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

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

VINYL hits 4m in UK Sainsburys launch label Metallica Master Retromania

This is how Sainsbury's announced the launch
Sainsbury’s customers can now pick up some exclusive, freshly pressed vinyl alongside their freshly pressed fruit juices. (Sainsbury's,1st Nov. 2017)

Sadly the vinyl boom, boosted by nostalgia* from the deaths of the likes of Prince and Bowie, whose final album Blackstar was a vinyl bestseller, is led this year by the tragic return from early retirement of Ed Sheeran.

Further evidence of how mainstream this vinyl resurgence is, a major Xmas pressie source, the Gallagher brothers solo records and Sergeant Peppers are joined as major sellers by ... supermarket Sainsbury's own label.

Grab a loaf, milk and a compilation record with some Van der Graaf Generator. Tremendous. Though the only real national music store chain left, HMV, remains the dominant force in vinyl sales for now.

See Guardian: Ed Sheeran and Gallagher brothers lead vinyl revival at HMV. and Sainsbury's announcement.

Here's a very useful video suggested by Richard D:

Simon Reynolds wrote an interesting book, Retromania, about the profound change in the cultural position of music and how its consumed brought about by digitisation. Thanks to YouTube especially, older acts never actually fade away. Pop was always considered ephemeral: pop acts would have their year or so of popularity then fade from the limelight and memory as their teen/tween fanbase got older and bored.
Now we can easily access older acts material, and record labels see back catalogue as a key driver of revenue. Spotify is full of special editions, and even re-recordings (eg Def Leppard's Hysteria), which enable a band to regain control of revenue streams rather than the record label they were signed to for the original album.

The Smiths, The Sex Pistols and Metallica are but 3 recent examples of bands re-releasing iconic albums with lots of studio outtakes, demos etc, sold in multiple packages (with vinyl options in all 3 of these examples). The Master of Puppets boxset was gifted by the Danish PM to his Indonesian equivalent, and you can also treat yourself to the very dull featuring singer James Hetfield's hands, part of the publicity and marketing campaign that kicked in months before the release date.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

WEB 2.0 INDIE Technology loosens record labels hegemony

Part of an in-depth series on the music underground, this is a great article for getting your head round the central concept that digitisation has created opportunity for artists to succeed without relying on record companies for production and distribution - or even on physical sales of recorded music.

This is exemplified most in 2017 by Chance the Rapper – Forbes estimates he made $33m (£25m) this year without the need for a label or even to sell physical music. But, before him, the dubstep and grime scenes in the UK saw a new generation of artists using YouTube for distribution, broadcast and community.

'We could build something revolutionary': how tech set underground music free

Friday, 10 November 2017

REPRESENTATION INDUSTRY Swift tailor-made case study

Taylor Swift’s reputation: will her new album silence her critics?

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

INDUSTRY Vevo the music video giant

Vevo is an entity you need to engage with to show a good grasp of the industry, a case of the music giants combining to monetise and control the distribution of their videos through YouTube.
See Lifewire, Wiki for simple explanations, and look into your own artist for Vevo links.

They're the major music industry force behind the Tory attempt to enforce age ratings on music videos, voluntarily engaging in the BBFC scheme. See this Guardian Music tag for more on this.