Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Spotify vs Music Artists

How do older media, such as the radio, serve as a template for a Wireless Culture? 

Streaming sites like Spotify are the new era of music, following the great influence that radio has had. It allows users on demand access to their favorite artists right at their fingertips without needing a hard copy or paying for each individual download. Spotify and other music streaming companies are rising fast to combat piracy, but some artists argue that the payout is not fair.EndFragment

I believe that the way artists were paid traditionally through older media forms such as CDs and especially the radio has served as an example for the newer streaming industry to pay artists. Artists used to get paid much more for a play on the radio or for a CD sold than the fraction of a cent that they receive with a listen on a streaming site like Spotify. 

The biggest problem with the math battle going back and forth between streaming sites and artists is that the radio play would go out into the public for any listeners to listen to for free, whereas streaming sites leave the song at the free will of the on demand user. Because this has never been an option for consumers before and the closest to it was when they paid for each individual download of a song, artists and streaming sites are caught in a tug of war over the revenues. 

Another factor from the radio industry that is not incorporated into streaming sites is Performance Rights Organizations or PROs. Radios would actually pay fees for music directly to PROs who would then take care of the distribution to artists, songwriters, and labels. This is because a play on the radio is considered a public performance since listeners to not pay to hear the song. While a user paying for a Spotify subscription and listening to a song directly through their head phones is far from a public performance, maybe a third party similar to a PRO could be the answer to this battle.


Bacle, A. (2014, November 3). Taylor Swift vs. Spotify: A timeline. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from
Consor, K. (2014, August 6). What You Didnt Know About Radio Royalties. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from
Forde, E. (2013, July 15). Spotify row: how do musicians make money? Retrieved February 28, 2018, from
Haynes, A. (2017, May 12). How Does Spotify Make Money? (NFLX, AAPL). Retrieved February 28, 2018, from
 Singleton, M. (2017, June 15). Spotify now has 140 million active users. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from

Friday, March 9, 2018

Radio: Amazon's ALEXA in Radio

        The Question of the Week was "How does radio technology serve as a template for wireless culture?" My claim in response to this question was that wireless technologies like Digital Voice Assistants utilize the same fundamental technologies that initially developed radio. These same technologies that sparked radios popularity and made it the first form of mass media are integrated
into the wireless technologies of today, just in a more mature, advanced and digital fashion.
        My first tactic in establishing this point was to emphasize the traditional form of radio,
terrestrial radio and highlight how this now simple technology, then changed the world and out communication methods by its usefulness the world of politics and media culture through military use and radio stations within the home and consumer cars. I then introduced the idea of wireless digital assistants as whole to make the transition from traditional radio to my specific case study on Amazon's ALEXA more seamless. In acknowledging other digital assistants like Apple's Siri, Samsung's Bixby and Google's own Assistant, the variances in radio technology that are integrated are much more evident when looking at digital assistants as a whole.
       In introducing ALEXA, I focused on the capabilities integrated within the technology.
Things like the power of turning on the coffee maker, changing the temperature in a room, or giving live game stats all in response to the sound of a human voice. Once these capabilities were acknowledged, I could then further explain the technology behind them and how they exhibit traditional components of radio. Through the use of Ultra-Wide Bandwidth radio technology (a form of digital radio), ALEXA is able to access the digital spectrum of information for efficiently. The voice component of ALEXA's capabilities are also a result of digital radio technology adapting and advancing to respond to voice, which ALEXA's voice database is always expanding through increasing interactions with everyday human speech.
     In concluding my presentation, I emphasized a few points of how ALEXA's ability to grab from the digital spectrum, and connect to a multitude of other household appliances like televisions and air conditioning units are made possible by foundations that fundamental radio was built from. I then provided a different perspective of radio and its place in our society now defining it as a technology that shaped our advances, but it now instead being shaped by the consumer, and tailored to the consumer.

