Deadlines/Brief

Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Monday, 25 April 2016

YOUTUBE attacked by stars pays less than rivals

Only a sixth of what Apple or Spotify pay according to Nikki Sixx, with a stream of big names looking set to launch a high profile campaign including an attempt to change laws to force YouTube to renegotiate.

Nikki Sixx launches campaign to get YouTube to ‘do the right thing’ over music royalties http://gu.com/p/4tt7z?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Sunday, 24 April 2016

MARKETING INDUSTRY Beyonce on HBO, Tidal, fashion range...

Several increasing trends reflected by Beyonces album release:
Convergence: TV the platform for the launch, with an HBO show that...
Played videos for every song on the album, not just the singles
Initial exclusive for one streaming platform, Tidal
There had been no release date, an ironically publicity-generating ploy used before by Beyonce, the late David Bowie and more

Then there was the linkage to a recent launch of a fashion range, and the proximity to the Superbowl half time show, with ongoing controversy over her Black Panther salute seeming very unlikely to damage sales - indeed, this but of grittiness is likely to strengthen the brand.

Beyoncé launches new 'visual album' Lemonade on HBO http://gu.com/p/4tgg5?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Saturday, 23 April 2016

VIDEO MASH-UP DJs From Mar do Depeche Mode Doors Tears

'The text' makes less and less sense as a media studies concept with "the former audience" so commonly turning producer to remix, re-edit, re-imagine, mash-up media institutions published material, with the music industry being a prime example of this postmodern bricolage.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FBPhOeQh8uU&sns=fb

Friday, 22 April 2016

FINANCING Carcass crowdfund album cover with ebook offer

Grindcore/death metallers legends Carcass (a vegetarian band who have developed considerable notoriety for their album art) have launched a modest crowdfunding appeal to cover the cost of a new sleeve design - yet another great example of the web 2.0 "former audience" and that rapid blurring of audience/producer, as well as an example of how the economics and financing of the industry are being transformed by disruptive digital platforms such as this.

Note that they're offering exclusive ebooks as part of this - another means by which artists can monetise their work is tabulating their track arrangements for fans to learn and play; ebooks don't pose the challenges of high production and distribution costs, and publishing does not require a book deal - it can be added to platforms like Kindle and then offered through the likes of Amazon, as well as directly through artist websites (self-publish, self-distribute).

Exclusives are managed in many ways: limited edition digipaks or vinyl with remixes, demos, live recordings, bonus DVD etc or even collectible cover, and book/lets are fairly common too; new album only with a concert ticket (Prince, RIP, did this), music and extras exclusive to website subscribers (Metallica a great example) ...

It also demonstrates convergence - I came across a plug for this on a Facebook group via my phone; good viral marketing.


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

USEFUL TECHNOLOGIES: YouTube Photoshop tutorials

See more on using Photoshop + digipak design in this post + this vodcast.
You needn't be a Photoshop genius to produce some incredible FX in Photoshop - there are 100s of ace designers out there who have shared their knowledge online, producing effective guides. Have a browse and pick out one or more that can help raise your ideas to a higher level, and just follow the step by step guides!

STUDENT EXAMPLE:
2015 IGS A2 student Amber got inspired by a tutorial that looked at an effect that fitted neatly with Lady Gaga's complex relationship with the press (post link):

Here Amber goes through the techniques she used:


Sunday, 17 April 2016

BRANDING DIGIPAK Anthrax album trailer, vinyl, digipak

BRANDING + MARKETING ACROSS MULTIPLE PLATFORMS

What you can learn from this example

- you should have a clear, consistent brand image and concept to promote
- that consistency would extend across multiple platforms and even merchandise
- most artists will change website banners, YouTube icon/banner (etc) to highlight their latest release or tour
- artists increasingly create video content that can be shared (ideally go viral) ... even short promo clips for an album with self-filmed interview-style footage
- artists also increasingly embrace and create content that was seen as typical of UGC/fan-made videos, notably the lyric video
- you can present research into any coursework topic by creating content that takes on a recognised media format: magazine feature, radio or TV interview/chat show appearance, e-zine interview (more informal, including setting), podcast ...
- the Anthrax Twitter's most recent update was on Record Store Day - formats like these are ideal to convey your grasp of industry topics like the role of vinyl; the issues around streaming and revenues; influences ... even technology ...
- ... it could the album producer, songwriter, video director, video editor or cinematographer (especially to discuss technology used: hardware or software) sleeve art designer, record label executive, band management, fans, ... there are many options. Great website content, research evidence, Evaluation content...
The self-produced Anthrax new album promo is like an interview or TV feature

Pics to be added - a bang up to date example of the multi-formatting that forms part of the marketing for many album releases now.

