Lawrence N. Redd
The recording industry dazzles the public with a kaleidoscope of live concerts, singers and musicians, disc jockeys, retail store displays, music videos, popular magazines, and industry award shows. The formidable promotion campaigns, however, have not generated the recording industry widespread recognition as a major mass communication medium in the United States.
Admittedly, music plays a pivotal role in the omnipresence of records, audiotapes, and compact discs (CDs). It is the chief software of professional recordings and may obfuscate the industry's legitimacy as a bona fide member of the mass communication family. However, the recording industry stands on its own as a mass communication medium. Recorded music is mass-produced by a host of composers, arrangers, sound technicians, musicians, equipment suppliers, singers, record manufacturers, and publishers.
The recording industry is a multibillion-dollar business. Major record companies gross over $9 billion in annual record sales, including cassettes and compact discs. Approximately 2,000 record companies produce and distribute recorded performances to more than 70,000 music store outlets. Publishing rights organizations--Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC)--supervise music licensing arrangements that extend around the world. Successful money-raising events such as "We Are the World," "Live Aid," and "Farm Aid" reinforce the recording industry as a major world player in mass communication.
The recording industry's structure ranges across several fields or professions, and its major components include not only music and record manufacturing but radio, television, cable, theaters, and professional associations. The total interrelated organizational structure was formed through a series of legal interpretations.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Handbook on Mass Media in the United States:The Industry and Its Audiences. Contributors: Erwin K. Thomas - Editor, Brown H. Carpenter - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1994. Page number: 147.
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