Universal Music Group

HideShow resource information


Mainstream Audience

  • Allows one big selling profit £££
  • The Big Three's main audience

Niche Audience

  • Indendent labels
  • Big Three through subsidiary labels such as Decca or Interscope
  • Long Tail Theory = adds up the profits of all the niche audience profits and collectively could rival The Big Three
  • Allows interaction between artist and audience through social networking such as Myspace and Twitter

Young Digital Natives

  • Like to be interactive
  • Web 2.0
  • Big Three make music avaliable on internet, mobile phones, films, games and TV
1 of 13

Distribution of The Big Three (Universal Music Gro

Digital Copies

  • iTunes (2004) = Easy and Instantish 
  • iPhone = Miniturisation and Portability
  • One track over full album
  • Customisable playlists = personalised listening experience = identity and image

Physical Copies

  • Cds and Vinyls = Long Tail Theory
  • Stockists include HMV and GAME

Other items

  • Merchandise
  • also produce games and movies
  • Guitar Hero = features artists on their roster such as The Killers
  • Produced 'Shaun Of The Dead' and the soundtrack for it
2 of 13

Promotion and Marketing of Universal

Florence + The Machine

  • Web 2.0 = most efficent way to reach young digital natives
    • Facebook
    • YouTube
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • VEVO = UMG is co-developer alongside Google and Sony (Cross media convergence)


  • Part of the oligopoly (The Big Three)
  • Own website 
  • Massive global presence = offices in 72 countries
3 of 13

Illegal Downloading Issues for Universal

Napster (Peer to Peer Sharing)

  • Launched in 1999
  • Allows people to link their computers directly to each other to share their music collection without paying companies or artists for the songs
  • Dr Dre sued Napster for it's peer to peer sharing system
  • Big payouts to The Big Three
  • Audience out-cry as Big 3 keep money -----> only then they decide to share money with artists
  • Napster shuts down in July 2001

Drop in Physical Sales

  • Due to developments in technology, physical sales have dropped
  • iTunes launched and within 2 years CD sales dropped by a third
  • Changing promotion and marketing to focus on digital over physical
  • Vinyl is on the rise, accounting for 14% of all sales
4 of 13

Similarities and Differences between Indie and Maj


  • Technology has benefited them both in marketing and promoting their acts


  • Major's Ethos = £££ whereas Indie's Ethos = Music/Artists
  • 360 marketing = Majors have more money/funding and therefore support
  • Contract = Indie's let artists keep their music rights
  • Most major's artists earn 10-15% royalty on their music whereas indie label offer the artist about 40-75% in royalty
  • Indie's have a stronger relationship with fans, therefore fans will buy more as feel a connection

Basically Indie's postives are Major's negatives and visa versa

5 of 13

Distribution of Rough Trade


  • Below the line advertising
  • Tracks of The Week
  • Album of The Month
  • Recommending new artists on their roster to audience

Physical copies

  • CDs and Vinyls (vinyls 14% of music sales)
  • Merchandise = Tshirts, Jigsaws
  • Stores in Nottingham, New York and two in London
  • Part of Record Store Day 
  • HMV stock CDs and Vinyls from currently and past signed artists
    • more stockists = easier to buy = promoting physical sales

Digital copies

  • Online store
6 of 13

Rough Trade - Record Store Day and Vinyls

  • Massive sales
  • nostalgia of vinyls (remembering when young)
  • love of physical browsing, hunting for the one you want,  that 'first record'
  • passion, love for music, time to sit and enjoy the music
  • Rough Trade artists play
  • Supporting record stores and unsigned labels
  • Different listening experience, raw sound
  • Culture of music, use to be a sacred thing people would save up for and love
  • Full experience around it, buying it - unwrapping it - playing it - sharing - go to concerts
  • Teaching younger generation
  • Social side of it, meeting people in stores
7 of 13

Rough Trade - Marketing

Palma Violets

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram 
  • Spotify
  • Purchase their albums by MP3, Vinyl and CD on Rough Trade website
  • To play at Leeds Fest 2015
  • More tours such as NME Tour, and their own UK Tour, all promoted on the Rough Trade website
8 of 13

Rough Trade - Marketing

Social Networking

  • Myspace - not as update, seems a waste = 40k followers on their page
  • Mailing List
  • Twitter
  • Facebook - Up to date posts on news and events
  • YouTube
  • Spotify

360 Marketing

  • Always Alright by Albama Shakes is the soundtrack to the film Silver Linings Playbook
  • Songs played on BBC Radio One
9 of 13

Rough Trade

Current Roster Include:(http://www.roughtraderecords.com/images/artist1/10700.jpg)

  • GirlBand
  • Albama Shakes
  • Palma Violets
  • The Decemberists
  • Antony & The Johnsons
  • Benjamin Booker
  • British Sea Power
  • War Paint 
  • SOAK
  • Howler

Past Roster Artists:

  • The Libertines
  • The Smiths
  • Babyshambles
  • The Strokes
  • The Buzzcocks
10 of 13

Illegal Downloading for Rough Trade

Rough Trade Card = allows customers to download digital copies of physical items they have                                         purchased 

Rough Trade Record Store Day = Promoting physical sales of vinyl

Niche Audience = Music lovers = prepared to pay for music as artists get a large share

Part of Music Matters campaign

  • is a campaign to start a conversation with the listening audiences and let the music do the talking, making people realise that music is a precious experience(http://www.hypebot.com/.a/6a00d83451b36c69e2017d3deb35e6970c-150wi)
  • The Music Matters mark signifies the support of musicians and their craft,   and will be carried by legitimate music services and retailers
  • a series of short animated films about inspirational artists 
  • In 2011, the Beatles added their voice to the campaign, joining Kate Bush, Elbow, JLS, Paloma Faith, Sigur Ros and many others in telling us why they love music and what it means to them


11 of 13

Me as a Music Consumer

  • I own an iPhone 
  • Use the Spotify app to get a massive range of music instantly 
  • Spotify Radio allows you to expand your music collection and find new artists
  • Purchase physical copies, vinyls, from HMV and other record stores
  • Watch films such as Silver Linings Playbook and will then go and download the soundtrack
  • Part of social networking, I have Instagram and Facebook where I follow my favourite artists 
  • I go to gigs and concerts, going to Leeds Festival this year 
12 of 13

Starbucks and Spotify Merger

  • In the heyday of the CD, Starbucks was a leading outlet for the music industry to sell its new releases
  • announced a multiyear deal to work with Spotify, the subscription streaming service, to produce playlists for its stores and promote Spotify at its locations
  • Spotify has 15 million paying subscribers and another 45 million who listen free with advertising
  • Starbucks has over 760 stores just in the UK
  • For Spotify, the deal also brings valuable in-store promotion just as it prepares to face a major new competitor in Apple, which is expected to introduce its own streaming music service as early as next month
13 of 13


No comments have yet been made

Similar Media Studies resources:

See all Media Studies resources »See all Music Industry resources »