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The Recording Industry

Essay by   •  November 29, 2010  •  Case Study  •  1,275 Words (6 Pages)  •  962 Views

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The Recording Industry

We all listen to music wether we want to or not. Its in our homes, watching TV, driving in our car, going to the store, its unavoidable. Then why is the recording Industry trying to make people feel guilty about burning "illegal" CDs, when we can go to the mall and hear as much music for free as we want . I for one will never feel guilty because I always support the artist I download, by buying his/her cd's or going to their concerts. The industry has always been about money instead of music. They are just mad because consumers have finally figured them out.

The first record created was in eighteen-seventy-seven. The song was Mary Had a Little Lamb. The artist/Inventor was Thomas Edison. Edison had created the worlds first phonograph, capable of playing back up to two to three minutes worth of recordings. His invention started a cultural revolution that went hand in hand with its cousin, the industrial revolution. The idea that sound could be recorded and played back at our pleasure was astonishing. I' am sure no one had in mind the endless profits one could make. Profit was a word that would be associated with music about thirteen years later, because in eighteen-ninety the jukebox was first introduced at a bar in San Francisco. In it's first six months of operation the coin operated machine grossed over one- thousand dollars. It did not take a genius to realize that the United State's was home to thousand's of bar's each capable of making equal or greater value. Thus music and money became synonymous. Singer's and songwriter's were no longer artists, but commodities.

Along with money comes greed and in nineteen-hundred when Thomas Lambert invented a way of mass-duplicating his patent of "indestructible" phonograph cylinder's, and although the patent was upheld in court, costly lawsuit's filed by Edison put him out of business just seven years after his invention.

Record's became an instant hit with the American public. People were flocking to bar's to listen to recorded sound. The library of congress began recording and saving "Sounds of America" to preserve popular and influential music of the time, everything from bluegrass to classical. It was no surprise that the general public soon yearned for their own way of playing record's from the comfort and privacy of their home's. In 1906 a company called victor introduced a enclosed phonograph player that had been designed to look like a piece of furniture. In all, the company would spend eighty-million in advertising the machine to the world. However that is nothing compared to the hundreds of million's that goes into the advertising of new technology today.

The 1920's brought prosperous times to America, however the advent of public radio brought a huge decrease in record player and record sale's. Why would people pay for a record when they could hear the top ten on the radio? Similar to today's lawsuits against the napster's of the internet, a group of record companie's tried to sue public radio for use of their record's. The record sale's went up eventually when they created discs that could hold more than five minutes of recorded sound. The music genre Jazz also greatly lifted the music industry and in my opinion saved the music industry.

Now that the base has been set for record label/production greed, flash forward eighty years to the present. Record Labels are just as greedy and have more control over things we see and hear. For example, Clear Channel Entertainment is the proprietor of Madison Square Garden , that owns the NY Knicks. At the games no music is played that is not on the labels that Clear Channel has invested into.

The Mp3 revolution is similar to the same problem's the recording industry faced with radio and the technology that later enabled us to create our own mixes on cassette tapes. The RIAA (Recording Institute Association of America) will have you believe that numerous amounts of money go into making a CD yet in my research they never gave me a solid dollar amount. What I want to know is if they can come up with numbers for the money they lose from cd pirating why can they not even give us a definitive amount they spend on making the cd? I will tell you why. The cd cost's pennies, the plastic's cost 50 cents , the booklet/ Cover can



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