chapter  7
24 Pages

The Music Industry

We noted in Chapter 2 that Costello has been criticised for complaining about the music industry but still profiting from it. This is not an uncommon scenario. Commercial artists are constrained by the demands of record companies, though less so now than in the 1980s, as technological changes have subverted their monopoly of production and distribution. Wikstrom (2009) argues that today the technological changes in the wake of the internet have de-centred the role of record companies and created a more complex set of connections involving artists (whose elites are also less central than they were), independent producers and fans. He traces this systemic change to the 1980s after the invention of the compact disc, with digital recording techniques starting even earlier in the 1970s, though adopted unevenly for a while.