Smith, S. (2014, November 10). Radio: The Internet of the 1930s. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from

This article is a component of the larger project "The First Family of Radio" podcast on the Roosevelt family

D. Raychaudhuri and N. B. Mandayam, "Frontiers of Wireless and Mobile Communications," in Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 100, no. 4, pp. 824-840, April 2012. doi: 10.1109/JPROC.2011.2182095

Purington, A., Taft, J. G., Sannon, S., Bazarova, N. N., & Taylor, S. H. (2017, May 06). Alexa is my new BFF: Social Roles, User Satisfaction, and Personification of the Amazon Echo. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from

Gugliotta, G. (2007, May 31). How Radio Changed Everything. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from

Porcino, D., & Hirt, W. (2003). Ultra-wideband radio technology: Potential and challenges ahead. IEEE Communications Magazine,41(7), 66-74. doi:10.1109/mcom.2003.1215641

Dunn, J. (2016, August 26). Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa look poised to explode. Retrieved March 04, 2018, from

Straubhaar, J., & LaRose, R. (2015). Media now(9th ed.). Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Bridging The Gap Between Traditional Radio and Streaming Services

The question of the week regarding radio was “How do older media serve as a template for a Wireless Culture?” My claim was that older media do this by figuring out the basis of what works and then new media expands on that base. To establish this point, I discussed the basic forms of terrestrial and digital radios. I then explained streaming services. Following this, I discussed the differences between these music platforms. This included benefits of traditional radio (terrestrial and digital) and areas of improvement to keep up with streaming services. From there, I discussed iHeartRadio. I chose to explain this service because it clearly bridges the gap between traditional radio and streaming services. This is because it has a traditional end where it streams live radio broadcasts yet also allows users to have their own playlists, discover their own music, and has plus and all access subscriptions. In my conclusion, I clarified that traditional forms of radio are still present today but are decreasing in popularity. Following the presentation, the class discussed reasons why they would care if traditional radio disappeared due to personal and emotional connections with radio stations they grew up with. My final claim was that streaming services have relied on the older medium of radio as a template but radio now must also use streaming services as a model.

Clark, B. (2015, July 17). How Analog Radio Works, What's Digital Radio, and What's Next? Retrieved March 05, 2018, from
Harris, M. (2018, February 8). Streaming Music: How Does It Actually Work? Retrieved March 05, 2018, from
Mangum, G. (2014, September 24). Ideas on the Future of Radio: Algorithms, Radio Programming and Open Data. Retrieved March 5, 2018, from
Meneses, J. P. (2012). About Pandora and other streaming music services: The new active consumer on radio. Observatorio (OBS*)6(1), 235-257.
Nielsen Holdings PLC. (2013, November 12). Extra Terrestrial: Consumers Still Tuning In To Traditional Radio Despite Out-of-This World Competition. Retrieved March 05, 2018, from
Quain, J. R. (2014, July 25). Why streaming could be local radio's salvation. Retrieved March 05, 2018, from

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Free Speech and Fake News

In my presentation, Legal Libel, my goal of the presentation was to discuss and answer the question of the week: “What are the restraints of free speech and the First Amendment in the news?” by focusing on the idea of fake news, and how it fits within restraints and regulations of the laws of our nation.  To answer this question, I aimed to first address key terms of the chapter such as libel, fabrication, and dangerous speech in hopes to educate my audience of a few key concepts that are not covered by the United States Constitution.  I next introduced what fake news is, and provided the class with examples in order to show that fake news is out there, and gave statistics about how frequently Americans consume fake news.  I then introduced a specific case of fake news about Ivanka Trump, and how a fake news article claimed she had been shot in the White House.  Next, I outlined how and why articles such as these can be posted and circulated on the internet due to the laws of the Communication Decency Act and the loophole of Third Party Posting Sites. The class discussion focused on opinions as to whether articles like these should be restrained by free speech, and challenging others to educate themselves about credible news vs fake news.  This case aimed to show the restraints of free speech on the Internet, and how fake news gets around these restraints and can be classified as free speech.  

