The creative industry is a huge industry, which is one of the biggest in the world. Many of the industry players have had to be very innovative to keep up with the increasing competition in the market. The creative industry ranges from the music, industry to performing act, movies and plays. The organisation to focus on this easy is the Universal Music group. The organisation is a leading global music organisation which deals with video and music production (Quinn, 2017). The company has the best of the best in the world and is ranked as the best recording company in the globe. The company is a leading music company with fully owned operations. It had a license in over 77 nations, where its business entails the Universal Music publishing Gromyko which a leading global publishing operation. The group owns the likes of Columbia Nashville, Jive Records, Masterworks and Legacy Recordings.
The company also has two distinct divisions which are the Universal Music Enterprises which is based in the US and the Universal strategic marketing which deals with operations outside the US for distribution. Despite the challenges in the music Industry, UMG has managed to keep up and established itself as one of the best through innovation. Some of the factors that have contributed to the growth of the industry are the issue of innovation and the fact that the company has utilised a lot of its resources in ensuring growth, through r4esrcvah and having the most skilled experts and professionals in its organisation (Csiba & Pinna, 2017). However, just like other companies in the globe, UMG also faces several challenges and difficulties which deter it from fully attaining its set goals and objectives.
Nature of the problem
Technology has had positive impacts on the creative industry. The music industry, which is a part of the creative industry, has also felt the impact of modern technology. However, technology has also had negative effects on the music industry and specifically to the UMG. The first problem that technology has brought to the company is the easy leaking of songs and albums to the world, before its actual release date. Occasionally the organisation has been faced by these challenges, where hackers are getting more and better technological techniques where they can access some of the systems of the company and leak the music or albums (Cherry, 2001). The problem of leaking a song is that the anticipation of listening to the music is diminished and the mystery is no longer in place, hence greatly affecting the sales to be made by the company and ultimately the profit margin of the company fails to reach the anticipated target. Alternatively, as much as technology has been good for the company, many musicians no longer need a recording group, and instead make their releases in platforms such as YouTube, among others hence affecting the revenue collection and ultimately the profits acquired by UMG.
Technology is one of the factors that has resulted in the leakage of music songs, hence affecting the UMG company. This, however, does not just apply to the company, but the industry at large. Where this is a challenge that ought to be addressed to ensure that the privacy of the company systems is guaranteed and that no external party can access g the UMG systems, to avoid occurrences in the future (Harvey, 2015). With regards to the issue of having toot adversely affect the operation s of UMG, it is obvious that technology has become very advanced, making people opt not to buy music but rather get it for free from such platforms. One can download songs from YouTube using software such as mp3 converters and YouTube downloaders, among others. This is not beneficial for not just the musicians but also the music groups and firms such as UMG (Hammond, 2014). In worst case scenarios, some people have even gone to the extent of downloading the music illegally, instead of buying it as an album or a single. This has adverse effects on the revenue attainment of UMG, a factor which ought to be addressed shortly for the sake of the growth of the music industry and specifically the Universal Music Group (Harvey, 2015). A major recent leakage of an Album as Rihanna’s “Anti” Album, which Tidal, a subscription-based music, podcast and video streaming service, accused of leaking. This was not the only case since there have been constant times in which music from the group has been leaked to the public before the actual release date.
Analysis of the Problem
Leaking of songs is a form of online piracy that has greatly affected the Music Industry globally. UMG is also one of the firms that had been greatly affected by this type of piracy, which goes against the ethical conduct that people should observe when using modern technology (Quinn, 2017). The leaking has been getting worse by day, more so as internet advances. This has led to the destruction of musician’s strategic plans and the strategy in place which could have assisted in not just the growth of the firm, but also the individuals.
Initially the old-fashioned type of leaking was when an individual would be going through trash, or looking specifically for CDS that would have demos or even possible singles. However, as a result of the internet and the cloud-based sharing, it has become quite relatively easier to come across music before it is even released (Day, 2011). Major labels such as the Universal Music Group, have had tight security on their work, making it almost impossible to access thief systems for such information or music. However, despite the high-security featurism the music somehow can get accessed by the third parties how to have an intention of leaki9ng it to the public before just release date (Harvey, 2015). This has forced artists to release their albums before their set dates once they suspect of any cases of leaking. Leaking of music has internet problems, which has a large part in ruining of the music industry. This act of leaking shows brutality and dishonesty in the industry.
