Listen to Noah Cyrus’ Newest Single, “I’m Stuck”

Noah Cyrus, known by fans as NC-17, is making it big in the pop music business. After her success with debut single, “Make Me (Cry)” featuring Labrinth, her latest songs are making her music portfolio greater than ever.

With her recent single “I’m Stuck”, along with sister Miley Cyrus’ “Malibu,” this may be the year of the Cyrus family. Take a listen to “I’m Stuck” with its hypnotic video accompanying the indie pop flow.

For updates on NC-17, check out her Twitter.

 

*Originally published on http://madeinthedistrict.us/.

Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black (2006) & Its Portrayal of Addiction

Introduction

Substance abuse is a shared topic that many celebrities endure, especially when their actions are clearly publicized. Amy Winehouse was a key figure that was exposed to overwhelming paparazzi in the wake of her recklessness. Her fame and attention made her a crackhead, an anorexic, and a victim to so many other illnesses. Being a well-known singer-songwriter, the English artist was a constant name running in tabloids across the world – her experiences and her spotlight, as someone with mental illness, eating disorders, and addiction, made her lifestyle a hot commodity in newspapers in the mid-2000s. Her battles with substance abuse started in 2005, two years after her debut album Frank (2003) was released. Winehouse’s experimental choices led to an overbearing amount of media attention, posed on herself, her family, and everyone surrounding her.

Though the main factors toward her addictions remain a mystery, her family claim that her heavy drug habits were influenced by the death of her grandmother, in mid-2006. Additionally, Nick Godwyn, Winehouse’s first manager, believed that her drug abuse started when she met her then-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil. In a 2008 interview with The Sunday Times, he shared his thoughts on her addiction and Fielder-Civil’s influence:

Amy changed overnight after she met Blake. She just sounded completely different. Her personality became more distant. And it seemed to me like that was down to the drugs. When I met her she smoked weed but she thought the people who took class-A drugs were stupid. She used to laugh at them.

Nick Godwyn, (Sandall, n.p.).

Not only did all this affect her image, but it also affected her work as a singer. Winehouse was known as the type of singer that would cancel more shows than she played, have violent outbreaks while high, and have a critically damaged physique with drugs that eradicated her. The drugs shrinked her, took over every aspect of her life, leading to her death from alcohol poisoning in 2011.

Amy Winehouse Opens Up About Substance Abuse in Sophomore Album

Back To Black (2006) is Winehouse’s second album, and it became the most popular seller in the U.K. in 2007. She sold 9 million copies, which made her album one of the biggest sellers of the 21st century. “Rehab” became the most iconic song, which to this day, still gratifies listeners. As of 2017, “Rehab” has been played on Spotify 86 million times, spanning a listenership far greater than any other artist of the mid-2000s. Amy Winehouse’s sophomore album Back To Black (2006) reveals to fans the intensity of her illnesses through her stylistic sound, metaphorical lyricism, and meaning between the lines. Her songs represent an anecdote, an added puzzle piece to her complicated story, which revels in her perceived victimage and self-deprecation. The album was effective financially, and gave listeners a greater awareness about her justifiable actions and emotions in the wake of her countless abuses.

Amy Winehouse’s Stylistic Sound & Musical Taste

Best known for her radical genre switching and raspy voice, Amy Winehouse did not disappoint in her second album. Her contralto vocals, similar to Adele and Whitney Houston’s vocal range, meshed perfectly with her genre mixes. Utilizing soul, rhythm and blues, and jazz, her voice made the conversational aspect of her album narrative more appealing and inviting to the ear. Soul, R&B, and jazz typically associate songs regarding relationships, human experiences, and deeper meanings. The harmony between Winehouse and the brass-filled instrumentals make for a more cohesive, and listen-able, album, one that listeners can clearly understand the concepts of each song.

Though her low, raspy voice in collaboration of different genres was easier to process, the quality was never normalized or quantified when being critiqued. Winehouse used these multiple genres to build her own. Arguably, the stylistic notions of the album, auditorily, were in a middle style. The style of the album was ornate because of the switching of genres. However, the collection of songs had simple input contextually. The album decorated and highlighted the content and significances of each song in a way that was innovative, clear, honest, and irresistible to listeners. However, the magnificence of the album is down-casted because the instrumentals are met with familiar speech, very much reflected in Winehouse’s blunt voice. This does not take away any interest, though. The style would be grand if there was a distinct difference in the sound; for example, if the jazzy background was met with an opera-like voice, that would generate a greater, more radical response.

Amy Winehouse Presents Her Lifestyle Through Lyricism

Winehouse’s second album exceeds expectations with the graphic yet truthful lyricism following each rhythmic tune. After analyzing the lyricism, metaphorically and literally, it is clear to state that the album extensively discloses topics regarding addiction, relationships, and depression.

