Title

Organizational influence on recorded music: A look at the independents

Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Mass Communications

Advisor(s)

Carla Lloyd

Keywords

Marketing, Music, Mass media, Music industry, Recording industry

Subject Categories

Communication | Mass Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

This research explores the influence record labels exert on the content of popular music. Triangulation is used to examine the label influence in four key content areas: music, lyrics, packaging and enhanced material (DVD or enhanced CD). Three research methods are used including: an online survey used to collect data from 834 record label employees (214 usable responses, 25.65% response rate), in-depth interviews and participant observation at record labels, concerts and music festivals in the United States and Canada. Additional interviews were gathered via telephone and email.

Analysis of the size of the record label staff, size of the record label's catalogue and age of the record label indicate that neither of the three factors impact, in a statistically significant manner, the way the record labels influence the content of popular music releases. Of the four content areas, music packaging is the area in which record labels exert the most control and it is also the area in which recording artists cede the most control to the record label.

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