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MUS209 Music Business

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MUS209 Music Business

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MUS209 Music Business

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Course Code: MUS209
University: Macquarie University

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Country: Australia

Question:
For this assessment task you were required to answer the following question: If you were organizing a tour, what music business practices would need to be in place to ensure a positive outcome?This assignment relates to the following Learning Outcomes:Analyse industry practices in order to discover new knowledge concerning the music business.Interpret and evaluate various music business contracts in order to design contractual relationships between artists and other parties, including (but not limited to) artist managers, agents, producers, record companies, and song publishing companies.Apply professional and personal judgment and initiative regarding the complexity, ambiguity and diversity that is generated by the changing music business environment.Describe the history of the music business and locate their own arguments within a broad historical context.
Answer:
Introduction:

Music industry refers to the general network of parties involved in the creation, recording, promotion, performance and management of the business of music. The purpose of this essay is to understand the music industry practices and various business contracts in the industry. This essay will interpret various contractual relationships between the parties in music business, the complexity and diversity that is generated by the changes in the business environment and the history of music business.
The music industry involves a number of intermediaries (Clayton 2013). The industry practices which would ensure a positive outcome for a tour, includes a writer to create to work, a composer to produce the music, a publisher to invest in and find the artist, a record company to record and distribute the work. Once the work is ready then the phonogram is manufactured and the product is promoted and distributed. The music industry requires and entertains various contracts to design the contractual relationship between the artists and agents, producers, artist manager, publishing companies and record companies and others. A contract is a binding agreement between the parties to create contractual obligations between them and is enforceable by the law. A binding agreement between the music artist and the agent sets out the duties and rights of the agent in the context of music creation. By the agreement, the musician employs an agent with respect to the services, endeavours and appearances as a musician. The contract requires the artist to provide sample of work to the agent for securing assignments. The agent shall be bound to take reasonable effort to protect the work of the artist from any loss or damage by his own negligence. The contract between artists and artist manager should include the common clauses like, power of attorney to appoint the manager for the terms of the agreement and of any extensions as the attorney-in-fact of the Artist; the limitation of appointment of the manager as to the jurisdiction and authority of him as a personal manager related to the career of artist in the industry; the entitlement of the manager to a percentage of the contracts and commitments in existence or negotiated or offered during the term (Morrow 2013). The Music Managers Forum United Kingdom is a representative body of artist management. The publishing agreement is an agreement between songwriters or songwriter with a publisher to usually transfer the ownership of all or any of their present, past and future work to the publisher to enable the publisher to exploit the work on behalf of them. This agreement arranges to pay a share of the revenue received, to the songwriter by the publisher. This contract empowers the publisher to exercise sole right to administer the interests of the publisher and writer. The contract assigns the publishers and their successors all the rights and interest of the result of the work of the writer and the composing services. A recording contract is required where an artist enters into an agreement with record labels to allow them to take the ownership of the work and the right of exploitation in return of a share of royalty. The terms of the contract usually require the artist to sign the record label exclusively, which means that the Artist will provide his service as a recording artist for the recording company exclusively within the territory and not for any other entity, without permission. The contract also disables the artist to re-record, reproduce, remix or distribute any recording generated within the terms of the contract without authorisation. This contract also grants the company a perpetual right to use the name of the artist for the purpose of any recording made under the agreement. The contractual relationship between the music artist and the producer consists the terms which requires the producer to use their best efforts to produce the work of the Artist. The contract would entitle the producer to a consideration for their services and until such payment is made, the work of the Artist shall remain the property of the producer. The Artist should ensure that all the commercialization of his work would give credit to the producer under the agreement. The producer will also ensure that his services would not contain any sample that is unauthorised under the terms of the contract.
The current changes that is happening in the business industry are the result of the factors like, technological, cultural, social, legal and economic factors. Music industry is based on based and dependent on many complex media products (Negus 2013). From several past years, music industry experienced through a concentration of ownership to international corporations with the resources, having focus on small number of superstars. This changing nature of business has resulted into prioritise protection given to the large up front investments by the larger players using their size as an advantages to the market control. The smaller players have experienced less capacity to operate in the marketplace, as they do not receive sufficient support by anti-trust regulation and fair intermediaries. An increasing control over several stages of production and the distribution process, known as vertical integration, has been noticed over past few decades in the music industry. Vertical integration can limit the creator from accessing various channels to get potential audience, which is the most important requisites of cultural market. This changes resulted in amalgamation of the organisations which produce recorded music and the organisations which owned copyrights of the music recorded. This have resulted in a consolidated industrial landscape. The changes in the legal factors have also contributed to the complexity in the industry. The development in the copyright rules, created a risk of misusing the extension in the term of copyright provided under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The current internet trends has generated certain transformation in the music industry. The record companies are given less importance as they have lost the control which used to allow them to keep music price high causing a profit to them. This changes has another side which helps the artist to record, produce high quality music with the use of software from anywhere, which has ultimately required to record label to lose their market place. The publishing agencies have also received a backlash form the rise of social media, as the emergence and popularity of websites has helped the artist to create, compose, promote or publish their work to the public without baring the huge cost.
During the mid-nineteenth century, the primary product of music industry was the printed sheet music and the sales were increased by the inclusion of the songs in the touring musical reviews (Burgess 2014). Phonograph was invented afterwards, in 1877 by Thomas Edison. By 1890, the nation was introduced to mechanically reproduced music. In 1888, gramophone was invented and recorded music came to a popularity. The boost in the recorded music led to the need of copyright protection, in 1900s (Wikström 2013). The matter was dragged to the Court when piano roll companies refused to pay the publishers for the right to reproduce the recording on the player piano scrolls. The development in the disc technology in the 20th century brought light to the creation of phonograph to be fit within the home (Pbs.org. 2018). Later the cassette tape cartridge was invented for the purpose of transcription. In 1990, mp3 format was introduced to make the recorded music available in the market.
Music industry has experienced a huge changes during the past years, and the gradual changes in the business practices has contributed the industry, the need for appropriate regulations for the business.
References:
Burgess, R.J., 2014. The history of music production. Oxford University Press.
Clayton, M., 2013. The cultural study of music: A critical introduction. Routledge.
Morrow, G., 2013. Regulating artist managers: An insider’s perspective. International Journal of Music Business Research, 2(2), pp.8-35.
Negus, K., 2013. Music genres and corporate cultures. Routledge.
Pbs.org. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/music/inside/cron.html [Accessed 9 Oct. 2018].
Wikström, P., 2013. The music industry: Music in the cloud. Polity.

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