How has the Internet been used to market Rock music?
The music industry Is a multi billion pound industry with over 4 billion CD’s Sold last year. In 2002 for the first time, Rock became the best selling genre. Its shares of sales increased to reach 31%, which was an increase of 3 % according to BPI web statistics. Rock Music originated from rhythm and blues in the 1950’s its main characteristics were the use of electric guitars, a strong rhythm and often lyrics targeted at young people. Artists such as buddy holly, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley were popular artists.
In the 1950’s, in the 1950’s Music was marketed very differently to how it is now, there were few mediums compared to the amount there are now. The only forms of advertising were on the radio or posters. Since then music marketing has become the multi billion pound business that it now is. Rock music’s popularity started to increase in the late 90’s due to the birth of ‘Nu Metal’ and ‘Pop Punk’. Both combined rock, with other more popular genres such as hip-hop and pop music. The lyrics were easy to relate to and the music was instantly popular. Since then Rock Music’s Appeal has meant it is now targeted at a different audience.
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It is now targeted at both males and Females from the age of 10 years old to 30. Ross Robinson who can be viewed as one of ‘Nu Metals’ Founding fathers after producing albums from artists such as ‘Korn’,’Amen’ and ‘slipknot’ agrees that since ‘nu metal’ rock has been targeted at a lot larger audience ” Nu metal has been around for a while, but has not been so largely distributed, it is the biggest thing since the Grunge era and has been hugely successful, nu metal has been so easily accessible that it has attracted a much larger audience to Rock music, it has made people open their eyes to music that they didn’t know existed until Nu Metal ”
Commercial music magazines have been running since the 1970’s. ‘Kerrang’ The Uk’s top selling rock music magazine has been running since 1989 when it started as a small publication, since then Kerrang is considered worldwide as an authority when it comes to Rock music, it has a weekly circulation of 4840 according to the national readership survey (NRS). Magazines have been very important in the marketing of music, they have allowed for readers to learn about bands, discover new bands, read reviews of songs.
As well as the commercial magazines there have always been Fanzines. Fanzines were started in the late 1960’s by fans of rock music, these allowed music fans to write their own reviews and portray their own opinions often they were about a single artist or band. The Fanzines were often published from people’s bedrooms on very small budgets, the circulation was sometimes as low as 10 magazines per issue often hand written.
The introduction of computer Equipments allowed fanzines to evolve and meant many people were creating their own fanzines in homage to their favourite bands and genres of music, advances in technology sometimes meant the fanzines were of such a good quality that they could not be told apart from the larger publications, The invention of the Internet allowed for ‘E – Zines’ to begin, these were electronic Fanzines online, E- Zines were very cheap to produce, and allowed for a potential audience of millions It also allowed for a greater freedom of speech.
As Fanzines went online, so did magazines, with websites such as kerrang. com emerging in the year 2000. Kerrang is now owned by Emap PLC, a large media group who own over 150-consumer magazines worldwide, 18 radio stations, 7 digital music TV channels and another 200 businesses. , It is organised into four different operating divisions. Consumer media, communications, performance and France. Emap employs over 5000 people and owns 50 offices around the world. Last year Emap made a profit of i??191 million and are one of the FTSE’s 100 largest companies.
Economically this means the budget for Kerrang is large, this allows for them to be able to be of a higher quality then other publications, it allows them to be able to put more money into advertising their product and also it allows for them to be able to fill the magazine with much more content including interviews with larger and more popular artists that smaller publications would not be able to interview either due to the fact a label would not allow a small publication to, or due to financial aspects.
Bigmonsterhitslittletokyo. com Is a small, independently owned E-zine, since it began in February 2003 492303 people have visited the website, initially it was set up by just one person who ran the site on his own. Since then the number of people working on the zine has grown. There are many differences between a large music website such as ‘Kerrang’ and an E-Zine such as Bigmonster The most obvious difference between the two websites is the designs of them both, after going to the bigmonsterhitslittletokyo. om website I am greeted by an image of a Cartoon monster, this is a reflection of the audience that the website is targeted at which is males and females between the ages of 15 and 20, with Kerrang I am straight onto their main page, it is clear even from a first look that kerrang’s looks far better designed then the bland grey website of bigmonster, this is due to Kerrang having a much larger budget then bigmonster which is run without making any form of profit , domain , hosting and Url Fee’s amount to i??170. 0 annually, to keep Bigmonster running and online , it advertises for record labels and artists, it is paid i??20 to display each advertisement banner by ‘sore point records’, advertising on websites is a good way of advertising a product , especially for record labels , zines allow for both cost effective and precise advertising for record labels , the zines often have the same target audience as some labels or bands do.
There are no other adverts on the website for any other products, This is a huge difference to Kerrangs website, they have advertisements for ‘Snickers’, ‘Aloud. com’ who are also part of the Emap group, ‘Kerrang Radio’ which is Kerrang’s radio station, this shows how big a website kerrang is compared to bigmonster Kerrang is marketed at a more mainstream audience then Bigmonster it is in their interest to, Kerrang. om not only contains information, it also promotes ‘Kerrang TV’ ‘Kerrang magazine’ and ‘Kerrang Radio’. This is evident from the bands that they have featured on the site; the main feature on the site is about ‘Muse’ Bigmonster is marketed at a more niche audience the main feature on the same day is an interview with ‘Thursday’ who are a much smaller and less popular band then ‘Muse’, it is in Kerrang’s interest to have an article on a larger artist as they need to appeal to a larger audience.