Unlike many other examples, this isn't a reissue - indeed, the thrash godfathers have put up a video of interviews to trail the album release, with the YouTube description featuring US and UK links for different formats.

Look out for magazine ads for this - drop me a link if you see one.

As usual, convergence is evident here: someone posted a link in a FB group pointing to a metal news site that had their own video which in turn linked to the band/record label's trail video...all accessed, viewed, clicked, read and blogged on through my phone - albeit pictures, saved from phone, formatting and tagging will have to wait til I'm sat at a PC/Macbook!


THE ANTHRAX ALBUM PROMO


ANTHRAX DRUMMER INTERVIEWED FOR AN E-ZINE'S PODCAST SERIES, AND E-ZINE ARTICLE ON THIS!

VINYL AUDIENCE half left unplayed, core 25+ audience

When discussing industry changes and practices you need to be precise - give figures, provide quotes from informed industry/academic figures, details from reports/surveys, and make a clear link into audience habits ...

This article is a good example of precisely the sort of research material you should be accessing, blogging on, and reflecting ('applying') within your evaluation (and potentially exam Q1a/1b too).



SAMPLE SECTION FROM ARTICLE:



Read full article here.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

CIE blog improvements summary

Research + Planning improvement points
(1) review/proofread, especially for presentation: well illustrated? hyperlinks? embedded material [not links to this]? no small text? clear sub-headings? embedded material? any 'TBC'? logical post order/date? 
sans spacing!
This is obviously a HORRIBLY presented post!!! Text should never be allowed to dominate on a blog post, especially a long one. It was worse until I at least added some space between points! [see screenshot fragment] Oh ... and tags! No hyperlinks, almost no imagery, nothing embedded (though clear sub-headings, font + colour + size variation...)
(2) is your journey clear? have you reflected on shoots, edits, feedback? posted alternative versions you tried in editing? evidenced FCPX/P'shop (etc) tools you used over time? is there detail on each shoot? DETAIL on each edit (what changes, why; evidence of experimenting: short scenes with different edits [eg FX]; any feedback on this cut; how this cut reflects previous feedback; tools used; planned further changes...); have you used podcasts to anchor the sense of journey? 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

CIE Eval Q3a AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT

CIE Evaluation Q3 asks:
How do your products engage with the audience and how would they be distributed as real media products?
This ('3a') is similar to the UK OCR Eval Q3, which looks at the narrower issue of audience feedback - but in practice is essentially an overview of engagement with the audience.

KEY POINTS:
  • provide a very clear, specific breakdown of your primary and secondary target audiences
  • screenshots from blog posts/links lists are useful to help hammer home you are APPLYING research (assuming you have!)
  • set out the web 2.0 framework: how has digitisation changed the way artists engage with audiences? If you're covering this is more detail for another answer, say so but give a brief summary
  • consider the mode of address of your texts: direct gaze to camera? use of I/we/you/us in any writing? direct invite to interact with the artist? the look (branding) of costume, choice of locations: distant/ultra-glamorous or humble/relatable (maybe a mix)? implied representation of audience in the video or elsewhere? intertextuality?
  • did you include a viral element in the digipak and website? (you really, really should) discuss in detail if so
  • website and social media: how widely did you exploit modern tools to engage with the audience and how - include plentiful examples, and detail any branding involved. audience feedback? research or feedback on early ideas? use fansites? Facebook groups? Twitter/Instagram hashtags?
  • IF you got any responses (the 2015 A2 Lady Gaga is a great example - they ended with 100s of followers) were these useful, productive? SHOULD artists be close to audiences or maintain more of a mystique?
  • sum up: did you engage successfully/as well as you might? is there anything you can now say you should have done?


