Topic 1.3 Music

On balance, what are the biggest challenges and benefits to the music industries that come from digital communication and distribution?

Challenges include maintaining intellectual property and earning income however the benefits include reaching a greater audience, the need for less resources for artists to be discovered, the potential for a wider audience (not just larger but more varied) to be reached and more quickly. As an artist, costs can be reduced for creation, output and distribution of music.

Do current laws adequately address the affordances of digital media (ie do they account for what web media can actually do compared to analog media forms 20 years ago)?

Current laws are archaic and do not address any of the issues of remixing, intellectual property, fair use downloading, rights of artists over rights of record producers and these laws do not address that more and more music is being made web-friendly.

Is radio a dying form in the face of iPods, iPhones and a million other devices capable of playing personalised musical playlists?

Radio is still strong despite some fears it has nowhere to go. With the recent advent of digital radio and stations being able to specialise more to suit the audience, radio will always have a place in people’s lives especially for news, sport and as a background distraction. When the tsunami/fourth world war/meteor hits, it will be the radio we turn to because the internet won’t work (due to extensive blackouts).

Core Reading

Everything is a Remix from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Ferguson, K. (2010). Everything is a Remix – Part One. Retrieved from

Kot, G. (2009). Napster vs. Metallica. In Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music (pp. 25-39). New York: Scribner.  [eReserve]

Wikstrom, P. (2010). The Social and Creative Music Fan. In The Music Industry: Music in the Cloud (pp. 147-169). Polity. [eReserve]

Berry, R. (2006). Will the iPod Kill the Radio Star? Profiling Podcasting as Radio. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 12(2), 143 -162. doi:10.1177/1354856506066522 [via Library Catalogue]


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