Having an article on a bigger more popular artist means that more people will buy the magazine to read the article, it also means that the artists label will be grateful for front page coverage of one of their artists and as a result will give Kerrang more work. It is also assumed that bigmonsters audience have more knowledge about music then Kerrangs audience and thus will be more interested in some smaller artists who might not be as well known.
Both Bigmonster and Kerrang review CD’s, Bigmonster is generally very positive about the music that it reviews, This is because though bigmonster wants to provide an honest insight into the music that it reviews it is still a very small website, if it was seen to being negative about an artist a label or publicist might not allow bigmonster to work with that label or artist again. Whilst bigmonsterhitslittletokyo. com wrote this about ‘Deja Entendu’ by the pop punk band ‘Brand New’ Overall this is a good album, different to most other Pop Punk bands at the moment” Kerrang wrote this “If you have heard Your New Favourite Weapon you shouldn’t bother with Deja Entendu” As Kerrang is a large company who have been published for a long time they have much more access to bands then Bigmonster and as a result can risk being negative about bands and state more of an opinion without running the risk of not working with the artist or the artists label again.
It would not be in a labels interest to stop working with Kerrang as it is popular, has a good circulation as a magazine and the website is viewed by over 8000 people daily. Bigmonsters interviews have a lot more depth then Kerrangs, it is assumed that the audience have more knowledge of the artist who is being interviewed. Kerrang’s news section has much more news then bigmonster’s news section, in bigmonsters news section the main news is actually about the updating of the website, whilst kerrang’s is about the music industry as a whole.
Kerrang are able to do this being a bigger website as they are sent more press releases by labels and bands publicists then bigmonster is, Kerrang also work with news production companies, these gather stories from across the world, they then package them and sell them to publications and websites, Kerrang can then pick the stories they like and use them Kerrang can do this as it has a large budget set aside for buying stories.
Bigmonster however has to depend on finding its own stories and press releases that it receives from publicists and labels, as bigmonster grows it may start to work with more labels in a pursuit to work with larger artists, this will eventually allow for more news. As well as the Internet being used to market music, it has also been blamed for a recent fall in sales of CD’s The International Federation of the phonographic industry (IFPI) announced that global music sales had declined by 7 % in 2002.
Though they acknowledged that the fall in sales could also be partly due to the economy the blame was placed on file sharing networks and mp3 websites. According to Jay Berman from the IFPI “The industry’s problems reflect no fall in the popularity of recorded music, they reflect the fact that the commercial value of music is being widely devalued by mass copying and piracy” ‘Napster’ was one of these file-sharing networks and was one of the most popular in its time online.
In July 2000 it was ordered to stop and shut down its servers. The RIAA, which represents companies such as BMG, Sony Music, Warner Music Group and EMI, called Napster a “hijacker” of intellectual property and claimed it had cost the music industry more than $300m in lost sales Napster argued that users were not violating copyrights by trading songs for free because they were sharing files for non-commercial use.
Eventually Napster was closed down, but re emerged with a legal version owned by Warner brothers, allowing for legal mp3 downloads of artists from labels who are part of the time Warner group which includes ‘Warner brothers records’, ‘Reprise Records’ and ‘Sire records’ this has not proved as successful as the original napster which allowed for much more variance. More Recently the website ‘mp3. com’ which allowed not only large artists but also independent artists to upload their mp3’s to the Internet was closed down for violating copyright laws.
On September the 8th 2003 the RIAA attempted to sue 261 music fans for sharing music on their computers, including children as young as fourteen years old. The RIAA were heavily criticised in the media for doing this, it was also feared that this would be the end of the music industry. People around the world were starting to boycott large record labels including some artists that the RIAA were trying to protect “personally i just can’t see any good in coming from punishing people for being music fans and making the effort to hear new music. ‘m almost tempted to go onto kazaa and download some of my own music, just to see if the riaa would sue me for having mp3’s of my own songs on my hard-drive. ” – Moby And as a result independent music sales began to rise. Eventually as a result of so much bad press and fears of them loosing money due to their decision the RIAA decided to not sue some of the people, instead demanding that they pay settlement costs or face lawsuits.
In conclusion Websites are used to promote music through reviews , news and interviews , in Kerrangs case they also promote their magazine , and radio station which are their other forms of promoting music. There are some major differences between a larger music website and a smaller website , these are mainly due to money , and experience , a larger website such as kerrang. com is allowed much more freedom and is given many more opportunitys then a smaller website such as bigmonsterhitslittletokyo. om , They are given the opportunity to interview the larger bands , being a larger website also means they have more acsess to the larger record labels and as a result are provided with much more information including news. The writing on both websites is of a good level and there is little difference between them though as Kerrang are considered an authority when it comes to rock music are allowed to show more criticism towards an artist then a smaller website would be allowed.