UK EQUIVALENT STUDENT ANSWERS
CIE Q3b is fairly similar to the OCR (UK) Q3. Here are some examples:
compare the thoroughness of links lists with yours...
Kate (see below) smartly made sure her understanding of points linked to other answers would be credited


Amber: popstar/Madonna clone Lady Gaga 
This isn't so well presented, and would clearly benefit from more substantial engagement with audience theory, but is especially useful as an example of depth of engagement with audiences. This production partnership (here's Conal's) made extensive use of social media, attracting a sizeable following, dipped into fancies, and took every opportunity to test out their work with a variety of audiences, consistently noting the response and their thoughts and consequent planned actions.

CIE Eval Q2 BRANDING

CIE Q2: How do the elements of your production work together to create a sense of branding?

This is very similar to the UK OCR Q2, which considers how well the 3 components work as an overall package.


PREPARATION FOR THIS ANSWER:
Research existing examples: look at some examples of a single act/artist's website/album cover/video and assess how tightly integrated (in mood/tone, not just direct visuals) they are or aren't. You could discuss how likely it is that videos especially would be directly linked to digipak or website design (usually multiple videos for any album, often from different directors...).
Create a grid with 3 columns: video, digipak, website/online (you could split online [social media] into a 4th).
Start with video and note any feature which is replicated or similar in 1 or both of the other 2 (include branding for YouTube, Twitter etc profiles with website). Take screenshots as you go for use in answer.
Work through digipak and online content too, check if there's anything you missed (there may be some links just between these 2 but not video).
Think again: consider the mode of address, maybe in/formal, humble/brash, accessible/distant ... what MOOD have you created? (the visual links may not be so direct, so you may not have considered branding like this)
Review your notes - can you see themes/issues you can link together? Can you see opportunities to apply theories (eg web 2.0, intertextuality, postmodernism more widely)?
Organise your response into clear sections/themes.
You could also seek audience feedback: question a sample, ask them to describe the brand image.
Provide a short summary: this should include your thoughts on how you might have improved on this!

SIMPLE SUGGESTED STRUCTURE FOR YOUR ANSWER:
Discuss, with examples, how typical or not it is to tightly integrate 3 distinct media formats (you'll find examples that do and examples that don't!) - do websites especially tend to change to reflect new releases (yes!).
Brief outline of the artist's existing brand and likely audience.
Brief outline of the brand and likely audience you were aiming for. If it helps, what product (or other existing artist) would you compare this brand to?!
For creative content, consider what brands/products this artist might agree to advertise, which company would pay them to be a 'brand spokesperson' (and create an ad!). Interview with (or promo package by) a design agency and their creative team.
Outline the links between your texts, taking 1 clear theme at a time, and thoroughly illustrating how these link across 2 or more of your texts. As you do, be very clear if you have taken separate photographic images for print work (a good thing!) rather than just use video screenshots.
Provide a summary, including assessment of any changes you now think you should have made

KEY POINTS:
  • define your primary and secondary target audiences (who the branding is aimed at!!!)
  • sum up the existing branding for the artist - is the existing audience the same as yours?
  • are you changing the brand image? if so, how/why?
  • how zeitgeisty (or perhaps retro - Retromania?) is your branding?
  • what role did social media play in binding together the video, digipak and website branding?
  • did you brand the YouTube and social media profiles? (consider the branding across the websites and social media observed in my exemplar case studies)
  • be clear and specific not just on the detailed links between your texts but any differences within these (e.g. the singer in the video setting/costume, but a unique photographic pose)
  • it can be very helpful to ask yourself (as many artists and their managers will): if an existing brand was to sponsor your artist, which would it be and why?


UK STUDENT EXAMPLES
Amber: Lady Gaga

Conal (Amber's group partner): Lady Gaga

Kate: Girls Aloud (pop '00s girlband)
Clear, well illustrated vodcast, and Kate also made clear links within other Eval Qs - a good idea!


Curtis: dance act Faithless
Detailed and largely well illustrated, he closely followed my suggested structure. Curtis also embedded a range of videos from earlier in the blog in this post -
it is a smart move to very clearly link/demonstrate the range of research you are APPLYING through this answer, with playlists/embeds/screenshots (of posts, links lists), list of links, tags etc!

