Often, advancement in technology has been attributed to the great transition of the music industry. As such, the role of reality television shows in the advancement and growth of the music industry has tended to be underestimated. In effect, the reality television music shows and their central role in the growth of the music industry have not been given the publicity and attention that they duly deserve.
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Pragmatically however, technological advancements have, over the years, had a deep influence on the growth role of music in society. Similarly, musicians have exploited new instruments such as electric guitars and synthesizers in new and creative ways (Tschmuck, 2006:125).
The latter is of the view that advances in music-recording technology have transformed music making efficiency and enhanced quality of the same. In addition, Tschmuck indicates that innovations and creativity have to a greater extent and in varied ways influenced the modern music industry. Nevertheless, contribution of reality television music shows to the industry development cannot be underestimates.
Basically, the introduction of reality music television shows and backed by advancement in technology and its application in promotion and distribution of music has emerged as a great boost to the development of the industry in general (Cobo, 2004).
However, the role of TV reality shows and their significance on the music industry has attracted a debate, while other argues that such shows as the X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and American Idol have greatly boosted the music industry, opponents feels that the vice versa is the case.
The purpose of this paper therefore is to discuss the effects (both positive and negative in any) of reality music televising shows on the general music industries.
The music and entertainment industry
According to Burnett (1996:16), the entertainment industry can be defined as an industry that involves the inter-organization creation and release of performances ether in a narrative or non narrative form recorded or live the latter of which attracts audience both passive and active.
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Furthermore, it serves as a means of making money, generating income by the producer rather than expressly entertainment, artistic, journalistic, political or marketing goals.
As such, the release or the performance must entertain the audience or rather draws maximum attention from the latter or else maintain the audience steady, amused or busy throughout the entertainment session (Burnett, 1996:21).
The role of reality music televisions shows of the global music industry
Reality music television show’s’ effect on the music industry is a subject that has attracted heated debate with proponents citing the positive outcomes while the critics argues that they had the effect of derailing the music industry.
Argument for the reality music television shows
Reality television music shows have been proven to have positive effect on the general music industry, not only in the United States but also in other places across the world.
Following the staging of the reality television shows in Argentina in December 2002 for instance, Marcelo (2003) reported that the two contest which were referred to as the “Escalera a la Fama” and “Operación Triunfo” led to instantaneous and simultaneous entry of nine debutant music artists into the Argentinean music industry.
The reality music television shows which, irrespective of the fact the they had the contestants battling it out against each other, the contestants from both talents shows were rated using similar scale thus succeeded in getting the best entrants and talents into the Argentinean music industry (Marcello, 2006).
In order to get the best, the winners of both shows later faced with each other as part of the process to get the best such artists. The effect of such reality shows while serving as music talents identification and avenue of entertainment, they greatly foster quality of performances via stiff competition that characterizes the reality television music shows and concerts.
For instance, reports that the winners of both the “Escalera a la Fama” and “Operación Triunfo” were to face tight competition from the winners of the previous years is expected to not only intrigue high performance on the part of the new entrants, the established superstars would act as mentors and role model for the debutant superstars leading to more leaps in the development of the music industry (Cobo, 2004: 30).
Despite the hullabaloo that is currently witnessed in the music industry, reality music television shows has to a great extent posed as one of the vibrant industries in the present day. Ideally, this fact has since been covered by the increasing amount of reality television music shows that continues to clog the global television networks nowadays.
According to Angelo (2006:9), examples of the new television program that presents music oriented shows includes the “Nuevas Voces de América representing a reality shows that is produced by Emilio Estefan. This program went on air for the first time in 2005.
Since its creation, “Nuevas Voces de América is reported to have played a significant role in the development of the music industry. Combining both the American Idol” and “Operación Triunfo,” the television music reality shows role in the identification of music talent as well as their growth is unmatched.
According to Angelo (2006:11), the shows whose main objective and activity would involve identification and following down ten contestants transform from aspiring musicians (discovered young music talents) to establish recording artist ready to produce albums, would embark in actual training, coaching, and mentoring the contestants; the result of which is expected to produce cerebrated music talent.
Emilio Estefan the producer of the reality shows explained that the shows would among other things coach the contestants on how to record albums, the mystery behind changing of images as well as approaches to selecting and recording a song all in an effort to develop the upcoming music talents in all levels.
In the reality shows, the producer hinted that he had invited Latin designers to grace the concert and address the young talent for the purpose of encouragement and mentorship.
Irrespective of fact the there are other factors that have contributed to the vibrancy of the industry in transition and the level of growth of the music industry that is evident today, reality television music shows have undoubtedly played a central role according to Marcelo (2003).
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The latter assert that the popularity that the realty music television shows have given to the industry has made the industry one of the most lucrative especially in America and major parts of Europe thus attracting professionalism and competent music stars and other related talents into the industry.
Substantial evidence indicates that reality television music shows have had immense contribution to the present vibrancy of the industry in transition; the music industry making the industry to greatly expand, improved the quality of music production and presentation, made music shows and concerts glossier and extremely entertaining on the part of the audience.