Addiction

The span of Winehouse’s alcohol and drug problems can be heard in her singles “Rehab”, “Just Friends”, “Some Unholy War”, and “Addicted”. In her first song off the album, “Rehab”, Winehouse generates a rebellious, independent anthem that emulates her denial in going into rehabilitation for her alcoholism. At the time, Winehouse’s label when the album was in development encouraged her to spend ten weeks in rehab. She declined this offer, and in turn, created a top-notch single. In one verse, she nonchalantly rhymes “It’s not just my pride/It’s ‘til these tears have dried,” which allude to her depression, loneliness, and struggles with handling emotions. She opts out of rehab and describes her reasons to drink in the song.

“Some Unholy War” is the ninth single off of Back To Black (2006). In this minor key tune, Winehouse explains her then future-husband Blake Fielder-Civil’s love and addictions. The song is hazy with swinging guitar riffs, that very much complement her undeniable support for Fielder-Civil, no matter the consequences. In the freeform verse, she sings, “At his side and drunk on pride/We wait for the blow,” which emphasizes his heavy drug use without much care of other judgment. “Blow” is also slang for cocaine, a high which can be very addictive. Also addictive is “Addicted”, Winehouse’s eleventh and last song off the album. She shares similar thoughts with drug abuse. The moral of the song is that Winehouse does not want her flatmate’s boyfriend to steal her marijuana. Both friendly yet prompt, the singer explains that her drug use is a need rather than a want. She whines “Don’t make no difference if I end up alone/I’d rather have myself and smoke my homegrown/It’s got me addicted, does more than any d–k did.”

Relationships

Another area of interest found in Back To Black (2006) is Amy Winehouse’s ongoing conversation about her relationships. Several of her songs victimize her, and make her feel like she is not the one at fault for her behaviors or experiences. This is most pertinent in her songs “Me & Mr. Jones” (explicit), “Just Friends” (explicit), and “He Can Only Hold Her”. In her third song “Me & Mr. Jones”, she references hip-hop artist Nas, whom she had a romantic relationship with. Nas is a well-known artist, and their relationship took a wielding spotlight. In her lyrics “What kind of f–kery is this?/Nobody stands between me and my man,” the storyline alludes to possessiveness, insecurity, and an overprotection of this relationship. Her behavior around him and other men creates the assumption that she is reckless and dangles on whoever she is with.

In the fourth song following, “Just Friends” is a rhetorical romance piece where Winehouse questions the current standing of this anonymous relationship. She sings, “I wanna touch you/But that just hurts,” where she recollects memories that makes her wonder if there was ever something more, beyond the friendship boundaries. The softer, eerie entrance of the song then jumps to a beat heavy with reggae, making the tone of the lyrics aching, bittersweet, and mysterious. “He Can Only Hold Her” is her tenth single off the album. The song is another conversational piece, one led head-on by a thumping drum and Winehouse’s sultry voice. The song brings the idea that she is no good for this man. In the single she sings, “She’s so vacant her soul is taken/He thinks “What’s she running from?/Now how can he have her heart/When it got stole?” The moral is about a woman’s feelings being taken and moved between men, in a way that is objectifiable and selfish.

 Depression

Amy Winehouse revels in her self-pity with her singles “Back To Black” (explicit), “Love Is A Losing Game”, and “Wake Up Alone”. Much of her mental illness as a depressed individual is because of her daunting and broken relationships. However, these songs signal a greater focus on her insights rather than the situations themselves.

In the iconic fifth song “Back To Black”, Winehouse takes this angry, piano-driven ballad by exuding her pain after an intense breakup. In the chorus she says, “We only said goodbye with words/I died a hundred times/You go back to her and I go back to/I go back to us.” The bridge proceeds into a dark period, where she repeats, “Black, black, black…” to describe the unwavering hurt she dealt with. At first, the single was a bit redeeming in outlook. The first verse says, “Me and my head high/And my tears dry/Get on without my guy,” to emphasize that Winehouse does want to move on. It is a matter of moving on, and taking the time to heal.

In the song following, “Love Is A Losing Game”, Winehouse continues her victimizing disposition in this aching single. She metaphorizes love as a “losing game”, a “losing hand”, and a “fate resigned”, to show that love may not be a lasting thing forever. With Winehouse’s experiences, she takes this song by moaning and groaning about the messy aftermath of a relationship gone wrong. Lastly, “Wake Up Alone” is Winehouse’s eighth single off the album. This song is the most significant in telling Winehouse’s side of the story. Her lonesome, raspy voice mixed with the minor keys make for an aching piece to listen to. Her most powerful lyrics are in the beginning verse, where she sings, “I stay up clean the house/At least I’m not drinking/Run around just so I don’t have to think about thinking/That silent sense of content/That everyone gets/Just disappears soon as the sun sets.” She speaks about her actions, and explains that she tries to keep herself busy in the wake of her depression.