...

CIE Eval Q1a CONVENTIONS

Also see Chief Examiner's guide (for UK spec, but very similar, as is exam) 

This question provides an easy opportunity to elevate the level of your response using theories you'll need to engage with for exam Q1a/1b; have you thought of how you can discuss genre theories here for example? 

Take a moment to consider carefully the question (I've added 1a/b), and the very specific terms selected:

Q1: (1a) How do your products use or challenge conventions and (1b) how do they represent social groups or issues?

CIE Eval Q3b DISTRIBUTION

See also: INDUSTRY ISSUES SUMMARY Digital streamed past physical in 2015
CIE Evaluation Q3 asks:
How do your products engage with the audience and how would they be distributed as real media products?
As part of your background research you should investigate how the music industry works, considering issues such as those below - a more extensive list of issues can be found in this post:
  • who are the 'big three' (now big two?) of the music industry?
  • what's the difference between Indie and conglomerate or subsidiary (consider vertical and horizontal integration + synergy - terms from AS learning)?
  • how has digitisation impacted ('disrupted') the music industry?
  • has streaming effectively replaced lost revenues from physical media sales for artists and labels?
  • how else are musicians seeking to monetise their work, brand and fanbase?
  • why is vinyl making a comeback, and how wide or narrow a range of artists/genres are publishing in this format? is it just for older, nostalgic audiences (Simon Reynolds: Retromania)? 
  • do you still need a record label/deal? think about Soundcloud, Vimeo, YouTube ... but also how difficult it is to make real money from streaming (Harlem Shake for the opposite!), and Elberse's argument/case studies (Jay-Z and Gaga) in Blockbusters (cheap as an e-book)
  • does the rise of crowdfunding, Kickstarter etc, prove the audience/producer divide is dead?
  • are social media interactions as important as the music itself?
  • where does video fit into this picture? consider convergence and what this means for the increased accessibility of video and the expansion of video production too (you're a part of this), plus UGC such as lyric videos and digipak/CD unwrapping videos
Evaluation Q3 asks:
How do your products engage with the audience and how would they be distributed as real media products?
Focusing mainly on the second part of this, use the following resources to create a post on music video distribution. You should make some reference to recorded (CD) music distribution too, linked to your digipak, and any notes/examples on marketing, social media and audience engagement/interaction will also help.



CREATIVE APPROACHES
Interview a record shop owner
International Record Store Day feature
Interview someone (or multiple people/roles) at the record label 
The artist does a promo for record store day, or speaks out about why they're unhappy with YouTube especially...
Band/act's accountant discusses their hits/streams/followers/subscribers data (screenshots!) on any streaming platform they are on (soundcloud, YT, Spotify...). Don't forget that lyric vids etc are still distributing the music

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

INDUSTRY ISSUES SUMMARY Digital streams past physical

IN THIS POST: extensive lists of points you might cover to demonstrate your grasp of the music industry. There are lists on digital disruption; the changing audience/producer relationship; the morphing album format; changes with music video ... A LOT of points are covered.
Use this post with DISTRIBUTION overview (especially for Eval Q3) 

Some thoughts and a list of various issues/examples linked to the impact of digitisation (and convergence - the two should always be linked) on the music industry, the album format and the music video, with some points on marketing (which the video is of course part of) too. I've blogged on everything mentioned below. Don't quote me in coursework - find the source/s I've used or do your own search for other quotable media articles.

Books on music video

Be aware that there is an extensive links list (pictured below) for books on music video. See more on books for all elements of A2 Media here.

Especially useful:

Keith Negus' Popular Music in Theory: incredibly useful for both coursework and exam, this gives you a summary of media theories applied to music. Great for the Evaluation, but also blogging about audience; brilliant for both Q1 and Q1b of the exam. It is quite old, but still useful.

Not particularly academic but very useful for the history of music vids, + refs/analysis to/of many vids and directors you won't have heard of (but which could give you ideas), is Austerlitz' Money For Nothing: A History of the Music Video From The Beatles to The White Stripes. You can of course try a general music video (book) search, and you'll come up the likes of this. Austerlitz provides a history of the music video and how it developed over time, and mentions (details) lots of examples you won't have come across - but which might help for ideas. Such examples may also end up being used in your exam too.