As a result, the reality shows impacts on the general entertainment industry and the music industry in particular especially in the United States have been immense.
Typically, the United States of America is rather diverse. Identification of music talents prior to the introduction of reality music television shows was such a daunting task with the enormity of the country. Prior to the introduction of reality music television shows therefore, most music director and stakeholder had no alternative than to work with a narrow line of singer that they could easily access within their vicinity and limited ability (Angelo, 2006:12).
Consequently, the diversity of talents in matters of music was greatly compromised and many young music talents particularly the United States of America remained undiscovered probably getting wasted or dying out as unsung heroes.
Even for those young talents who had an opportunity of being discovered by the music directors, lack of a suitable platform to exhibit their talents as well as potential of sustainable career progression that is today presented by the reality music television shows acted as a great demoralizing factor (Marcello, 2003: 24).
As a result, the introduction and massive upsurge in reality television music shows has not only provided a leeway through which young music talents can be identified and natural but it has created an ideal stage via which young music talents especially in America, large part of Europe, and parts of Asia can display their talents thus drawing the attention and getting support of the music directors of all sort.
Consequently, reality television shows have not only made it easier and efficient to identify young and upcoming music talents but it has also greatly aided in bringing in high levels of professionalism; the latter of which has transformed in to remarkable improvements in quality of the music industry that characterize the latter in the present days.
Reality music television shows such as the X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, and American Idol among others have to a greater extent popularized the music industry the effect of which has seen the industry attracted a lot of sponsorships.
As a result, the increasing money and lucrative ness of the industry; the latter of which the reality television shows have placed a central role has encouraged young music talents and superstars to engage fully in to music other that doing music on part-time basis like it used to be the case a few years before.
A rather direct effect of the increasing popularity of music shows is that it has led to increased competitiveness, enhanced professionalism in music as well as much improved quality of music all of which are part of the positive transition of the music industry as a whole.
Also, as popularity in the music increase as a result of increasing reality music television shows, producers have started experimenting trying to change the shows towards even better outcome (Cobo, 2004: 30).
This is a suggestion/ a sign that if the current trends of success reality television shows in positive promotion of the music industry are anything to go by then the future of music industry and reality starred by the magnificence of such shows is very bright.
The reality music television shows: what do the critics say?
In some cases however, reality television shows have attracted a lot of controversy from a large quarter especially those who fault the result of the talent shows. Often, the critics of the reality music television shows have cited faults such as absolute biasness in declaring the winners in events of such concerts.
In some cases for instance, critics have launched scathing attacks and complains that the producers and organizers of the coveted reality music shows especially the United States have deliberately, refused to apply just criteria or rather method to choose the deserved winner among the contestants who flock the reality music television shows (Cobo, 2004: 30).
According to the Cobo, the unfairness in choosing the winners of such events has made it loose the confidence of the contestants and viewers, a factor that is likely to undo the gain which such reality shows have coagulated in relation to the ever increasing vibrancy, popularity, professionalism, and lucrative ness of the music industry especially in this 21st century.
Furthermore, critics of the shows have at times cited lack of openness and use of unfair means by the contestants themselves to emerge the winners casting a lot of doubts on the part of the viewers and other contestants whether the person who emerges victories was indeed the deserving or actually the best.
In some of that shows, those who feel that they have been robbed off justice have at times reacted angrily leading to situation of deadly flurry with direct effects of causing such a great disrepute and loss of confidence to the reality shows and overall negative effects to the music industry as a whole.
In some reality music television shows, the producers and the organizers of the latter literary leaves it upon the audience to make the final verdict on who becomes the winner of the shows. In most of such cases therefore, prejudice, biasness, hollow effect, and ultimately injustice thrives, greatly compromising the authenticity of the outcomes/ results.
It is further argued that the music reality shows may be undoing to the wellbeing of the music industry in situations where they lead to excess and unhealthy competition which at times has resulted into unprecedented hooliganism, assassination, and other forms of competition driven crimes.
The overall effect of such displeasing effects is loss of confidence of the reality music television shows by both the audience and the contestants the latter of which greatly discourages participation in the same.
Critics in support of reality music television shows
Irrespective of the cited anomalies that characterizes the reality music television shows, the people’s confidence in them as a means of promoting the music industry especially in discovery, nurturing, and developing of young music talents and bringing up of music superstars remains as high as ever.
According to Cobo (2004:29), irrespective of the amount of rigging and injustices in determining the winner of the concert, the most important and positive contribution of the reality music televisions shows to the music industry is that in the process, a young music talent emerges to the light as a result of being showcased in such a forum.
In relation to India for instance, Marcelo (2003:29) argues that the contribution of reality music shows in the resurgence of music industry has been immense especially in relation to discovery and development of young music talents.
The latter asserts that the reality music television shows have particularly offered an ample stage via which such young music talents can be exhibited the result of which has been increasing number of music superstars, increasing, professionalism, popularity, sponsorship & lucrative ness, and quality of the music industry.
