Computerization's Effect on the Recording Industry

Computerization's Effect on the Recording Industry

Length: 2178 words (6.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Computerization's Effect on the Recording Industry

 
    Abstract:  Music is one of the oldest known forms of human expression.  It has not, however, been left unchanged by the rapid computerization that has dramatically altered so much of our society.  The recording industry plays an important role in the world of modern music, and it has been affected more profoundly than most other areas of music.  This essay identifies ways in which the introduction of computers and the internet have affected the recording industry, specifically in terms of music distribution and the emergence of new musical styles.  It assesses whether these changes are beneficial or harmful to the recording industry.

 

1.  Introduction

Music has existed for millennia, yet it is not immune to change.  Music in many ways provides a window on our society, and as society changes so does music.  The invention of new instruments, ways of playing music, and media for storing music, all have impacted music, musicians, and those who bring music to the general public.  Although the advent of computerization has brought about changes in how music is created, the recording industry has perhaps been the most visibly affected by these changes in technology.  As the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) aptly puts it, "no other decade in history has contributed as much to the growth of the music industry as the 1990s, the digital decade" [1].  With any radical change, there are both positive and negative consequences of this change, and such consequences depend on the specific viewpoint being considered.  Has computer technology had a positive or negative effect on the recording industry?  This paper will assess changes to the recording industry from several different perspectives.

 

            In order to evaluate this question, the term "effect" must be broken down into areas that are more clearly defined.  The recording industry facilitates the transfer of music from the musicians to the intended audience; in other words, it is concerned with the distribution of music.  The technology that has most heavily impacted distribution is the internet.  The internet creates a means by which a certain piece of music can instantly become accessible to hundreds of millions of people around the world.  The second important aspect of computerization is the creation of a new audience.  This audience has significantly different tastes and requirements relating to music; a fact that the industry must take into account when deciding what types of music to sell.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Computerization's Effect on the Recording Industry." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Sep 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=10533>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Music Recording Industry Essay

- The biggest accomplishment for any artist is recognition, appreciation and success of there work. Therefore, you can imagine the hope and courage Chance the Rapper is giving all independent artist. Chance the Rapper was able to successfully release his album via apple music and later, many other streaming platforms without the support of any record label. The Album entitled “Coloring Book” is currently number 8 on Billboard’s critically acclaimed Top200 list based on stream listens alone. Chance is currently on tour where most of the shows are sold out....   [tags: Record label, Music industry, Recording contract]

Research Papers
889 words (2.5 pages)

The Recording Industry Essay

- Evinced through recent changes in its model, the recording industry does not exist as the business it grew to be recognized as decades ago. With digital media platforms driving the industry, the internet has immensely impacted the industry, shifting it away from one making the majority of its profits from revenue gained by music sales. Instead, the Internet is making it easy for consumers to not pay for music. In the novel Fortune’s Fool, Fred Goodman exposes the new economic model of the record industry, illuminating the unfairness in Internet users constantly accessing music for free, as they reject the idea of paying for music, coercing Goodman to pose the question: “Why advocate fair-tr...   [tags: digital media, internet, warner bross]

Research Papers
1387 words (4 pages)

The Recording Industry Association Of America Essay

- This article talks about the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed thousands of lawsuits against individuals that use unauthorized peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing networks to share music. These people included children, adults, unemployed single mothers, college professors, and college students. The first section of this article is talking about RIAA filed a lawsuit against the peer-to-peer technology companies such as Limewire, iMesh, AudioGalaxy, and Aimster at the beginning of December 1999....   [tags: Peer-to-peer, File sharing, Gnutella, Kazaa]

Research Papers
710 words (2 pages)

Essay about Hip Hop and the Recording Industry

- These articles depict the controversies of the hip hop industry and how that makes it difficult for one to succeed. Many of these complications and disputes may be invisible to the population, but these articles take the time to reveal them. Even when one becomes an artist in the industry, there are many troubles that go along with the tag of being a recording artist in the urban division. One example is seen in the article, “The Business of Rap: Between the Street and the Executive Suite” by Keith Negus, where columnist, J.R....   [tags: Controversies, Response Essay]

Research Papers
693 words (2 pages)

