Without the media, the mass-market music business as we know it today would not be able to function. By the media, we mean the daily, even hourly, bombardment of images and sounds which we receive from magazines, newspapers, radio, television and video; by the mass-market music business we mean the business which releases over 200 rock, pop and dance singles and albums a week in the UK alone.
People who buy pop records usually buy them because they’ve heard them on the radio, seen the artist or artists in question on television or read about them in a magazine. Many others, of course, buy records because they hear about them through friends, or are exposed to them at clubs or perhaps in the cinema. However, few in the music business would deny that it is the media, particularly radio and the printed word, which gets its message across most effectively and to the largest number of people.
To the lay person, the means by which a record gets played on the radio or gets reviewed in a magazine or newspaper might seem somewhat random. A DJ gives a record a listen, decides he or she likes it and puts it on the list for tomorrow’s show. Or a music journalist keeps a look out for the latest album by this band or that singer and once it is released, takes it home, plays it, makes notes and comes into the office the next day to write the review.
It doesn’t happen like this.
Record companies are all too aware of the value of radio air-