October 8, 2019

When Apple launched the iTunes store in 2003, the music industry was not in a good state. Rampant online piracy sent CD sales plummeting and caused many to wonder whether record companies could compete against the freedom of the Internet. Fortunately for the industry, the iTunes strategy of selling individual songs for just 99 cents made buying digital music mainstream and limited the reach of piracy. The app also drove sales of the iPod, which was Apple’s signature product at Continue reading

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March 7, 2019

On March 1 the Backstreet Boys began a residency at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theater in Las Vegas that will run for 80 nights through the end of April. Although the legendary boy band are certainly playing plenty of shows, getting a ticket for one doesn’t come cheap. For instance, it costs up to $250 for a spot in the general admission area in front of the stage. For concertgoers who want to quickly find a good place to stand, though, Continue reading

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August 21, 2018

Last week the legendary soul and gospel singer Aretha Franklin passed away at the age of 76. Her legacy includes a wide catalogue of classic hits that will long be remembered by music lovers, especially her signature song “Respect.” But while she earned millions of fans over the years with the anthemic tune, she unfortunately did not earn millions of dollars directly from it. That’s because all of the song’s radio royalties have gone to the estate of its writer, Continue reading

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Last year, Billboard crowned the laid back party anthem “Despacito” the Song of the Summer as it racked up millions of streams on sites like Spotify and YouTube. And while there are plenty of contenders in the running for 2018’s title, they might not be able to take the same road to success that the makers of “Despacito” did. This video explains how Billboard is changing their rules about streaming platforms and why these changes could affect a song’s journey Continue reading

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September 14, 2017

micIf you listened to top 40 radio at all this past summer, then it’s safe to say that you heard “Despacito,” the inescapable hit by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. This upbeat romantic ballad spent 16 straight weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 charts, a feat only matched by Mariah Carey more than 20 years earlier. Of course, today’s tech savvy consumers don’t have to wait for “Despacito” to come on the radio in order to hear it. Continue reading

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July 20, 2017

rego-korosiAs sales from CDs and digital downloads continue to decline, streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have become vital to the $7.7 billion music industry. Still, there’s one major streaming service that both executives and musicians alike have long despised. While it’s mostly known for video, YouTube accounts for 25 percent of all music streamed across the globe. This makes it by far the most popular streaming site among fans, a fact that industry insiders find increasingly troubling.

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musical-festivalFor many attendees of today’s big music festivals, enjoying an interesting atmosphere is often just as important as watching what’s happening on stage. After all, these events don’t happen in a vacuum: festivals like Coachella are endlessly documented through Instagram and other social media platforms. From the fancy food trucks to famous people casually milling about the crowd, music festivals offer no shortage of material to liven up anyone’s feed.

Last weekend’s Fyre Festival promised to be the most Instagrammable Continue reading

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January 10, 2017

DJpediaIf you’ve listened to hip hop or dance music made from the 1980s onward, then you’ve heard the Technics SL-1200 turntable in action. For decades these decks were the preferred hardware for DJs of all skill levels. Although a single turntable could cost between $500 to $700, aspiring selectors saved up their money until they had enough for two. After that, they had equipment for life: the durable SL-1200 could be used for spinning and scratching with little need for Continue reading

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December 29, 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, many people across the country have likely spent the last few weeks immersed in Christmas music and movies. This brief video takes a look at how much money some of these old entertainment properties earn during the festive season, from Frank Capra’s classic It’s a Wonderful Life to Mariah Carey’s perennial hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Questions:

  1. How did the public domain copyright of It’s a Wonderful Life transform the film Continue reading
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September 22, 2016

MichaelHicksAs the Internet’s popularity began to rise in the late 1990s, the music industry had just enjoyed some of their best years to date. Annual sales soared over $14 billion at its peak, driven by an enormous demand for CDs that appeared to be insatiable. After 1999, however, consumer interest shifted online where users could download any song they wanted for free. While the Recording Industry Association of America tried in vain to stop illegal file trading, the practice only Continue reading

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