Another issue related to leaking that is a major problem to the industry is where some artists tend to steal other people’s music before it is released and make it their own. Bigger and more popular artists by acquiring other people’s music without authority could release it as their own since no persons will believe the other party when they claim the originality of the music, This has been taking place for years (Hiller, 2016). However, technology has made it relatively easier. As much as the UGM has managed to patent songs and ensure that they are jot release before they have their copyrights, technology enables the internet hackers to get to their systems occasionally and once in a while get to steal or without authority leak some audio before it is patented. This is not just a challenge faced by UGM but several music companies, an issue that requires an ultimate solution that would ensure that the originality of the songs is protected (Gregory, 2018). With regards to people failing to buy music and instead opting to download it from other platform s, UGM has not been much affected though this is still is a challenge that has forced the company to be creative in its own way.
However, many industrial players have been affected by this and have, since their sources of revenue have been affected. However, YouTube, on the other hand, has made it easier for an artist to earn through its platforms. This is through advertisements and other different ways that have an advantage to the artists (Stokes, 2019). Nevertheless, there are disadvantages which are associated with people failing to buy albums through the designated platforms directly, and instead opting to download the music directly or acquiring it from unlawful platforms that exist illegally.
UMG has some of the best strategies for dealing with the challenges they face with regards to technology. However, the company has also been through several hurdles related to technology, which have had adverse effects on its performance. With regards to the leaking of music, the firm has been constantly affected by this challenge where in some cases it is hard to fully protect its systems from external attacks more to a result of advanced technology (Stokes, 2019). The efforts undertaken by the company have mostly worked, though once in a while leakage have been experienced.
With regards to YouTube and other online platforms, the firm has constantly been at loggerheads with them. In 2007, UMG was accused of abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, where it forced YouTube to remove music which had UMG’s content. This was with regards to the issue of copyrights. Through the courts, this issue was resolved, where UMG allowed for the song to continued being hosted by the YouTube Platform.
There have also been several issues between UMG and YouTube over several songs. An example is the case of a Megaupload company which uploaded a song in YouTube featuring great artists such as Alicia Keys and Snoop Dog, among others. The artists seemed to be endorsing the Megaupload Company. The problem was that all the artists on the song had been signed by UMG and had agreements of not appearing to songs by other companies (Quinn, 2017). Such is a challenge that may be affected by UMG with regards to YouTube and other online platforms. However, the5re seemed to be an agreement between the two companies since the video was later returned to the YouTube platform. From the many cases of UMG, it is apparent that there are many challenges faced by not just UMG, but many companies in the music industry, more so with regards to the advancement of the new technology, in terms of leakages agreements and also going against the set laws and regulations in pace.
It is evident that UMG’s relationship with platforms such as YouTube has not been smooth, based on the many court cases and accusations the firms have been having over time. However, currently, the group signed a deal with YouTube, meaning that the many disagreements that the two were having could soon be settled (Witt, n.d.). Most of these indifferences have been as a result of music rights holders and also policies in which the platform plays music from UMG without a well laid out agreement.
The disagreement with platforms such as YouTube has had an adverse effect on the company. Another cause of the differences was as a result of the fact that YouTube has constantly allowed copyrighted materials into its platforms without acting as required by the laws in place. Getting into Partnerships is vital in that YouTube could assist in the distribution since it has quite a huge audience which major labels such as UMG lack. The two could also ensure that the adverse effects which could have been brought up as a result of the modern technology are fully tackled and those through partnerships, the two get to enjoy more revenues, which ultimately results to higher profit margins (Pacha & Eidenberger, 2017).
With regards to the leaking of songs, before their official release date, UMG needs to develop new and better strategies of ensuring that all information within its systems is well secured and protected. The company also bought to see to it that its systems are well protected and that the best security features are used in the protection of data which contains the music and any other confidential information for its artists. This needs to be constant, because every day there are advancements in the new technology, leading to other parties continuously having new and better ways of managing to get access to their systems (Quinn, 2017). The company also needs to hire qualified personnel who will be mandated with ensuring that the company’s internal systems are well protected against hackers and individuals who mean harm to the company. There is also a need for constant training and development programs to these staff members, to update them with better methods of securing music and albums by artists who have been signed by the music group.
