Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Mass Communication and Media Arts


Spahr, Robert


Throughout most of the twentieth century, major record labels were the gatekeepers to mainstream music. They controlled every aspect of the music industry, from artist recruitment through final music production and distribution. However, technological progress and the creation of new media platforms near the turn of the twenty-first century caused major disruptions to the traditional methods previously used by record labels to maintain control over music production, distribution, and monetization.

This research aims to explore how the creation of new media has disrupted traditional strategies utilized by major record labels, and how technology has helped to create gateways for independent musicians to promote and distribute their work without reliance on a record label.