CIE A2 coursework overview

...
ALSO: See this summary of common issues with coursework.



...

CIE EVALUATION Q1b REPRESENTATIONS

you can find more on the Evaluation overall in this hub post.

CIE Q1b 'how does it represent social groups or issues'

DIRECT EXAM LINK:
This is essentially practice for the first half of your exam: the Q1b REPRESENTATION topic.
You need to consider and select a range of theories from your MANGeR pack, and apply both elements of semiotics when you provide examples:
  • specific and precise denotation
  • analysis of possible connotations 

Work through the embedded PowerPoint below for a range of suggested theories and terms


THE STUART HALL ISSUE:
How YOU planned to represent and have audiences respond to people and places in your video etc is not necessarily how they did - it would be useful to include some audience feedback and reflection on this. Where was there polysemy that enabled some audience members (perhaps of certain demographics: gender? age? nationality?) to give a negotiated or even oppositional reading?

REPRESENTATION OF WHO OR WHAT? + AUDIENCE ISSUES
You can approach this question in two fundamental ways: tackling one category of representation at a time OR separately analysing each character and place in turn. Representation is a major issue for audience.

CIE Eval Q4 Technologies

you can find more on the Evaluation overall in this hub post.

CIE Q4
HOW DID YOU INTEGRATE TECHNOLOGIES - SOFTWARE, HARDWARE AND ONLINE - IN THIS PROJECT?
***You MUST analyse your technology use in the Evaluation, including this question, in your answer!!!***
****You also MUST consider how you INTEGRATED technologies - combined and used these for multiple purposes (eg editing and YouTube for R+P and Evaluation, not just for the final music video/digipak/website)**** 
Consider how YOUR DESIGN/PRODUCTION COMPANY might benefit from or be penalised by digitisation - apply your exam-centred work, all that instiutional knowledge on how the highly converged, digitally disrupted music industry works...
Two posts closely linked to the DISTRIBUTION question/issue are also useful for this: a very detailed list of digitisation/industry issues; and a more specific consideration of distribution. 

                                           A useful gif.


CIE Evaluation overview

CIE NOTE: This is formally named the CREATIVE CRITICAL REFLECTION


THE CIE BRIEF:music promotion packageA promotion package for the release of an album, to include a music video (major task), together with a website for the band and a digipak for the album’s release (minor tasks).

You are marked not just on answering the question, but also for:
  • creativity in how you do so
  • using critical theory and self-critiquing [exam q1a/1b!!!]
  • use of technology to do so
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This is a 'hub' post for BOTH the CIE version of the A2 Media Evaluation AND the UK (OCR) spec on which it's based.  Use the hyperlinks below to find specific posts/guides on the 4 CIE/ OCR questions. See here for CIE blog guide.
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IN THIS POST:
  • The 4 CIE A2 Evaluation ('creative critical reflection') questions
  • The UK/CIE Evaluations compared
  • Your final post order
  • How to present your answers
  • Technologies to consider
  • How to be creative
  • 24-page coursework overview


Sunday, 10 April 2016

UGC-style self mash-up: Depeche Mode's Martyr

I wasn't so sure myself if this was UGC or official, but apparently, yes, it is the 'real' deal!
A short post this one...
Its not the first time I've used Depeche Mode to exemplify postmodernism (or layering for that matter!) ... and, okay, I'm a fan so I'm more inclined to note what they do

But ... this is a great example of a band - amongst the world's highest selling, who have been selling global stadia for decades now - using something that has the look of a fan-made video, or UGC, as an official release.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

MARKETING REISSUES Depeche Mode remaster videos


I'm sure they've released a NEW video for a 1985 single too - but I can't find it.

Indisputably, in another sign of how YouTube is becoming key to monetising back catalogue, there have been REMASTERED videos issued through Warner-EMI...


Thursday, 7 April 2016

WEB 2.0 Madonna adds Meerkat to promo campaign

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the big 3 of social media (as of April 2016 anyway..) - there are many more significant options boiling away just below mainstream radar ... and chances are Madonna will be on it!