Tenors, Vehicles, and Commonplaces

The tenor in her lyricism are the feelings involved in each narrative. Winehouse generates an effective tone that has listeners feeling pain and hazed when listening to her songs. Every subject is identified and recognized well into each song, and Amy Winehouse presents the lyrics in such a way that makes them a significant influence in her life. The diction, figures of speech, the subject associated, are supported by its vehicles. Though each song varies in context, the main vehicle is her own thoughts. Each narrative is a story, yet she continues to bring the story back on herself. Each song reflects her experiences, which give her a chance to expose her true feelings, perspectives, and her behavior for what it is. Commonplaces are enveloped in reckless drug use, relationships, lifestyle means to shadow feelings, and a disappearing identity. Other songs like “You Know I’m No Good” and “Tears Dry On Their Own” (explicit) also share similar concepts about relationships, yet they deviate more toward Winehouse’s internal look about her role in such situations. Throughout the album narrative, her songs are constantly directed back to her as narrator. Her input is always there, and in most cases, she acts as the victim to each scenario. This may be due to insecurity and guilt amid her behavior and made decisions over time.

Reception and Effectiveness

Back To Black (2006) is an honest, thought-provoking album that many listeners identify with, because of its deep, significant topics – addiction, relationships, and the state of depression in wake of these experiences. Many believed that Amy Winehouse was detrimental and reckless in the celebrity spotlight. She was always a headline and a cause of conversation. A part of that came many critics hating on her behavior and her illnesses. In a 2015 Pitchfork article, Kayleigh Hughes contributes her thoughts on Winehouse’s eating disorder: “Amy Winehouse’s eating disorder wasn’t simply “yet another bad decision.” The environmental and genetic factors at play in Winehouse’s childhood and adolescence put her at extremely high risk for developing an eating disorder, and the lack of early intervention, education, and stable guidance meant that the disease was able to firmly take root and flourish as she was put in higher- and higher-stress situations.” (Hughes, n.p.).

In contrast, Winehouse and her work has followed with critics, condemning her for her identity rather than her personality. Music journalist Robert Christgau called her “a self-aggrandizing self-abuser who’s taken seriously because she makes a show of soul” (Christgau, n.p.). Her work with remain what it is, as it is a part of her legacy as an English singer. Her demise was sudden and a consequence to her actions and addictions. With her album, listeners now and in the future, will be able to identify with it in a way that helps them heal, listen, and understand. Her singles take the classic ideas of addiction, depression, and broken relationships, and shapes it into a beautiful collection that glamorizes, idealizes, and constitutes the feelings associated with these experiences.

 

Bibliography

“Amy Winehouse.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 May 2017. Web. 16 May 2017.

“Back to Black by Amy Winehouse.” Genius. Genius Media Group, 01 Feb. 2006. Web. 16 May 2017.

Hughes, Kayleigh. “We Need to Talk About Amy Winehouse’s Eating Disorder and Its Role In Her Death.” Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc., 06 Aug. 2015. Web. 16 May 2017.

“Lily Allen: The Same Everygirl After All.” Robert Christgau. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2017.

Sandall, Robert. “Can Amy Winehouse Be Saved?” Times Online. The Sunday Times, 27 July 2008. Web. 16 May 2017.

Winehouse, Amy. Back To Black. Amy Winehouse. 2006. Spotify. Web. 16 May 2017. Retrieved from https://open.spotify.com/album/097eYvf9NKjFnv4xA9s2oV.

 

*Part of an assignment for COMM 300.

Younger Generations & Top 40 Radio

Introduction

Radio broadcasting is a platform used to convey information among multiple generations. Radio listeners retrieve content that covers music, news, politics, and more. In the modern age, there has been an ever-increasing trend in consumer-run products, like online music streaming services. With a rise in these services, it begs the question: What is the current standing of traditional radio today? The state of the radio industry is arguable because of its dichotomous viewpoints. Point A: Radio is a dying industry and losing its existence. Plain and simple. Or Point B: it is expanding exponentially, but changing into a different platform and format. It is important to analyze this topic because it provides communication scholars with an idea of our consumer habits and our interactions with artists today.

Background Information

With music streaming services modernizing and exponentially growing, younger generations are equipping themselves with subscriptions and their loyalties to music streaming services over traditional radio because of its digital accessibility, radio nationalization, and consumer/artist endorsement and interest.

Radio stations are made up of many departments that build the content to appeal to ideal consumers. Each station is limited to a particular format, whether it is solely news/talk, pop, indie rock and alternative, R&B/hip hop, etc. For radio stations, the content is built up by programmers, radio deejays and hosts, and salespersons. In 2016, the United States Department of Labor (USDL) revealed that there are 25,640 radio and television announcers that get an average hourly wage of $22.05. The employment pool for radio personalities is small; the ideal candidate for today’s deejay is boisterous and gathers a lot of attention. Candidates reflect the same expectations as today’s television personalities. Also, radio programmers determine music choices usually based on what songs have been the most listened to, purchased, or shared. The difference between radio and online streaming is not only formatting, but the limitations. Radio stations identify based on one genre, whereas the scope of music streaming remains vast, a considerable advantage when appealing to more listeners.

