Music can be used to create and promote industry. Contemporary music provides numerous business opportunities for musicians, record companies, merchants, and the supporting industry. In fact, it is a huge multi-billion dollar industry, and the music industry is good in that it provides employment and helps spur the economy. However, like any capitalistic business driven by profits, it is not immune to abuse and greed.
Some consumers of the music frequently complain that the music industry is too profit driven, trendy, safe, and predictable. On defense of the music industry, they are a business and they exist to make money. Particularly the larger record companies, their selection process for choosing musical acts and material that will be profitable allows the best material based on popular appeal and marketing studies to be brought forward to the consumer. However, the drive for profits might result in an over exploitation of trends and a reluctance to take chances on new acts and material that might deviate from the norm. Interestingly though, they might not be maximizing their profits by playing it too safe and not taking chances by cultivating new talents.
Smaller record companies recognize this deficiency and opportunity and fill the void with niches. Hence, the popular growth of the alternative music scene in the 1970s and 1980s on smaller record labels. Unfortunately, because they are small companies, they do not have the resources, influence, distributors, promoters, and support to mass market and distribute their products in the same way the large record companies do. However, it needs to be pointed out that this is no different than most markets and industries in a capitalist economy.
One area that both large and small record companies have in common is their failing to meet their social and community responsibilities. High on the list of failure are those individuals that use negative gimmicks and tricks to market their products, make money, and advance careers (i.e., use shock to market products).
Some individuals that we entrust fail to acknowledge the impacts of their negative material or take responsibility for the resulting consequences. Some individuals have lost sight of their responsibilities to society, particularly children. Some individuals directly and indirectly target children with inappropriate material in their profit schemes.
From its infancy to its hey day, rock and roll was about having fun. When people start getting hurt, it loses its fun. Let us keep rock and roll fun. This category pays tribute to those songs that make reference to rock and roll.
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