Music Industry: Written Report

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Music Industry

Assignment 2 (of 2)
Level 6 - Semester 1
2012/13

Module Leader:
Justin Morey (j.morey@leedsmet.ac.uk) - Room Caedmon 218

Teaching Team:
Bob Brazill
Andrew Fryer
Justin Morey
Sam Nicholls
Guest Speakers tbc.

This assignment is one half of the work required for this module. You will also need to complete Assignment 1.

Assignment 2 (of 2) - Written Report (50%)

Answer one of the following questions (1600-2000 words)

1. You are a member of a band which is receiving considerable interest from major and independent labels. Using examples from the industry, discuss:

i. The advantages and disadvantages, both financial and creative, of signing to a major label, signing to an independent label or rejecting both and retaining ownership of your music. Include your reasons for choosing one of these options over the others (1100-1350 words) ii. Stating your reasons, what commitments you would seek to put into place between band members in both of the following scenarios: (500-650 words): a. The band writes all compositions collectively.

b. The band has one main songwriter, with the other group members contributing to the arrangements.

2. You are looking to start your own record label with three artists, and have a budget of £5000 to cover the recording, production, marketing, promotion and distribution of a physical product such as CD or vinyl.

Using examples from the industry, discuss how you would spend this money most effectively to maximise both sales and exposure, giving reasons both for your choices, and why you have rejected possible alternative approaches. The report must include an appendix detailing your projected expenditure.

3. You are an artist or band with 1000 followers on social media platforms. Using examples from the industry, discuss the steps you would take to promote and make money from your music without releasing a physical product such as CD or vinyl.

4.
“Right now, the companies responsible for content [in the music industry] haven’t accepted the new way of distributing stuff because there is no way to monetise it.” “The band of the future is not going to be a singer, a guitarist and a bass player. It will be a singer, a guitarist, a bass player and a code writer – the guy who does apps, computer animation. That is a group. It is going to be about self-contained content-providers.” “It’s not music that is dead. It’s the people that house it that are dead. The industry I came from ain’t there any more, but it’s pretending to be.” (Will.I.Am, 2010)

“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. There are only three music industry business models you need to worry about in future. These are: 1. Free to consumer
2. Subscription
3. Direct to fan
Free to consumer is either going to be ad or brand funded. For example, mobile handsets may pay for it to decrease churn. A car manufacturer may pay for it as an add-on. Or an ISP like Virgin may bundle it in to their monthly subscription price. Subscription is, for example, Spotify Premium or eMusic. Passionate music fans will pay extra to get functions like shared playlists, editorial, discovery & recommendations. Direct to fan is Topsin, Bandzoogle & Bandcamp. Artists and labels selling high quality or exclusive tracks to their most valuable fans”. (Neil Cartwright, 2012)

With reference to these quotes and other examples/data from the industry, discuss:

i. How changing methods of discovering and acquiring music by consumers present financial and creative challenges to artists, labels and publishers. (1100-1350 words)
ii. The ways in which the music industry will change over the next five years as a result (500-650 words)

5. You are the manager of a new band (musical genre of your choice) that writes all of its own songs. Using examples from the industry,...
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