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Understanding the Music Industries


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Table of Contents

Introduction Questioning 'Traditional' Models of the Music Industry Structure of the Book 1. Studying the Music Industries Key Findings Getting Started Organizational Structure Political Economy Culture Industry Sociology Musicology Metanarrative Historical Analysis Technological Development Media Ecology Digital Technologies Issues Conclusion Further Reading 2. The Recorded Music Industry Key Findings The Structure and Size of the Recording Industry A Brief History of the Recorded Music Industry The Majors: Business Structures and Characteristics The Independent Sector: Definitions and Types The Ideology of Independence Strategies for Dealing with Uncertainty and Risk Conclusion Further Reading 3. Songwriting and Publishing Key Findings Songwriters, Performers and Publishers Motivations Songwriting as Commercial Practice Songwriting Methods and Tools Music Publishing Traditional Income Streams 'New' Income Streams Sampling Conclusion Further Reading 4. Music Production Key Findings Changing Models and the Mythology of the Recording Studio The Production Process Tracking Mixing Mastering Manufacturing Production Careers and Roles Project Studios, MIDI, and Other Developments Conclusion Further Reading 5. Music Distribution Key Findings Introducing Music Distribution Physical Distribution Mass-Market Retailers Independent Retailers Second-Hand Retailers Online Music Distribution Streaming Services Music Media Distribution Unauthorized Distribution Conclusion Further Reading 6. Music Promotion Key Findings Marketing, Branding and Gatekeeping The Promotional Campaign Music Journalism Radio Television Point of Sale Marketing (POS) and In-Store Music Sponsorships and Endorsements Grassroots Marketing Social Media/Mobile Media Conclusion Further Reading 7. The Live Music Industries Key Findings The Resurgence of Live Music A Brief History of the Live Music Industry Motivations for Live Concert Touring Authenticity and Live Performance Live Music Sponsorship Roles and Responsibilities Live Performance Contracts Concert and Festival Ticketing The Relationship between the Recorded and the Live Music Industries Conclusion Further Reading 8. Music Audiences Key Findings Understanding Music Audiences Music on the Move: From the Walkman to the iPhone Music and Social Media Consumption Heritage and Nostalgia Record Collecting Conclusion Further Reading 9. Copyright and Music Piracy Key Findings Introducing Copyright Copyright Basics Key Terms in UK Copyright Law US Copyright Law: Key Differences Collection Societies Music Piracy Music Industry Responses to Piracy Artist Responses to Piracy Conclusion Further Reading 10. Contractual Agreements and Relationships Key Findings Artist Management Agreements Music Publishing Agreements Recording Agreements Conclusion Further Reading Conclusion Complexity and Symbiosis Be Wary of Metanarratives Diversity and Reorganization Where Next? Glossary

About the Author

Martin James is professor of music industries at Southampton Solent University. Martin joined Southampton Solent University from the University of Sunderland in July 2007. He studied for his first degree at Nottingham Trent University where he was awarded a BA (Hons) Communication Studies. He gained an MA Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sunderland, where he also received a PhD. His doctoral thesis was called 'Versioning Histories and Genres', a commentary on his books State of Bass: Jungle - The Story So Far(1997) and French Connections: From Discotheque to Discovery (2002). Prior to becoming a lecturer in 2004, Martin was an internationally renowned music journalist who had worked on the editorial teams of some of the biggest magazines on the market. He also regularly contributed to almost every major music and lifestyle magazine, and numerous daily broadsheet newspapers. Martin has also written several internationally published and critically acclaimed books about music, including biographies of The Prodigy and Dave Grohl. Since 2009 Martin has coordinated Southampton Solent University's associations with some of the UKs finest independent festivals including Glade, Bestival, Camp Bestival, Blissfields and Common People. Through these link-ups our students have been able to gain experience in various areas of music and media performance and production industries. In 2009 Martin organised the University's first music industries conference 'Solent Music Industries Live Event' (SMILE). Featuring some of the biggest names in the world of music sharing their knowledge with students. SMILEfest is now an annual student organised event that includes gigs, club nights, employability challenges, masterclasses and workshops. In 2014 he co-edited the 'Music Journalism Special Edition' of the peer-reviewed International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) journal.In 2015 Martin launched IAMJREP (The International Association of Music Journalism Researchers, Educators and Practitioners), a collaborative venture with scholars throughout the world.


This is an invaluable book for anyone who wants to know how the modern music industry works. Students will find it clear and enjoyable to read, musicians will find it revealing and helpful, and budding music entrepreneurs will find it provides real insights. It is up-to-date, informed by the realty of the modern music business, and balances theory with practice.
Tim Wall
Professor of Radio and Popular Music Studies, Birmingham City University

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