Online music streaming services, like Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal, require jobs in programming and audio engineering over talent. The USDL found that there are 2,740 software developers and programmers, many of which would be maintaining the upkeep of today’s online music outlets. They are paid $36.37 hourly (n.p., 2016). Unlike traditional radio, programmers for streaming services are paid more and have greater competition because of their large audiences. With digital content, there is greater organization and accessibility for modern consumers.

Data & Evidence: Digital Accessibility

Younger generations are being raised in a digitally active society. In 2016, Norman Medoff and Barbara Kaye co-wrote “Electronic Media”, a book that compares traditional platforms to modern ones, including the radio industry. Medoff and Kaye argue that students no longer have the patience of listening to broadcasted radio: “Today, students live in a nonlinear, digital world in which traditional broadcasting plays a greatly diminished role. For example, students no longer wait for over-the-air radio to play new music or favorite tunes. The Internet provides multiple streams of music, much of which can be shared and downloaded for future playback on computers or mobile devices.” (2016, n.p.). So not only are consumers losing musical interest in traditional radio, but they are gravitating toward using streaming services for that instant satisfaction. Accessibility to these platforms are not as actively sought out as radio stations, when at home, the office, or in a sit-down setting. Letting the music play has naturalized into modern society, and the ability to push play to any song is a luxury that cannot be made up with repetitive songs on the radio. Younger generations would much rather play their own songs online over turning on the radio because of this concept called “freeconomics”. “Freeconomics” is described as the generation of free music content at the disposal of the consumer. However, many free subscriptions to platforms like Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal, have ads that cannot be avoided. Such services still give consumers the benefit of listening to music of their choosing, unlike radio, where consumers go through unwanted ads and in some cases, unwanted songs.

Daniel Wiechmann’s 2012 article, “The Impact of Online Music Services on the Music Recording Industry”, describes the economic rates of music sales. Wiechmann mentioned that in 2008, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) found that 40 billion CD files were shared illegally. In more recent years, CD sales have been dropping, and therefore, the rate of illegal CD file exchanging are at a set decline. This has been a factor in radio broadcasting too. Many college radio stations prefer emailed electronic music submissions and MP3 files over sent physical copies of CDs. Because inputting music into radio software is time-consuming, emailed and downloadable links to songs are easier to manage and organize for radio personnel.

Wiechmann also notes that as of 2012, there are more than 230 million social networking users. With an expanding amount of music platforms online, like Spotify, Tidal, and YouTube Music, the accessibility in content is present now more than ever. A part of its accessibility is the fact that these platforms are “free” – many platforms require a subscription or email to get access. The musical discoveries are limitless, and because of the array of options, the process to stream music online is normalizing (Wiechmann, n.p., 2012).

Data & Evidence: Radio Nationalization

Community radio is on the decline; the emergence of online services and streaming music is one of the many reasons why localism in radio is disappearing. In David King Dunaway’s 2014 article “The Conglomeration of Public Radio”, he analyzes the state of localized radio in a world of monopolizing radio. Dunaway writes: “The days of mom-and-pop radio stations in small communities, serving their communities through direct participation and personal engagement, fairly much ended in the 1990s, in part because of the media deregulation movement of the 1980s (Dunaway, n.p., 2014). So not only are the mom-and-pop radio stations dying, but they are limited and regulated in owner rights. More and more consumers are listening to local radio, and are gravitating to branded, more nationalized stations.

Stations today are gaining listener attraction from its brand name recognizability (like iHeart Radio) or by its online presence. National Public Radio (NPR) is a prime example of this. Their original corroborations with local radio groups led to a nationalized enterprise, and their switch to an online format has made them one of the largest online radio organizations today. Because of NPR and their online presence, there is a paradigm shift in how the radio is being listened to. His study looks at three college radio stations: one in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Flagstaff.

In Los Angeles, KPCC-FM was owned by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). The station was licensed to Pasadena Community College, featuring student production shows, local shows, and a diverse set of music formats. On January 1, 2000, the ownership was shifted to American Public Media – this meant that all programming, including student shows, were eradicated. The switch in leadership provided the station with 25 new positions and 15.7 million dollars given in a 15-year contract. Now, American Public Media (APM) stands as the second largest broadcast platform in the nation. Dunaway notes that “this brought its chain of 30 public stations to a national level, which commands higher underwriting rates and national sponsorships” (Dunaway, pp. 179, 2014).

APM today generates content the same way NPR does. Nielsen, one of top media research companies, says that APM has an estimated 900,000 listeners weekly, reaching consumers through network stations across the country and their online programming.

Digitalized consumers gravitate toward nationalized platforms because they are transferrable when talking about them – people use the brand name to identify with others and make associations with people. Local radio connects people within a community, but online, nationalized music services, is a topic that people can build from in conversation.

