Recorded Music Industry – Term Paper Example

Recorded Music Industry The Impact of Michael Jackson’s Death on the Recorded Music Industry The unexpected death of Michael Jackson left an unforgettable emptiness in the recorded music industry. His magical voice that rose above the spirit was suddenly and forever hushed (Gray). The world mourned over the death of the greatest pop icon of all time that broke barriers by introducing Black music into a world dominated by the Whites (“Michael Jackson”). Jackson’s devotees, including family and friends inside and outside the music world, paid tribute to the man who sold more than 750 million records (Gray). At the time of his death, Jackson, after 12 years of avoiding the public due to a rumored scandal on child molestation, was scheduled for a comeback in music history for 50 sold-out concerts at Londons O2 Arena in 2010 (“Michael Jackson’s Death Shocks the Globe and the Music Industry”).
The recorded music industry, prior to Jackson’s death, was on the verge of collapse due to the digital revolution. High-speed internet connections, the growing internet music piracy, file-sharing and free music downloads challenged the industry (Scott). However, upon knowledge of Jackson’s death, a complete roundabout saved the falling recording industry. Jackson’s death quickly spread online. Within minutes, Michael Jackson music sold out. Sales of his recorded music, particularly his “Thriller” and “Off the Wall” albums, topped the global pioneers in online music trade, such as Amazon and iTunes. “Thriller” ranked number one on the American iTunes; eight of his albums made it to the Top 40s; “Off the Wall” topped the UK iTunes and 39 Jackson songs made it to Top 100 best-selling songs (Choudhury). His records sold more than any other demised singers before him. The Jackson mania, along with his “Number Ones” and “HIStory” music collections soared like never before seen in the history of music, jumping from 4,000 units per week to an amazing 570,000 units per week, equivalent to roughly 15,600% increase (Peoples).
Impact on his recording company: The Sony/ATV Music Publishing
and his label: “The King of Pop”
One of the world’s biggest icons in music publishing is Sony/ATV Music Publishing, owned by Michael Jackson and Sony Corporation. The publishing company owns rights to 750,000 songs by recording artists, such as the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Eminem, and Jonas Brothers. Mijac Music Publishing catalogue, which holds exclusive rights to all of Jackson’s music, is solely owned by “The King of Pop.” (“Sony/ATV Music Publishing & Michael Jackson”).
After the unexpected death of Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009, his assets produced $1.4 billion in profits in a year’s time. Along with the sudden record-breaking sales was the momentous success for both Sony/ATV Publishing and Mijac Music Publishing. Mijac, which was of $75 million worth in 2005, is now valued at $150 million, likewise, Sony/ATV is of $2 billion worth today. It was reported that prior to his death, his finances were in deep chaos attributable to his expenditures beyond his earnings by $20M to $30M per year (“Michael Jackson’s wealth soars after death”). However, Jackson’s death renewed the Jackson mania. Sony sold 21 million Jackson albums worldwide. An estimated $250 million from record sales, product auctions of Jackson memorabilia and ticket sales to the supposedly upcoming London concert film, “This Is It” have been added to Jackson’s riches (Ethan).
Even after his death, the legend of Michael Jackson still lives on as the ultimate “King of Pop.” Michael, to all his fans, will always be remembered as the most dominant icon in the history of music (Kaufman).
Works Cited
Choudhury, Salah Uddin Shoaib. “Sudden departure of Michael Jackson.” Weekly Blitz.
26 June 2009. 4 November 2010.

Ethan, Smith. “Michael Jackson estate deal with Sony sets music industry record.”
The Wall Street Journal. 16 March 2010. 3 November 2010.

Gray, Kristin. “Music Without Michael: The First Year.” AFRO. 15 June 2010.
3 November 2010.
Kaufman, Gil. “Michael Jackson’s Posthumous Global Record Sales Reach 9 Million.”
EMZ Buzzwire. n. d. 3 November 2010.
“Michael Jackson.” Groove On. 29 June 2009. 3 November 2010.

“Michael Jackson’s Death Shocks the Globe and the Music Industry.” International
Entertainment Buyers Association. 30 June 2009. 4 November 2010.

“Michael Jackson’s wealth soars after death.” Fairfax New Zealand Limited. 21 June 2010.
4 November 2010.
Peoples, Glenn. “A Year Later: Michael Jackson’s Massive Sales Impact.” Billboard.
24 June 2010. 4 November 2010.