Essay on Steps To Improve Current Visual Effect Industry

- Visual Effect (VFX) industry are changing rapidly. Back in the 1980’s until now, many milestone had been made within the industries using groundbreaking technology. Imagery things that can never be done before can now easily archived by artist. This increases the demand of shot in effects per year, in addition to government tax incentives making the industries more globalize. Technological advances making the competition barrier even lower thus resulting excessive supply than demand. But even in this rapid growth of the VFX industry, the business practice used doesn’t evolved a bit to match with this evolving modern world....   [tags: vfx industry, visual effects, movies ]

Research Papers
1795 words (5.1 pages)

The Recording Industry Association of America Essay

- The Recording Industry Association of America The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is suing Napster for allegedly enabling music piracy through its proprietary MusicShare program. MusicShare allows music lovers to open up their stores of MP3 files to all other Napster users. Whenever a user is online, his MP3s are up for grabs, with the only stipulation being that users upload a file for each one that they download. The RIAA says that many of the shared MP3s are illegal bootlegs, but Napster insists that it "does not, and cannot, control what content is available to [users] using the Napster browser." Citing the many legal issues of its program, Napster makes a firm case....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
342 words (1 pages)

Essay on A Closer Look Into Music Piracy

- A Closer Look Into Music Piracy Whether it’s your younger cousin listening to the newest nursery rhyme CD on the drive to kindergarten or the noisy neighbor blasting heavy metal from his or her stereo, just about everyone enjoys listening to some form of music. Music is powerful. In the past music has been controversial due to some artist’s subject matter or their appearance. But recently a new debate is taking place, and it has nothing to do with the music itself, but the way in which it is being distributed....   [tags: copyright laws, recording industry]

Research Papers
1873 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on Investigating Aims of the Recording Industry

- Investigating Aims of the Recording Industry "The main aim of the recording industry is not to make music but to make money." In this essay I will be focusing on the 'Pop' genre to explore whether this quote is correct, and the recording industry's main aim is to make money. I will be looking at advertising used to promote the artists, marketing techniques used and how much money is involved in contracts and deals etc for both the artist and the record company. The pop industry is probably one of the biggest and most successful genres of all time....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
1034 words (3 pages)

Market Structure Change in the Music Recording Industry Essay

- To consider the market structure in the traditional music recording industry, oligopoly models are the applicable focus, since a small handful of firms – The Big Four currently dominates the whole industry. However, independent firms with relatively smaller scale often initiated new products, which attracted consumers. According to Peter Alexander, “the distribution of market share among major and independent firms in the domestic music recording industry has shown fluctuations approximating the shape of a (W), with two periods of low concentration, preceded and followed by several periods of high concentration.”(1994) This essay is dedicated to discussing the balance of power and exploring...   [tags: oligopoly models]

Research Papers
675 words (1.9 pages)

The Life of Ozzy and His Contribution to the Recording Industry Essay

- The Life of Ozzy and His Contribution to the Recording Industry &#8220;Retirement sucks!'; These are the famous words from one of the most captivating musical artist living today. Ozzy Osbourne has taken this world by surprise with his stunning actions, energetic motivation, and of course his music. His presence in the music industry inspired many artists today, and has taken everyone by surprise. In this paper I will discuss some history about the recording industry, background on the Ozzman himself, and how he has sparked the recording industry....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Free Essays
1561 words (4.5 pages)

Related Searches

  This paper will be evaluating these two aspects of computerization in order to answer the central question of whether there has been an overall positive or negative effect on the recording industry.

 

2.  The Internet

Distribution of music on the internet is split largely into three main categories:

1.  Large-scale digital Distribution

2.  Small-scale digital Distribution

3.  File sharing and piracy

 

These categories are explained in the following paragraphs.

 

 

2.1  Large-scale digital distribution of music

            MP3.com, one of the most popular places to obtain digital music online, is considered "large-scale" because it receives traffic from a significant percentage of users looking for digital music; more than half a million visitors enter the site every day, with several million more accessing MP3.com services[8].  MP3.com claims that it has "created a unique and robust technology infrastructure designed to facilitate the storage, management, promotion and delivery of digital music[2]."   It goes on to say that it is "dedicated to giving consumers music when they want it and where they want it, using any web-enabled device[2]."  The key words in the first sentence are "storage, management, promotion, and delivery," because it is these words that set MP3.com as part of the recording industry.

