American music industry  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
American music, music industry, Tin Pan Alley

The American music industry includes a number of fields, ranging from record companies to radio stations and community orchestras. Total industry revenue is about $40 billion worldwide, and about $12 billion in the United States. Most of the world's major record companies are based in the United States; they are represented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The major record companies produce material by artists that have signed to one of their record labels, a brand name often associated with a particular genre or record producer. Record companies may also promote and market their artists, through advertising, public performances and concerts, and television appearances. Record companies may be affiliated with other music media companies, which produce a product related to popular recorded music. These include television channels like MTV, magazines like Rolling Stone and radio stations. In recent years the music industry has been embroiled in turmoil over the rise of the Internet downloading of copyrighted music; many musicians and the RIAA have sought to punish fans who illegally download copyrighted music.

Radio stations in the United States often broadcast popular music. Each music station has a format, or a category of songs to be played; these are generally similar to but not the same as ordinary generic classification. Many radio stations in the United States are locally owned and operated, and may offer an eclectic assortment of recordings; many other stations are owned by large companies like Clear Channel, and are generally based around a small, repetitive playlist. Commercial sales of recordings are tracked by Billboard magazine, which compiles a number of music charts for various fields of recorded music sales. The Billboard Hot 100 is the top pop music chart for singles, a recording consisting of a handful of songs; longer pop recordings are albums, and are tracked by the Billboard 200. Though recorded music is commonplace in American homes, many of the music industry's revenue comes from a small number of devotees; for example, 62% of album sales come from less than 25% of the music-buying audience. Total CD sales in the United States topped 705 million units sold in 2005, and singles sales just under three million.

Though the major record companies dominate the American music industry, an independent music industry (indie music) does exist. Indie music is mostly based around local record labels with limited, if any, retail distribution outside a small region. Artists sometimes record for an indie label and gain enough acclaim to be signed to a major label; others choose to remain at an indie label for their entire careers. Indie music may be in styles generally similar to mainstream music, but is often inaccessible, unusual or otherwise unappealing to many people. Indie musicians often release some or all of their songs over the Internet for fans and others to download and listen. In addition to recording artists of many kinds, there are numerous fields of professional musicianship in the United States, many of whom rarely record, including community orchestras, wedding singers and bands, lounge singers and nightclub DJs. The American Federation of Musicians is the largest American labor union for professional musicians. However, only 15% of the Federation's members have steady music employment.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "American music industry" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "American music industry" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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