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?


One thought on “Mass Media Blog Post 2/29 Meagan Wills

  1. I totally agree with this post! When I think of the radio, that is also the first thing that comes to my mind- music. Music also plays a huge role when it comes to the radio. The radio is just the source where the music comes from, but it is so important to have when promoting music to the world. I think it is super interesting that we now have so many different ways to listen to music for free like Spotify, Pandora, etc. I also have a mini question to ask- Do you think TIDAL will last?
    – Kenya


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