 

The recording industry is concerned with creating hard copies of music (storage), directing the delivery and production of this music (management), advertising the music to generate more sales and awareness of artists (promotion), and actually selling music to consumers (delivery).  From this, MP3.com is evidently part of the industry.  MP3.com's primary service, however, is not to sell physical copies of music and albums, but to make music accessible through a "web-enabled device[2]"  The services provided by the site are, therefore, services of digital rather than physical distribution.

 

2.2  Small-scale digital distribution of music

            The internet is not the realm of only large music publishers.  Another role it plays in the case of the recording industry is that of a distributor.  It makes it possible for artists to eliminate the step of physical distribution altogether, and distribute directly online.  This is seen as "small-scale" because it involves artists selling a very small selection of their own music.  Previously, using traditional procedure, artists had to perform or send copies of their songs to agents of the large recording companies in order to get a contract.  Now, any artist, no matter his skill level or experience, can record and distribute music.  This can be of great benefit to amateur artists, who can use the internet to gain exposure much more quickly, and reach a wide audience without having signed on with a record label.  For those artists seeking to convey a particular religious, political, or ideological message or theme without the intent of actually making money, the internet is a perfect distribution medium.

 

2.3  File sharing and piracy of music

            File sharing, or peer-to-peer transfer, is the ability of two users to directly exchange digital music files.  This can refer to something as simple as copying an MP3 onto a disk and giving the disk to the recipient, but is most often seen as referring to transfer through client software such as Napster, KaZaA, or Morpheus[10].  Such transfer inevitably brings up the issue of copyright infringement, or piracy.  Since music can be duplicated infinitely without any reduction in quality [5], people can listen to music without ever having purchased it, which is illegal.

 

This illegal distribution means that the recording industry  and the artists themselves lose revenue.  They are in effect giving away music for free.  Legal issues involved with providers of services that do not actually infringe copyrights but allow others to do so, like Napster, are constantly being debated, but court rulings are inconsistent[4].  Napster, on its own website, posts the notice: "Unauthorized copying, distribution, modification, public display, or public performance of copyrighted works may be an infringement of the copyright holders' rights in certain circumstances.[3]"  There is, however, very little enforcement of digital music copyright laws, and as a result such piracy goes on unchecked.

 

2.4  Assessment

            Having presented the three methods of distribution over the internet, we return to the original question of whether the internet has been a positive or negative development for the recording industry.  Large-scale distribution has created new sectors of the recording industry devoted to the practice of digital distribution.  This new market creates new sources of revenue for the industry.  Large-scale distribution can therefore be seen as having made a positive impact of the internet on the recording industry.

 

            Small-scale distribution, on the other hand, has made a negative impact on the recording industry's profit.  This method of distribution allows artists to sell directly to their audience.  The recording industry's role has been defined as that of an intermediary in the transfer of music from artist to audience.  By selling directly, artists eliminate the need for the recording industry, which translates into a decrease in revenue, and is therefore negative.  Another aspect of small-scale distribution, that of new types of music and music quality, is discussed later in this paper.

 

            Napster had more than 70 million users [10] at its peak.  The majority of these users were exchanging music illegally; that is, downloading music for which they did not own the original CD or media.  Illegal file sharing or piracy cost the recording industry $4.2 billion in the year 2000 alone. [9]  With the rapid proliferation of broadband internet capable of carrying out such file-sharing, the problem will likely escalate.  This is clearly very detrimental to the recording industry, and new laws may need to be enacted in order to enforce copyrights and protect the industry.

 

3.  New Audience

Although the internet is the most visible form of computerization in the field of music, many other advances have been made as well, especially in the fields of audio and instrumental reproduction.  As Max Mathews, a researcher at Bell Laboratories, said; "There are no theoretical limits, to the performance of the computer as a source of musical sounds." [6]  A computer can create sounds that are virtually indistinguishable from those created by a physical instrument.  These sounds can be rearranged to form music.