It is also evident that leaking of music is not just through the use of technology, but also by failure to have good team members, where one or several individuals may decide to be unethical and leak the music without first seeking for consent. There are a need for UMG to advise its signees that they need to have a smart and tight team which can assist in the prevention of a leak. Having loads of people when working on a project is a possible reason as to why music can get leaked (Quinn, 2017). UMG also needs to have a better system in place where there is a specific group mandated with ensuring that all inputs in terms of songs and Albums are well secured and that measures are in place to ensure that only parties with authority can make a release.
Cutting the distribution channels is also another strategy that UMG can use to avoid cases of music and Album leakage. The company should instead focus on having direct-to-fan services such as having Big Cartel or Band Camp sales. However, this may also have its cons, since music may also end up getting leaked, before its official release date. The advantage of making direct releases without having middlemen or platforms is that the company will be fully held liable of the music and also will limit the chances of third parties getting prior access of the music before it is fully released to the public. Direct releases would also mean that there is a collection of higher revenues as compared to the current methods used by UMG. However, some of the disadvantages of adopting this model are that a majority of the prospective music customers may not be conversant with this method, hence resulting to a need for massive marketing which would serve as a way of creating awareness to the prospective client (Hammond, 2014). This might end up being relatively more expensive and also more energy consuming as compared to other methods currently being used by the group.
With regards to the issue of persons failing to buy music and instead of opting to either illegally acquire the music or use different platforms such as YouTube to Mp3, UMG needs to have a sitting with the government of the day and the relevant authorities to deliberate on how to tame such issues. The government on the other hand through legislature needs to enact laws and policies that will protect the industry players such as UMG to help them in fighting such unfair competition (Hiller, 2016). Regulations in place could see to it that there are restrictions to persons using the internet on how he can access music or albums. UMG hence needs to first deliberate with other industry players and settle on issues that the companies would like to get addressed by the government to protect their businesses from illegal sale and distribution of music from the internet.
A common approach to the government would mean that the players in the music industry have the upper hand in the deliberations and may consequently be able to tackle some of the major challenges that the industry has faced as a result of the advancement of the technology (Csiba & Pinna, 2017). Well deliberated laws and policies will also ensure that issues related to copyrights and patents are also made clearer, where the artists will get protected against theft of their music and where they will be able to enjoy maximum benefits with regards to gaining profit from their art.
The company also needs to form a research team which will ensure that they constantly develop innovative ways of addressing the emerging challenges, more so those related to technology. Innovation is critical way of ensuring that there are new solutions towards emerging issues and also develop better methods of dealing with challenges that may derail the company from attaining its set goals and objectives.
In conclusion, it is apparent that despite modern technology has many positive impacts on people’s day to day livelihoods; it also has some negative effects. The music industry has been affected by the advancement of modern technology. The report has focused on the Universal Music Group which is one of the largest in the world. The challenges that the group has faced over time as a result of the modern technology include the issue of song and albums getting leaked by third parties as a result of the invasion of hackers or individuals with abilities to access the company system. Another challenge that may be faced the company is on the issue of individuals managing to get free music from YouTube through downloading the songs using specific software or illegally acquiring it from unauthorised sources. Over the years UMG has also had major disagreements with YouTube, over the issues of copyrights and patents, where there have been several court cases ion specific issues concerning the rights of specific music. UMG however, being one of the greatest labels in the world has been able to develop several strategies in dealing with such issues. Some of the discussed strategies include having better and stronger technical systems, partnering with companies such as YouTube and also incorporating innovation in its structures. However, in the future, the company needs to ensure that it has advanced structures in place to deal with the issue of leakages. It also needs to partner with the government to ensure that there are better laws and regulations in place that will ensure that illegal sale and distribution of music is limited or fully done away with. The deliberations with the government will also be keen on ensuring that the issues related to copyrights and patents are also made clearer, where the artists will get protected with regards to matters of sale a d distribution of their music.
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