Ethical issues in the music industry

‘What do you want to do when you’ll be older?’

‘I want to be a star!’

This is one of the most common answer that we get from a 6-year-old girl. Why?

Well, music is a big business, attracting million of people interest. It looks ‘cool’  to be a star and to sing in front of thousands of people.

According to the Digital Music Report 2012, the revenue of digital music grew by 8 per cent globally in 2011 that represents an estimated US$5.2billion. Music is everywhere and part of our daily life. Think about it: Can you notice one single day where you don’t hear any music? Even on television ads, or films, at the cafeteria or from the ringtone of your phone? Your answer is certainly no.

Music interferes more and more nowadays and it is not just a matter of entertainment through concerts and spectacles. Indeed, music has different purposes, for example: accompany dance (jazz, contemporary, classic or hip-hop), accompany public and private social event (weddings, sporting events, parties), encourage employees to work, selling products or services (through commercials), cure some illness (music therapy phenomenon), relax (ambient music in restaurants, stores, airports), or give motivation to students to work!

As music is everywhere, it represents a BIG business. Hunter S Thompson, a well know American journalist known as Gonzo wrote, ‘The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.’ Behind the sequined music business there is a reality.

Overall this business functions through lies, power, cheat, ego-self-orientated, non-talented people (but also talented people, the one I call Artists). Many people will give and do everything to succeed in their field. That is to say, for music producers, music directors, promotion or marketing managers, music journalist, music agent, etc., it is a real challenge to work in this domain. What’s more, concurrence between one another is enormous and that is the reason why many people are mistreated, disrespectful, and sometimes inhuman.  Why people have this behaviour? What encourage them to do so? What are their limits?

Do you think it is ethically right to have such a behaviour to succeed in the music industry?

Working in the music industry is a way to put oneself forward. It is a question of pride and self-esteem. One wants to show that he or she is important and has values and beliefs that have to be seen. One needs recognition so he or she can succeed in what he or she is doing. On top of that, what motivate is.. MONEY!

From what I have experienced and heard, intelligent people quickly or soon realise that being ethically honest, respectful and professional is the key to success in the long-term. That is why one has to build up a strong reputation in order to achieve a successful career. One builds trust on someone on the way he or she behaves on a daily basis. And that is the thing to bear in mind.

There are a huge number of characters in the music industry, some are ethically correct and even push you forward but some do the opposite by being self-fish, disrespectful and will do everything to kick you out. If you show a positive behaviour and treat people fairly that is definitely the right path to success.

Ethical behaviour is the secret weapon.. Do not omit it!

Claire Guidicelli



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