Data & Evidence: Consumer/Artist Endorsement and Interest

Services like Spotify, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud have given artists an elevated ability to showcase their tracks to a larger audience. In a 2013 Forbes article, Steve Savoca, Spotify’s Head of Content, explains that artists go viral because of listeners: “It translated into this social phenomenon. The users felt they discovered something really exciting and they wanted to express it. They shared tracks with friends on Spotify, Facebook and Twitter… it spread like wildfire” (Bertoni, n.p., 2013). Artist emergence, consumer interaction, and social media convergence enables the relationship between artists and consumers to grow in a way that is portable, personal, collaborative, and accessible. It has come to the point to where artists solely have their music on streaming websites. Artists like Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean, and Beyoncé feature their work on specific music websites, which requires fans to subscribe to these platforms. This way, the relationship is mutual for the artist and for the streaming service. Fans are buying into the platforms to retrieve the music, and the music is being secured within the platform, leaving the quality and value of the work in-tact.

Lorde, one of today’s top artists, has made a name for herself after her single “Royals” expanded from the “Shazam effect”. As described in the Forbes article, written by Steven Bertoni, the “Shazam effect” is the generation of a viral reaction by listening to a song, discovering the name of the artist, and spreading the word about them via social media. Other artists like Lukas Graham and Jon Bellion grew out of that same effect.

Phenomena like the “Shazam effect” have changed the way in which promoters and artists put out their music. Artists are always showcasing creativity and innovation, and sparking the interest of a blind listener is one of the best compliments given. In an analysis article from The Atlantic, promoters for radio now are strategizing their marketing and outreach tactics, to boost consumer interest at all music radio platforms: “Concert promoters study Spotify listens to route through towns with the most fans, and some artists look for patterns in Pandora streaming to figure out which songs to play at each stop on a tour.”

Radio stations choose their songs the same way promoters vouch for their artists: market research and data provide a glimpse of what listeners like and what products they sway toward. Radio stations use market research to determine what songs make the cut and what songs do not. Referring to The Atlantic article about the “Shazam effect”, Derek Thompson explains that “the reliance on data may be leading to a ‘clustering’ of styles and a dispirited sameness in pop music” (Thompson, n.p. 2014). Though the process of handling the same songs is easier to organize, the repetition of songs does not fully identify with the diversity of today’s music as a whole. Radio stations today are subjected to a limited set of songs, because each station is divided up by genre and format. Music platforms online generate a wider audience because of its conglomeration of all formats and all genres of music. Therefore, many people today prefer to just pick and choose songs they are interested in rather than regularly listen to the “Top 40” countdown and other radio shows.

Contradictory Data: Radio Still Provides Many Options

Arguably, radio may not be gone after all. The definition varies, which makes the controversy of its state noticeable. From where it originated in the 1930s, radio can be defined by the relay of information through radio soundwaves. Others suggest that radio is about the generation of information, whether it is news, music, or entertainment, using an auditory aid and any presented format. Radio is defined as a multitude of things, and spans across all nationalized and localized formats. The scale of radio platforms today is interpretive, and that is a part of the argument against the industry’s deterioration.

NPR, one of the top online services used for podcasting and music reviews, adjusted to a digital format to appeal to more users. Jennifer Dorroh, former director of the International Center for Journalists, wrote a piece on the evolution of NPR’s digitalized format. In “Transformation of NPR”, Dorroh notes that “about half of NPR’s mobile visitors (about 700,000 to 800,000 per month) use iPhones, the major driver of the site’s growth”. NPR utilized the growing numbers of iPhone users to assess the online attention of NPR users. Like many other platforms, NPR took their content and moved it into an area that has greater usage. From there, they can generate higher ratings and impressions from consumers.

Additionally, NPR argues that though the internet brings a broad range of music options for today’s consumers, it takes away from the personalized customer experience. “The Web can be very impersonal,” according to Dorroh. NPR’s outreach requires “looking for ways to bring the humanity back into that environment and for people to feel a personal connection and investment (Dorroh, n.p., 2008). NPR is taking on their nationalized platform and trying to personalize it into a localized setting, an asset that continues to sustain radio communities today.

Localism is a very important concept that radio broadcasters use in their platforms. From Medoff and Kaye’s book “Electronic Media”, they describe localism as an advantage that terrestrial radio has against any other platforms: “Radio station signals remain local because of the nature of how they are broadcast and received…A radio station serves its community with local-interest entertainment programming, news, weather, sports, and community affairs and information.” (Medoff, n.p., 2016).

