Communication Theories Term Paper

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Communication Theories

The music industry is in a period of intense transformation that will likely challenge every traditional form of music promotion in the industry. Change has occurred rapidly with the technology boost that electronic music forms have provided for the consumer. Traditional "album" promotion is no longer the backbone of industry promotion. Revenue from singles sold electronically will likely be the future of artists' income and therefore production team income. (Fox, 2004, p. 201) it is for this reason that artist label promotion must strengthen and develop skills that support definitive budget development and streamlined communication systems especially until it is clear that how revenue will be gained in the production, distribution mix in the developing industry. Each traditional aspect of music promotion if it is going to survive must be evaluated and possibly changed to meet stricter margin requirements through efficiency and creativity. One manner in which creativity reigns is in the traditional and new forms of internship labor support. The intention of seeking a review of an internship experience is to develop an insight regarding changing needs of the industry and specifically a particular label from an outsider experienced in communication theory and modern music trends.

Through the evolution of technology, music today is both a service, provided by musicians, radios, or computers on the spot, and a hard good, shipped around the world in the form of plastic discs. In the future, wireless broadband Internet will make music into nearly a pure service industry. Hard goods will rarely be invited to the party when consumers can purchase the service of music either directly from the artist or from virtual record companies. These new business models will allow consumers to buy the experience of music wherever they are, by passing expensive middlemen, supporting creative artists, and likely increasing profitability both for the musician and their record labels. As wireless communications, recording, digital funds transfer, and other technologies progress, it will be easier and less costly for musicians to reach their audience. During the transition, this will scare record company executives and copyright lawyers, give hope to struggling musicians, and delight music lovers with more choice and lower prices. (Garland, 2003, p. 24)

In an attempt to anticipate and be less frightened by the transitions of the music industry Label USA has developed a scheme that it creative and productive by seeking to elicit outside/inside information from interns who have had communication experiences within the label over the course of the last year. The view of an intern is significantly different than that of an employee as he or she has the opportunity and ability to see within the inner workings of a company but also to see it from the perspective of an individual with limited buy in and emotional attachment to systems and programs that are traditional and/or new. As the industry is in transition doing things the way they have always been done is not necessarily the answer. That being said my internship experience at Label USA was a positive and fruitful experience and I believe if this experience was a reflection of industry adaptability and skill Label USA will likely be just fine in the future. I have been asked to provide a post intern consultation report that will develop a sense of both strengths and weaknesses for this company and help them put into perspective the needed communication changes or supports to help them transition into a more adaptive company in the future.

One aspect of Label USA that I found tremendously refreshing is the manner in which the label views the artists. Artists have traditionally been sheltered from the business side of music, a development of the early recording industry that was sadly very interested in retaining profits, even when the artists only experienced limited income potential from their work. (Garland, 2003, p.24) Label USA seems to be keenly aware that the artist is the reason for its existence and that supporting the artist is the essential goal of the company. For this reason the company pays significant attention to artist needs as well as accommodation. As an intern one of the main functions of my job was to help ensure artist support during touring dates, an essential label responsibility that should never be ignored as it is one of the ways in which the work that the label and specifically the promotions department of the label and the artist directly interact and if done correctly and in the black it can result in an offset of the losses that have been associated with the alteration in music sales over the last twenty years. The country music industry has been limitedly sheltered by the fact that the industry support is still largely made up of an older demographic, i.e. much less likely to be dependant on new formats for technology, but as ease of use of the technology increases and the demographic become more dependant on the electronic venue for other uses this will change. It has however offered the most popular music type in the world, country music a limited respite and the opportunity to watch other formats of music transition through this process.

The concert industry in North America generated $3.1 billion in ticket revenues in 2005, up from $1.3 billion in 1997 -- an increase of 138% (Pollstar 2005-Year-End Edition). In contrast, sales of pre-recorded music have suffered major setbacks. Global record sales have declined over the last four years, with 2005 sales of $21 billion, a 3% decline over 2004 (International Federation of Phonographic Industries). We have also seen a rise in music piracy, which deprives rights holders of royalties and, arguably, has contributed to a decline in the sales of pre-recorded music. The Recording Industry Association of America ("Anti-Piracy") estimated that music piracy costs the industry $4.3 billion per year.Aside from comprising a major revenue stream, the concert business is also important for artists' career development. As Hall and Blau observe, "Concerts generate and maintain the audience for popular music" (33) (Black, Fox & Kochanowski, 2007, p. 149)

Given that the Label USA is aware of the trends occurring in the music industry at this time it is also clear that streamlining communication with regard to venue production is essential to the development of a profitable concert tour dates. Tour support is in fact so essential to the end product of a happy consumer as well as happy artists and a profit margin that supports future label production and profitability that tour planning and communications of a particular tour date and venue are paramount. If a single loss is incurred due to lack of planning the tour can be sent into a tailspin of debt and therefore loss and almost as importantly the artist and vicariously the label reputation can be damaged, which defeats the purpose of touring as its essential goal is to build public awareness and support for the artist. The intern experience at Label USA was focused greatly on the venues that occurred during the length of my internship. This will therefore constitute a large portion of the work produced by this consultation process as tour revenue will likely become a transitional focus of revenue for the industry in the interim of change. (Garland, 2003, p. 24)

This work will utilize three communications theories to analyze and comment on the essential nature of Label USA company communication, as perceived by an exiting intern. As an intern I provided support for many aspects of the Label USA team, from clerical to planning. The clerical support requires limited discussion and interpersonal communication is not usually a major issue with regard to such support. I also had the responsibility of mailing out autographed promotional material as well as other promotional materials, again not something that requires an excessive amount of communication skill. The aspect of the internship that required the most communication skill and understanding was artist schedule planning and concert planning and support. Though it is difficult to develop suggestions for change within an experience that was mainly positive the essential nature of consultation is to develop perception of areas of both strengths and weaknesses so appropriate changes can be discussed and developed by the company. This is especially true of companies in industry transition, like the music label industry.

SWAT Analysis

The majority of the work I did as an intern within the Label USA company was with regard to the support of a single venue, as it required intense development over a long period of time. Though I provided support for many other venues, the time frame of my work at Label USA coincided with a highly communication intensive concert venue involving a local community, county fair board and a big name country artist. The scenario will be described below with collaborative suggestions for change and noted strengths associated with the event planning for this particular variant venue.

Strengths

Adaptability

One of the first experiences I had as an intern for Label USA was… [END OF PREVIEW]

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