Furthermore, Marcello (2003: 27) argues that success in all entertainment genres whether music, sports of films largely depends on the level of professionalism and ability to tap the many talents which remains at large. As such, a central source of absolute professionalism is increased financing the latter of which comes with increased sponsorship.
For instance, the hustle for your dream reality music television show 1st Ever Musically Recognized Martial Arts Tournament, it attracted well over $1million in sponsorship as investments for its financial support.
According to the organizers of the show of which they hoped would be an exhibition that music can be used for its positive influence, they were upbeat that the show will not only help in offering new talents in the music industry a stage to showcase talents thus offering an opportunity for growth but would also offer established music artists a chance to put have their names highlighted on a positive note in the community.
Also the show which was to be staged in partnership of the artistic expression of the Martial arts, music and dance communities would offer a chance for the renowned martial artists to show case their exceptional talent to the world. Of the exceptional preparations, marketing, and high financial sponsorship that marked the hustle for your dream reality music television shows, its success in the realization of its goals was expected.
Also, one of the world’s most famous reality music television show, the American Idol leads in attraction of sponsorships. For example, the sixth edition of the American idol has attracted lucrative sponsorships from fond motor company, FOX, 19 Entertainment and Fremantle Media Licensing Worldwide, Coca-Cola and Cingular Wireless as official with Form motor company regaining itself as the major sponsor of the American Idol.
According to this year price tags as announced early this year each of the sponsors will be required to pay will pay about $35 million in payment for commercial time, online content, co-branding and to be featured during the show up from the $ 30 million paid for the same in the fifth edition (Duncan, 2009) such huge sponsorship and financial support are greatly attributed for the unmatched success of the reality television music shows as well as high level of professionalism that characterized such in present days.
While citing abundance of such talents in India, Cobo (2004:27) expresses his optimism that the magic to the effective discovery, nurturing, and development lies on availability of platform via which such talents can be showcased and developed citing reality music televisions shows as the most ideal such platform.
Consequently, the latter was of the view that India had no better option than to embrace reality music television if its music industries vibrancy and lucrative ness was to match the likes of American music industry or the larger parts of Europe.
The implication of this argument is that the increasing staging and organizing of reality television music shows backed by the ever advancing technology and its applications to make the music industry were to a greater extent responsible of the current happy situation that characterizes the American and European music industry in the present days.
All evidence points out that reality music television show have had massive and significant positive contribution to the transition and vibrancy of the music industry that can be witnessed in present days.
Although technology has played a big part in the building of the present music phenomenon, the significant role of the reality music television shows cannot be underestimated. In fact, the reality television shows are the in thing having been realized to be an ideal platform of discovering developing and nurturing talents as well as marketing the art of music
As a matter of reality music television shows and their continued use in promotion of music have in no doubt played a significant role in development of music industry.
Among the gain that the reality television shows has coagulated in relation to the music industry in the 21st century includes increased ease in discovery; nurturing and development of young music talents, extensive building of music superstars, increased professionalism, and sponsorship of music thus making it a lucrative career path.
Those arguing against the reality music television shows have asserted that the general effect of the latter on the wellbeing of the music industry is lack of fairness, biasness, hollow effects, prejudices, and use of unfair such means in declaring the winner of the concert. Ideally, the negative effect of such injustices is discouraging participation.
However, even such critics contradict themselves by admitting that even amid injustices while getting the winner in the music shows cases, every concert leads to discovery of new young music superstars/talents.
Consequently, the overall effect of reality music television shows on the music industry not only in America but also in the global music industry is vehemently positive irrespective of the critics argument that there are often bias and dishonesty in declaring the winner
The increase in use of reality television show supported by the ever advancing technology and its use in music provides some light in the future of music industry.
The discovering Nurturing, and development of music talent which is the central role or reality television shows present a potential that if the currents trend in reality TV show are anything to go by, the industry will soon be awash with music talents, awesome music quality and marketing as well as high level of professionalism in music production and marketing
Angelo, M. 2006. Perspectives of the Management of Musical Institutions in Europe, OMF, Musical Activities and Institutions Sery, ParisIV-Sorbonne University, Ed. Musicales Aug. Zurfluh, Bourg-la-Reine, pg 7-13.
Anonymous. 2009. Global music industry today: the Garrison’s blog, WordPress Skins [Online].
Burnett, R. 1996. The Global Jukebox: The International Music Industry Routledge: London.
Cobo, L. 2004. Music-Oriented Reality Shows on the Rise. Billboard, 00062510 Vol. 116, Issue 22 pp 27-31.
Duncan April (2009), American Idol Offers Hefty Price Tag to Sponsors. Web.
Marcelo, F. 2003. Reality/Talent Shows Ignite Argentine Music. Biz: Billboard, Vol. 115 Issue 28, p20-29.
Tschmuck, P. 2006. Creativity and Innovation in the Music Industry, Springer, pg 122-137.