the majority of the music sold, making up as much as 75% of the music market or more depending on the year.” ( Additionally, “The five major record labels; Sony, Universal, BMG, EMI and Time Warner dominate 85% of the market when it comes to sales of Compact Discs. Leaving only 15% for the hundreds of independent record labels and thousands of artists out there." (Raprehab and In his essay A Brief Outline of How the International Popular Music Industry Manipulates and Exploits the Audience, Shams Quader discusses this issue."Big Four is responsible for 70% of the worldwide music and 85% of US music sales. ... Seeing that these companies have such a monopolistic hold on the world market..." (Quader) it would be safe to presume that the music monopoly was/ is created as a result of how the three major record labels today are holding more than three forths of the net profit of the industry moreover the question of the monopoly was brought to the table especially when Universal Music Group proposed a merger with EMI and many of its top billboard chart artists, Universal Music Group was also the …show more content…

If there is no individuality, then there is no costumer choice. When costumer choice is eliminated, then the problem of exploitation arrives from how these popular music products are commercialized. Raprehab reports, “[...] major record companies are paying radio stations thousands of dollars to play their records!” This contributes to the already established monopoly because when the radio, one of the most effective promotion and mass communication devices, circles around certain products attributed to certain labels exclusively, competition is lowered to a minimum, again. Alternative and independent labels are rarely ever, if lucky, played on the radio, leaving the only way for the consumer to discover alternatives to popular products through extensive research, that is unless the consumer is “not lazy” and willing to expand their horizons and turn their radius of view away from the popular world and dictated products into the underground, “struggling” music

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