iTunes vs the recording industry - how has technology revolutionised music?
Press release issued: 12 March 2013
iTunes and Spotify are just two examples of digital technology that have revolutionised the mainstream music industry. However, exactly how tools like these have affected those at lower levels of the industry is yet to be fully understood. An international conference hosted by academics at the University of Bristol next week [25 Mar] will explore how new technology has impacted the music business.
The event, which will also focus on the interactions between musicians and fans through digital technology, aims to explore the music industry’s current state of upheaval in detail through a series of lectures given by music industry experts from across Europe.
While research exists on how declining record sales may be affecting the major music companies, how, if at all, are they impacting musicians and workers at a more local level? Is declining record income relevant or is it being offset by new and cheaper means of recording and distributing music? In what ways are the technologies of the internet offering greater opportunities for ‘monetising’ musical activities? How are musicians, managers, labels, promoters and fans adapting to the new circumstances? How are the relationships between these key players changing?
Dr Lee Marshall, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, at the University of Bristol said: “The music industry is clearly going through a period of rapid change at the moment but the stories we hear are always about the major stars and the big companies like Apple and HMV. How new technologies affect ordinary musicians and local music economies is less clear. This conference brings together research on a range of genres, locations and technologies to consider how the changes are being experienced throughout the music industry, not just at the very top.”
The conference, entitled ‘The small economies of the ‘new’ music industry’, takes place on Monday 25 March’. Co-ordinated by Dr Justin Williams from the University of Bristol’s Department of Music and Dr Lee Marshall from the University’s School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, the event is part of the Severn Pop Network, an academic network of scholars researching popular music and based at several universities spanning the river Severn.