Week 3 Lecture: Regulation and Production Practices

The area of discussion for this week was the political economy of the radio and its relation to the music industry.

Considering the pop-music charts formation. Radio stations choose the most beneficial songs to be aired through their stations. They remain rights to dictate circumstance because they promote the music, providing a commercial success to the owner of that music.That is why underground music is not fitting in the radio format because it does not reach the same range of audiences.

In readings have been claimed that the new technologies of the Internet become an important area for radio broadcasting, and there is a whole world of radio available to listen online which I totally agree with.

First paragraphs focused largely on Internet radio. Sources reported on economic relations between the radio and the music industry. Many people set up on the radio to listen to their favorite music and based on audiences preferences music industry is actively promoting the music on the radio.

Studies show that it is quite easy and cheap to produce your own radio station on the Internet. However, the cost to run these stations is extremely high compared to the traditional way. Comparing the Internet and over-the-air radio, it is important to compare the costs for starting and keeping the radio as a long term. In such, “The start-up costs for the Internet station are 3 per cent of those of the over-the-air station, but the on-going costs are over three times higher for the Internet station.”(p.38) From here it’s getting clear that Internet radio broadcaster benefits only at the beginning when paying less. The following table precisely proves the thesis:

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 20.15.43

Although the Internet radio is fit for a wide range of programming, the governments and corporations have limited people’s ability to play a wide range of music over the issue of royalties. This helps to protect the artists that were usually vulnerable to exploitation.

Tim Wall argues that Internet radio is less accessible, with which I disagree, and think the opposite. I agree that subscription and use of multimedia streaming will boost the Internet radio industry in sustainable business. I hope that the Internet radio broadcasting will develop to support different types of music, which are not on a wide broadcasting. I feel that exploitation of niche music is the radio future and that the technologies would support this. Especially it is important due to the main technological innovation of the internet radio that is streaming audio.”This technology allows music to be ‘streamed’, or sent from one computer to be listened to on another in real time.” (p.34) This provides with new opportunities for radio to reach their audiences that are willing to engage in communication and receive the media independently of the time it was transmitted.

The rise of Internet torrent sites was a direct abuse of the royalties system. This can be seen in Pop Music culture most illegally downloaded artists top chart including Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake and Flo Rida (Billboard 2013). Finding the consensus with music pirates would produce the next stage in online music industry.

In the text is also hinted that Internet providers may violate human rights by tracking “where a particular Internet user goes on the Web and use this information to build up a profile of their interests or activities. This information can then be used to sell small groups of Internet users to advertisers who are looking for individuals with those sorts of profiles.” the same practice is popular within the radio as “Internet radio lends itself very well to this sort of profiling as their sites are usually ones that users return to over time.” That much explains how media broadcasters comprehend audiences tastes.

Top List of Most-Pirated Artists in 2013, Billboard, [Online], Accessed: 18/02/2014, Available at: http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/5855105/bruno-mars-rihanna-top-list-of-most-pirated-artists-in

Wall, T, (2004). “The political economy of Internet music radio”. In: Peter Lewis, Kate Lacey, Hugh Chignell (ed), The Radio Journal – International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media. Volume 2. UK: Hodder & Stoughton Educational. pp.(27- 44).


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