Mass Media Blog Post 2/29 Meagan Wills

When I think of the radio, the first thing that comes to mind is music. Because a large portion of radio programming is

centered around music, with nearly 46.8% of the market having a particular music genre as a format (rock, contemporary

country, urban, oldies/classic stations), it is hard to deny the reciprocal influence that the radio and music industries have

had on each other. Music artists produce content and radio distributes it. It seems like a simple relationship, but with

radio moving to online streaming platforms such as Pandora, Spotify, MOG, and Grooveshark, most of which

are free or of very little cost, it raises important ethical questions. Nobody pays for music anymore. Technology of the digital era

has made it possible to access music in more convoluted ways. You don’t even need to listen to the radio to get music. The book

provides a case study called Streaming Music that explains the rise of these converging medias (music and internet) that have

changed the way the radio industry is approaching music distribution. Steaming services like the ones mentioned not only cut the middle man (the DJ)

but they have the potential to be a lot more personalized. Personally, I use Spotify Premium and for $10 a month, I can save

music on my phone and listen to it at any time. I create my own library and playlists and I don’t even need to be connected to wifi to be able to

stream music. Service providers like Pandora pay royalty fees to music rights organizations such as ASCAP and BMI that legally protect

the artist under copyright laws but for some artists, it seems like that is not enough.

Music artists have united to form the the first ever artist owned global streaming service called Tidal that "combines the best High Fidelity sound quality,

High Definition music videos and expertly curated editorial", according to the website. Artists such as Win Butler, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Madonna and

Rihanna to name a few, are co-owners. You might have even seen some artists change their twitter icon to to blue Tidal logo in support. With Tidal, there

are two options for subscriptions, one that is $9.99 and the other $19.99 for higher quality. Here is a quote by Jay-Z taken from COS’ (Consequence of Sound)


Jay Z spoke to Billboard about his vision for TIDAL. “We didn’t like the direction music was going and thought maybe we could get in and strike an honest blow and

if, you know, the very least we did was make people wake up and try to improve the free vs. paid system, and promote fair trade, then it would be a win for us anyway,” he explained.

“People are not respecting the music, and [are] devaluing it and devaluing what it really means,” Jay Z added. “People really feel like music is free, but will pay $6 for water. You can

drink water free out of the tap, and it’s good water. But they’re OK paying for it. It’s just the mind-set right now.”

The link to that article can be found here.

screen-shot-2015-03-30-at-4-30-55-pm.png?w=807 Artist-owned streaming service TIDAL promises to "re …
This afternoon, Jay Z formally launched his new streaming music service TIDAL with an all-star event in New York City. As it turns out, Jay Z is merely a co-owner …

You can also visit Tidal’s website here.

I guess my question is how do we negotiate the demands of music artists as the nature of the radio industry changes and evolves with the

invention of new technologies? Do you agree with Jay-Z that people no longer value music or do you think that the radio and music industries

must adapt to the changing culture of music distribution? How does wireless music streaming, as opposed to radio music broadcasting, change

how we relate to the content and how artists may be compensated?


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Kevin Sebili

This Sunday, February 28th, is the Oscars and I think that it is important to tune in and take note of the lack of diversity in both the nominees and the winners. I think that it is a good thing that Chris Rock is hosting this year because he is known to bring up controversial matters although of course in a joking manner. Also I think making him the host was sort of a defense by the Academy awards people, so that they could say that they had an African American host just in case the winning circle holds little to no diversity. On the other side of the debate, it could’ve just be a coincidence last year; although, it doesn’t seem likely. Black representation has been lacking for almost every year since the Oscars have been a thing. I also find it inspiring that the some black entertainers have decided to boycott the Oscars because of the lack of representation that they get from the Academy.

Kevin Sebili

In regards to the magazine discussion that we had in class, I do not think that there is an issue with Photoshop whether it be for a guy or a girl. The photographer is after a certain image, and if the person that is modeling in the photo cannot produce that image, than the photographer should have the right to alter the image to achieve the look that they are after. I also agree with the idea that "sex sells" because its societies guilty pleasure. I do not see the harm in altering a photo to make it more appealing because magazine companies want to sell their products and get advertisements so that they can make a profit. Similarly for advertising companies they want to make their images as appealing as possible because it will promote their product or service more efficiently and allow them to make a profit. So in the end I think that photoshoped images has less to do with the actual people being photographed, but rather the statement the image can say once altered to the photographers ideal standard. What are your thoughts on peoples images being altered to sell a product and/or service?

Kevin Sebili

The two videos that we saw in class, Metallica verses Napster, and the scene from HBO’s Vinyl were very interesting because they showed two turning points in the music industry. One dealing with the issue of copyright and the second with identity and record label ownership.
Metallica verses Napster was a very large debate because it started a wave for pirating music, movies and television. Although, I do pirate movies, music and television, which I’m sure almost all of you do, I do see the ethical issue with it because you are essentially taking someone’s hard work and downloading it for free; it is exploitation to say the least. Why is it that if we like something enough to want to have, we don’t want to pay for it? Also, I found it funny that the lead singer to Metallica went through so much trouble and his name was tarnished simply for standing up for what he believed, and not wanting people to take his music for free. I found it interesting that what he was trying to do went against what his image of "screw the man" stood for; I believe that is why people called him out on it.
The second video I found to be a little weird in the sense that you would think that the artist would have more power than the record label because they are the ones producing the actual art. That being said the record labels have an image to protect as well. I disagree with this portrayal in the sense that I think the artist should have the upper hand over the record labels. What are your thoughts?


Here are some of the resources, images and articles we discussed recently in relation to the magazine industry:

The Academy Awards this Sunday!

Hi all, Be sure to tune in this Sunday at 7pm for the 88th Academy Awards (aka The Oscars). Click here to check out the nominees. Who do you think will win? Who do think should win?Screen shot 2016-02-25 at 4.06.40 PMI’m particularly interested in watching because of the #oscarssowhite controversy that has – yet again – arisen this year. Several black entertainers and industry people are boycotting. Chris Rock – this year’s host – is not one to mince words or shy away from controversial statements. How will he address the lack of black representation in this years’ (and pretty much every previous) awards?

Here are a couple articles for your reading pleasure:

Oscars So White? Or Oscars So Dumb? Discuss.

What #OscarsSoWhite got right – and wrong