Referring to Dunaway’s article, the analysis of three cities and the conglomeration of local to national radio causes distress for radio broadcasting students. Though the nationalization of terrestrial radio into APM gains higher ratings and a greater amount of listenership, the platform disregards the educational needs of students entering the field. Rather than looking to expand the reach and opportunities of students, the station is conglomerating their predispositions and talents, essentially favoring the audience over the rookies. Dunaway leads into that conversation by asking about the needs of the local college community: “But how, in dumping local student and community programs for national programming streams, does KPCC serve the educational needs of the college community to which it is licensed?” (Dunaway, pp. 179, 2014). Arguably, the newfound station does provide a prime and idealized example of a traditional, successful radio station. However, without putting production into practice, it will be a much more difficult process for students to learn about the industry.

The local communities are not fully gone, and neither are its constituents. According to data from Edison Research, the percentage of Americans 12 years of age or older who have listened to online radio in the past month has once again continued to grow – rising from 53% in 2015 to 57%. That share is about double the percentage of Americans who had done so in 2010 (27%). Updated data for devices of choice for online radio listening in 2015 were not available, but during 2014, 73% listened on smartphones, while 61% listened on desktops and laptops (Vogt, n.p., 2016).

Contradictory Data: Music Streaming May Not Last Financially

Music streaming, unlike traditional radio, is controlled under copyright law and licensing contracts more so than station ownership rights. In Peter Tschmuck’s 2012 article “Creativity and Innovation in the Music Industry”, he argues that artists will have greater impressions on music streaming, but may be devalued. Peter explains the economic ramifications out of using streaming services: “Despite an increasing number in users, the streaming services operate at a loss, mainly because of the high license fees they have to pay to the copyright holders.” Further into the article, research shows that U.K. services Last.fm and we7 had losses of £2.84 to £3.66 million in 2009. Additionally, Spotify had losses of £26.5 million, with 70 percent of revenues going to subscription fees and 30 percent to advertising income (Tschmuck, pp. 195, 2012).

These statistics can target consumers in a negative light. Even though these platforms are generating millions of users, the businesses will deteriorate if they cannot make up for the fees. The progression of “freeconomics” and the perks of ad-supported platforms result in the entirety of the industry being a fad. Copyright law has remained stagnant amid the emerging services. Artists still have a say in where their music is played, and if that requires a price, then that is something that music streaming services need to accommodate to.

Conclusion

The way in which people listen to their music is changing and always expanding. Whether the scale of music will officially become independent, or whether radio personalities will continue their admirable efforts, one thing remains: the content is what attracts consumers, it is simply a matter of who or how it is presented. Years from now, music streaming services will become the new normal, and traditional radio signals will begin to rot. The Top 40 countdown will be saturated, and people will divulge into their own personal musical interests. The way people will listen to their chosen music will change all aspects of the music industry – music festivals and concert tours, promoters and advertisers, economists and programming, and consumers will generate the content into something greater and within reach. The platforms may diversify, but the content will always be there for our future reference.

 

Works Cited

“About MPR.” Minnesota Public Radio. Minnesota Public Radio, 2017. Web. 07 May 2017.

Bertoni, Steven. “How Spotify Made Lorde A Pop Superstar.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 27 Nov. 2013. Web. 07 May 2017.

Dorroh, Jennifer. “The transformation of NPR.” American Journalism Review, 2008. pp. 25-31.

Dunaway, David K. “The conglomeration of public radio: A tale of three cities.” Journal of Radio & Audio Media, 21(1), 2014. pp. 177-182.

Medoff, Norman J., and Barbara Kaye. “Electronic Media.” Google Books. Oxford University Press, 1 Dec. 2016. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.

(2016). “Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016”. Bureau of Labor Statistics. United States Department of Labor. May. 2016. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.

Sauls, Samuel J. “Locally and free: What broadcast radio still provides.” Journal of Radio & Audio Media, 18(2), 2011. pp. 309-318.

Thompson, Derek. “The Shazam Effect.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 29 Nov. 2014. Web. 07 May 2017.

Tschmuck, Peter. “Creativity and Innovation in the Music Industry.” Google Books. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012. Web. 01 May 2017.

Vogt, Nancy. “Audio: Fact Sheet.” Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project. Pew Research Center, 15 June 2016. Web. 07 May 2017.

Wiechmann, Daniel. “Impact of Online Music Services on the Music Recording Industry.” Google Books: Grin Verlag Ohg, 2012. Print.

Former VP Joe Biden Leads “It’s On Us” Campaign At Mason

JOE BIDEN

Joe Biden spoke at George Mason University on Wednesday about the “It’s On Us” campaign, an initiative to end sexual assault on college campuses. Photo By (Mimi Albano/Office of Student Media GMU).

FAIRFAX,VA – On Wednesday, April 26, Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden stopped by George Mason University in a deliberate campaign to end sexual violence across all college campuses.

Rose Pascarell, Vice President of University Life, made the announcement on April 20 about Biden’s arrival and Mason’s mission to end sexual assault: “Mason has made eradicating sexual assault a top priority. It is the only university in Virginia to offer a 24-hour crisis hotline, which is managed by the Student Support and Advocacy Center. It also advances the critical notion that everyone at the university must play a part in ending sexual violence. That includes taking the Mason pledge to end sexual violence and understanding the importance of bystander intervention.”