 

The mere presence of these new methods of composing music does not affect the recording industry directly.  What these methods do, however, is create new styles of music.  For example, a type of music known as MOD1 is composed entirely on a computer by a single person.  Although this method of composing can produce music of any style, it is most noted for creating new types of music.  "Demostyle" and "Gamestyle" music are the most popular of these new styles.  Demostyle music is a fast-paced type of sound usually involving computerized instruments that have no physical equivalent in the real world.  Demostyle music was intended for use as background music for Demos2 that were popular in the early 1990s.  Gamestyle music is, as the name implies, used as background music in computer games . It is similar to demostyle, but is usually more melodic.  This style of music certainly could not have existed before the appearance of computer games, for which it was intended.

 

These new styles impact music in that they create new audiences listening to these types of music, and therefore provide for new methods of distribution.  Sites such as www.traxinspace.com and www.modarchive.com were founded to serve the MOD community, most of which was involved in composing Demo/Game style music.  These sites have now evolved into distribution centers similar to MP3.com, with a wide variety of musical styles, but they still draw a significantly different audience from those who visit MP3.com.

 

These new styles of music have provided additional sources of revenue for the entire recording industry; it is possible, for example, to order three-CD sets of the ingame music from the popular role-playing game Chrono Trigger from Amazon.com [7].  This CD set is, furthermore, imported from the Japanese publisher Square Music; a company that was founded for the express purpose of distributing game music.  New audiences purchase music, which results in increased revenue for the recording industry.  This is clearly beneficial to the industry, and can be considered a positive impact of computerization for the recording industry.

 

4.  Conclusion

            Computerization has opened up new audiences and created new markets for the recording industry.  This has lead to an increase in revenue, and is therefore beneficial.  Large-scale digital distribution generates additional revenue for the industry through on-line sales and promotion, and gives it access to a wider audience.  Small-scale distribution, however, allows artists to bypass the recording industry and sell directly.  Even if new markets are opened through the creation of new styles of music, the recording industry may not benefit from them due to the effect direct sales.  Additionally, the proliferation of file-sharing software has made music piracy widespread, resulting in massive financial losses.  The industry faces threats from both artists and consumers.  The conclusion reached is, therefore, that computer technology has had a decidedly negative impact on the recording industry.

 

 

5.  References

 

1.  "Introduction to Music and the Internet", Recording Industry Association of America, http://www.riaa.org/Music-Intro.cfm

 

2.  "About MP3.com", MP3.com, http://www.mp3.com/aboutus.html

 

3.  Earp, Jonathan P.  "Napster Copyright Policy", Napster Inc., http://www.napster.com/terms

 

4.  Baase, Sara.  A Gift of Fire, (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1997), page 172.

5.  Hysell, Scott L.  "Computers and Music: Things Will Never Be The Same," http://www.spydee.com/members/bassist/computersandmusic.htm

6.  Johnstone, Bob.  "Wave of the Future," http://www.harmony-central.com/Computer/synth-history.html.  Source was found in the references list of Scott Hysell's paper and was then looked up independently.

7.  Chrono Trigger: Original Sound Version [IMPORT] [SOUNDTRACK], http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000006XL9/qid=1001688374/sr=2-1/ref=sr_8_3_1/102-2993246-6608940.  This item was found by searching for Chrono Trigger in the main search field.

8.  Advertising on MP3.com, http://www.mp3.com/media/pdf/website.pdf.

9.  Harris, Ron, "Putting Their Music Under Lock and Key;

Major record labels experiment with technology to limit digital duplication of CDs," (New York, NY : Newsday Inc, 2001) through Lexis-Nexis.

10.  DiJulius, Holly M, "CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC ;

Meet the new boss (Morpheus) Same as the old boss (Napster)," (The Columbus Dispatch, 2001) through Lexis-Nexis.

 

Notes

1 MOD is a collective header for a group of music formats (MOD, S3M, XM, IT, and others) that share the same system of composition; presampled instruments embedded in the music file and arranged through a sheet-pattern method similar to that used by MIDI.

 

2 Demos are small programs that combine graphics and sound.  As the name implies, they are intended to be demonstrations of the limits of these two areas.  Demos typically have graphics that are far more advanced than anything seen in conventional software at the time.  Demos were popularized by a number of gatherings, most notably the Assembly gathering in Finland, which has drawn thousands of visitors every year since its founding.

Return to 123HelpMe.com