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Lady Gaga Case Study

Rob Miller | Monday September 10, 2012

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, OCR AS, Key Concepts, Audience, Genre, Ideology, Institutions, Media Language, Narrative, Representation & Stereotyping, Music, Music Distribution, Music Industry, Music Promotion, Music Video, The Press, New Media, Convergence, Digital Media, Integration, Internet, Social Networking, Making Money, New Technologies, Website Analysis, Social Networking Analysis, Web Pages

Lady Gaga – Sony Music Entertainment | Universal Music Group

The music industry can be split into mainstream and independent artists with the so called ‘Big Four’ (now the Big Three) controlling the market. In a similar way that the oligopoly of film distributors control film distribution (Warners, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Universal, Sony, Disney) mainstream music distribution is controlled by the Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group with EMI sold off in pieces and acquired by Universal and Sony though horizontal integration in November 2011. Distribution controls the market with heavy promotion and marketing key to an artist’s commercial success. The Big Three, whose businesses also include film distribution are in turn owned by parent companies that provide significant, additional revenue – Universal MG are owned by French conglomerate Vivendi while Warner Music Group is part of Time Warner allowing for cross media fertilisation, convergence and synergy.

Sony remains one of the largest media corporations in the world whose business interests include film distribution through Columbia Tri-Star and MGM, music distribution, gaming through PlayStation and global sales of electronic devices and media. Universal Music Group was founded in 1934, owns 27% of the market share (Sony own 23%) and in 2010 audited $4.5bn of revenue. Despite the music industry’s claim that since 2006 as a result of piracy there has been a 20% fall in CD sales Universal remain globally successful. Artists signed to the Universal Music Group brand include Lady Gaga, Kayne West, Lil Wayne, Black Eyed Peas, Justin Beiber and Eminen – all mainstream recording artists offering music from safe, established genres including Pop, R n’ B and Rap. There has been much speculation in recent years whether the music industry has been ‘hurt’ or not by illegal downloading (one argument suggests illegal downloading makes...

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