The It’s On Us initiative was attended by faculty and students, members of GMU’s resources, and “13 Reasons Why” executive producer Joy Gorman and actress Alisha Boe, who plays Jessica Davis in the series.

Their mission is perpetrated on those surrounding the conversation: us. The It’s On Us campaign heavily focuses on the people involved (and not), and they admonish, “the solution begins with us.” Almost 40-minutes long, Biden’s speech enveloped into an open pledge to help survivors and improve college rhetoric circulating the topic. He encouraged students to enforce safety and intervene when situations leading up to sexual assault begin to unfold.

Biden confidently mentioned his longtime advocacy against sexual assault since 1994, when he issued the Violence Against Women Act. Since 2014, he has been a part of It’s On Us, the campaign initiated by then-President Barack Obama.

Biden presented his statements in such a way that was logical and clear to students. He ignited the crowd, leaving everyone with an uproar of compelling support and emotion. With his profound solutions, crowd-seekers were inspired to question the assumptions of scapegoating victims and survivors: “No young man or old man can justify his actions by saying, ‘It was my right. She asked for it’. That’s when we’ll have changed the culture.”

Anxious about the judgments of the future, he urged people to act out now. Be a part of the conversation and speak up, especially if victims are incapable. He connected his takeaways to treating others humanely: “Brutality is brutality. Human rights are basic. I don’t care what your religion. No religion, no culture, can be sustained or should be tolerated, that says it’s okay to abuse another human being. Period.” Readjusting common paradigms means changing the way in which college students casually communicate.

It’s On Us’ “Autocorrect” PSA, published March 28, shows viewers a familiar glimpse into a text message conversation, a possibly common way for younger generations to speak about the matter.

George Mason University backed Joe Biden’s declaration to ending the violence by involving many campus organizations and resources. University Life, Title IX, The Student Support and Advocacy Center, and Counseling and Psychological Services at Mason aim to help students in crisis situations.

Biden, along with the other well established speakers, ended with positive and hopeful anecdotes. The group of speakers as a whole showcased their public and reveling support in the fight against sexual assault stigmas. Biden ended his speech eloquently, drawing back to the ultimate mission: “What you do has profound ripples. It’s about the urgency of now. Take the pledge. Follow through on it. Change the culture.”

 

Check out It’s On Us’ Facebook page for more information.

Check out GMU’s Office of Student Media Facebook page for additional photos.

GMU’s Student Support and Advocacy Center (SSAC): http://ssac.gmu.edu/

GMU’s Title IX: https://diversity.gmu.edu/title-ix/what-title-ix

GMU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): https://caps.gmu.edu/

 

Originally published on http://wgmuradio.com/. Audio summary of event and video can be found at the link. 

COIN’s HWYKIYNT Is Past The Sophomore Album Slump

COIN wows in recent album. HWYKIYNT (2017). Photo By (COIN/Facebook).

COIN wows in recent album, HWYKIYNT (2017). Photo By (COIN/Facebook).

COIN is leading a front in the independent pop artist game. Their newest album, How Will You Know If You Never Try (2017), also known as HWYKIYNT, came out this past Friday, April 21. With leading singles “Talk Too Much” and more recently “I Don’t Wanna Dance”, they leave indie pop fans vacating all music elsewhere and directing themselves to the album. Their second album is a familiar pop series that embodies a mixed bag of emotions, all with a stagnant and cheerful disposition.

Two years after the release of COIN (2015), featuring some prominent go-to pop singles like “Run” and “Atlas”, the new album shows the very development and confidence of the band. The Nashville band takes their dreamy vocals, pumping drums, and wildly smooth guitar riffs up a notch. Their lyrical growth and outreach of emotions makes the listening experience a familiar yet enjoyable one.

COIN’s album starts with an empty and slow introduction “when I talk about the future.” They quickly adjust their momentum and bring back their usual windy drums and pushy beat. Chase Lawrence, the lead vocalist, assures his Nashville heritage by mixing his vocal twang with jumpy indie pop instrumentals. It is rather reminiscent of indie artists who share optimism in their tracks, like Magic Man, LANY, The 1975, Grouplove, and Smallpools.

Following songs have a similar format, each containing relatable story, undeniable cheer, and riffs true to the band. “Talk Too Much” is the third song off the album, and it is the talk of the town; this anthem emulates the insecurities of many individuals in a cute and honest approach. Their fourth song “I Don’t Wanna Dance” also has a similar message, validating the goodness of the song through irony, in a way.

COIN’s album holds a theme: challenging the realities of teenage/young adult love and relationships. With relationships comes insecurities, blunt conversation, and of course, courtship. Their lyrics prove this. In their sixth song “Are We Alone?”, parts of the script add to the very emotion that comes with young love. “Pulling teeth just to ask how your day was” is one notion which many may relate to.