There's another point here - social media has not REPLACED artist websites, but rather taken a complementary position: social media content is all over such websites. In this case the video premiere is jointly through Madonna's website and the Meerkat app.

You can question the usefulness of relatively obscure social media, but there are benefits...
  1. New or lesser social media will make more effort to push content from stars that could get lost in the noise of larger rivals like Twitter
  2. It makes for good branding - older star at the cutting edge, with tech early adopters being younger, so helping such artists to refresh their audience base
  3. Of course, it can also invite ridicule!

Hyperlink below the line


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

DIGITISATION INDUSTRY Indie strategy for online future

As you embark on creating your own texts and campaigns, try to be mindful of the economic context, which, just as with the film industry, includes a very uneven playing field for Indies compared to the majors. Despite the technotopia imagined by some web 2.0 theorists/evangelists, the reality is proving tough indeed...
Link below the line

Theory and music video

There are many posts on this (I'm reviewing tags on an ongoing basis to make this easier to find), but just spotted a useful weebly post from another centre, highlighting a range of theories which can usefully be applied: http://a2cw.weebly.com/theory.html.

A great resource for Evaluation work and exam prep
Example: 

INDUSTRY It's the Vinyl Countdown

Here's why including a vinyl (limited) edition, as the Joy Division group did a few years back, alongside the digipak makes sense...


Sales of vinyl could hit 2m in 2015, and have now been given their own chart by the official top 40 company.

Expensive remastered vinyl packages continue to abound, especially from longer established acts. Adam Ant (huge in the early/mid 80s), for example, is currently taking one past album at a time and reissuing in vinyl as a set with plentiful unreleased material and plush packaging as part of the deal. How does £40 for a Dirk Wears White Sox package sound to you (£60 if signed)? [update, 2016: limited stock/offer, here's the main store link]

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

DIGITISATION INDUSTRY Infographic on streams needed for minimum wage

We keep hearing that revenues have collapsed from physical media sales, but what about the explosion in streaming and associated revenues? This article puts some figures on that ... using an infographic - good example of how you might this within your blog (or in Evaluation)!
Hyperlink below the line


UGC unboxing digipak/special editions videos

This is primarily an audience, UGC activity but as with lyric videos artists themselves, as one means of seeming to put themselves on a level with their fans (uses and gratifications), have engaged in this.

Below: James Hetfield (Lars?) unboxes a deluxe re-release - useful on multiple levels:
  • the importance of repackaged re-release sets
  • re-mastering
  • outtakes, demos, alternative versions
  • live recordings
  • multi-format: CD, DVD, LP
  • vinyl and Record Store Day
  • additional media: book and patch
  • sold through the band's website
  • the normally UGC of unboxing


Saturday, 2 April 2016

WEB 2.0 audience FB remains dominant


There is a widespread perception that as parents and grandparents have increasingly signed up to FB so the young have abandoned it in favour of social media not frequented by adults.

This is simply untrue.

As this article makes clear, FB remains the dominant social media for the young, an important consideration for film distributors and music industry publicists alike!

Friday, 1 April 2016

PIRACY, AUDIENCE How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt

There are a lot of highly enjoyable reads on music and the music industry. Austerlitz's history of the music video is a must-read; Simon Reynolds' Retromania puts together a strong argument on the changing nature of the audience for music, and Ralph Negus has done a fantastic overview of academic theory around music and audiences.

Whichever artist you're working on, you will be able to find books on them, their influences, their genre which help throw up ideas. As a result of so frequently name-checking Madonna when discussing Lady Gaga through the 2015 A2 Bad Romance production, I tracked down the hefty bio on her, a great read, and reinforcing the view that the likes of Gaga 'borrow' hugely from the Madonna playbook.

Witt's book, just out, I haven't read yet, but covers the span of two decades in which a bloated music industry exploited digital technology to charge fans to re-purchase music many already owned on vinyl or cassette. This hubris would come back to bite them as digital piracy took off, an early indicator that the traditional passive producer-audience relationship was unstable and set for disruption under what would become web 2.0...
Article/infographic link below the line