The Mass-Producing Music Industry

Remember how our parents would listen to local songs or to view Elvis Presley that would only come for a specific time? To keep the music industry alive, concerts would be held in small venues in person. Today, however, we can listen to music anywhere we go through our devices.  The music industry has massively expanded to cover many genres breaking cultural barriers through the advancement of streaming technology and the presence of social media.

Music expanded in the last decade with advancements in technology and entertainment options. Now with music apps, streaming is a piece of cake! Streaming started off with Napster that provided free and demo versions of albums created by normal users, which increased affordability for people, but the app has come under fire for copyright and ownership works. Dr. Dre, Metallica, and the Recording Industry Association of America filed lawsuits against Napster for “leaking unfinished works.” Popular service examples include Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Amazon Music. Streaming opens up listeners to other groups in the music industry based on recommendations from preferred songs and brings in a lot of money to the economy with 5.7 billion USD in Asia, 6.7 billion USD in Europe, and 6.93 billion USD in the United States. 

For example, Kpop a.k.a Korean pop began in early 1992 in South Korea inspired by the hip-hop bandwagon in America. However, the Hallyu aka Korean wave of multiple Kpop groups and soloists per year only grew in recent years. Youtube remains a strong force in the music world. Through a different language, creative choreographies, mixed melodies, varieties in sound, and production values, Kpop became popular due to streaming. In 2012, Gangnam Style by PSY was able to explode in viewership on Youtube with 3 billion views as a record. A similar wave occurred for J-pop in Japan where otaku culture for music came alive. Aside from East Asian music, native music from other nationalities like Caribbean, Latino, African, Indian, and Arabic music, are also gaining recognition.

With the aid of social media, there is better content accessibility and interaction between fans and artists.  Youtube remains a strong force in the industry companies to post content like MVs, lyrics, pictures, skits, personal life montages, sneak peeks, and advertise merchandise due to lower costs, faster streaming, and larger user base. Artists also interact with fans and share their thoughts and give support to movements around the world with “hashtag”. 

Fans get to interact with each other online such as at watch parties. MusicWatch website found that 9 out of 10 people on social media interact with music and artists in one way or another. We might recall how Olivia Rodrigo’s song Driver’s License peaked at No.1 on Billboard. In Tik-Tok and Twitter, her fans matched dances with lyrics to her love life. Many labels encourage fans to mail dancing or singing contest videos or send in recommendations for fan-based music. Artists even add popular Tik Tok moves into their performance. Platforms like Discord or Slack, people can set up servers or channels to share information about music. Thanks to social media platforms and streaming, the globalization of music through bridging culture was made possible, especially during the pandemic.

Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

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