A part of young love, however, comes along innocence and a fresh start. COIN ends their album slow, like the beginning. The last songs “Miranda Beach” and “Malibu 1992” simply add to the narrative, ending in such a way that is filled with nostalgia.

Overall, COIN’s HWYKIYNT (2017) is the ultimate go-to summer album to add to any indie pop playlist. Though there is little variety between songs, they still contain positive messages that are relatable on so many levels.

Rating 7/10, would recommend.

Check out COIN’s full album HWYKIYNT (2017) on Spotify, Soundcloud, and iTunes.

 

Originally published on http://wgmuradio.com/.

Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why Stirs Controversy by Romanticizing Suicide

Netflix is one of today’s leading online subscription services the internet has come to know. With that comes controversy, and their recent series 13 Reasons Why is unlike their outreach. Netflix has had their fair share of shows and originals, many of which have had top notch cinematography. However, some media enthusiasts may find the meaning and morals of the story more important than the actual production of it.

The release of the show was almost a month ago, March 31. Viewers follow the thirteen episodes, entering the mind of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford). Langford, 21, characterizes a sullen teenager who commits suicide early into her junior year in high school. Each episode reveals a reason that attributed to her demise. Many teenagers and college students have found the show to embrace mental illness in an entertaining light rather than a serious one. Though the show has generated a lot of attention and viewership, many still believe that the way the show treats suicide is intolerant and an unacceptable representation of what happens to a victim.

The show contains several traumatic instances of broken relationships, addiction, bullying, sexual abuse, and crime. Reporting on Suicide, focused on channeling correct media representations of mental illness, is one of many organizations who lashed out against the glamorization of the show. “Covering suicide carefully, even briefly, can change public misperceptions and correct myths”, the website confirms. The organization believes that such perceptions “can encourage those who are vulnerable or at risk to seek help.”

Many experts on suicide prevention and media, examined by The Washington Post, have shared their thoughts rejecting the show. They continue to argue that the show is overreaching, romanticizing, and another economic benefit for Netflix. Watching a show about a suicide ignites it, to some. To others, it is a beacon of light. To them, it is a realistic representation of society, a reality that many leave behind and hide from the spotlight.

SpringFest Means Free Food and Friends All Around

Springfest

Springfest invited students to learn more about Mason’s many on-campus services. Photo By (shopMason/Facebook).

George Mason University is the largest public university Virginia has to offer. With spring in the air, events are happening left and right. Recently, many Mason associations, clubs, and organizations have organized International Week, HIV/AIDS Awareness Walks, and this week, Nonprofit Career Week. On April 18, shopMason hosted SpringFest, an event celebrating the on-campus dining services and stores surrounding the HUB and campus life.

ShopMason is the marketing group run by Auxiliary Enterprises. The program manages advertising campaigns for the Mason bookstore, Mason Dining, EagleBank Arena, Starbucks, UPS, Manhattan Pizza, and more.

The event took place outside, in front of the HUB and at Corner Pocket. Corner Pocket is a meet-up place for students to socialize with pool, video games, old-school air hockey, and music. Weekly, they host an open-mic night, inviting students to perform poetry or introduce their bands. With the sunshine ablaze, echoing blasting music, and tents cascading under each organization, the turnout was eventful and the experience showed students what shopMason is really about.

All companies under Auxiliary Enterprises were represented. Corner Pocket offered free pool play to students, and each tent spread across the HUB courtyard. Over 100+ students passed through the event, receiving free shirts and food from Manhattan Pizza and Dunkin’ Donuts. Within a half hour past noon, everything was gone.

“The turnout was great. I was really surprised”, said WGMU Radio’s program director Cory Morgan, undoubtedly. As an on-stage host, he and Matt Dotson put on a live riffing presentation bringing light to the Office of Student Media. Their half-hour performance on the small stage emulated the same wit and humor from their weekly radio show, The Nice Guys. Morgan, a graduating senior, was elated and in shock with the amount of attendees, considering it was in the middle of classes and the week.

Julie Luu shared similar thoughts regarding the end results. “Honestly, it was pretty great for a school event”, she said. Luu is a junior at George Mason studying advertising, and the way that shopMason marketed the event must have been something out of her studies.

Not only was there high volume, but there was also greater awareness. With recent changes to on-campus dining plans, the event allowed for Mason Dining Services to reach out to the community in an interactive way. Their social media presence was a great way to spread the word out on future semesters: the JC cafeteria, adjustments to Freedom and Bonus Funds in dining plans, and food trucks are a few of the updates Mason Services has made. The event in large amplified the information, passed along through word-of-mouth and social media, making the gestures clear to students.

Many other students believed that the event was a success, considering it was being hosted by Mason. Typically with large events, people create expectations and judge everything about aspects of what’s happening. From 11am to 2pm, shopMason provided passersby with free food, t-shirt giveaways, coozies, and much love.

 

Originally published on http://comm203.wordpress.com/.