Privately Owned broadcasting and Freedom of the Press

In regards to the Question of the week: "What are the constraints on free speech & the First Amendment for the news industry?", My research lead me to see how little free speech is actually constrained in the United States, and how that lack of direct regulation can lead to unforeseen influence by commercial speech such as fake news and advertisements. Specifically referring to fake news as commercial speech was from one of my primary sources by John Riggins in his academic law review, which he published last year. He pointed out how fake news was quite difficult to regulate as commercial speech because to do so might be seen as trying to censor free-speech. He also said that even though the supreme court was currently looking into how it could be regulated as commercial speech, there is no clear method because the current definitions for fake news are too vague. A recent study by Bartosz Wojdynski and Hyejin Bang in 2016 came to the conclusion that user-curated advertisement can inadvertently decrease critical judgement in viewers, which makes the spread of fake or heavily biased news considerably easier. Reading these papers with the First Amendment in mind gave me the impression that the system was perhaps too lax and would benefit from being re-evaluation. Not to completely censor or a re-work of the the United States news industry, only to take a deeper look into what federal regulations are currently in place—with comparisons to international public news broadcasts—and be aware of how players in the news industry might take advantage of that in the Information Age.


Wojdynski, B. W., & Bang, H. (2016). Distraction effects of contextual advertising on online news processing: an eye-tracking study. Behaviour & Information Technology, 35(8), 654-664.

News: Constraints on free speech and First Amendment in the news industry

The question this week asks, “What are the constraints on free speech and the First Amendment for the news industry?” To answer this question I focused my case study example on digital newspapers on Snapchat. My claim is that news platforms have moved over to social media in hopes of targeting younger demographics. However, Snapchat is not entirely diverse nor is it entirely reliable as a primary news source. There are few hard hitting news channels available on the app and most of which are politically left leaning. Another point I have made is that Snapchat allows users to contribute to news stories through anonymous posts. This opens the door for possible fake news. In relation to the question of the constraints on the freedom of speech and the press, Snapchat being a private company has the right to post content it deems acceptable. The news channels and their material it allows on the app are protected under the First Amendment. In summary, my argument is that, although trusted and established news organizations have begun converging into digital newspapers on social media and have the freedom to use content provided by Snapchat users, the app itself also has the freedom to pick and choose the content users see, whether that be false information, partisan press, or information that some may find unsettling. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Media Lay & Policy: The Proposed Comcast & Time Warner Deal

The question of the week that proved to be the theme of my case study presentation was, "Who controls and monitors the media?" To answer the question, I analyzed the three different branches of our federal government. I looked at the different branches to understand how the role that each of the branches plays. Then I applied this knowledge to the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable back in 2014 and examined why it failed. 

Congress plays an important role in the process by creating and amending statutes (laws) at both the federal and state levels. They turn principles from the Constitution into more operational and concrete rules. Specifically, the Energy Subcommittee on Communication and Technology in the U.S. House of Representatives is involved in the first steps of laws that concern telecommunication and media. 

We learned that the FCC is the primary agency in the executive branch that has an impact on media. They create policy and enforce regulations, while also enforcing legislation as it relates to the media industry. The FCC reportedly decided that they were set to block the merger between Comcast and Time Warner because it was not in the public's interest (Brodkin, 2015). Speaking for the public and working to make them satisfied with their service is another major responsibility of the FCC. The public saw this merger as a threat to competition because of the monopoly Comcast would create. Comcast would also have been able to control prices in the market as well as reduce innovation. 
To learn more about the economic concerns about that surrounded the Comcast and Time Warner deal, examine this analysis by Scott Wallsten that takes a look at possible benefits and concerns. 

The Department of Justice, because they are the primary enforcer of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, played another important role in this deal by taking a larger look at the restraint of trade that it would cause. Not long after the government began to examine the deal in April of 2015, was it being reported that the Department of Justice was preparing to serve an antitrust lawsuit against Comcast and Time Warner Cable (Brodkin, 2015).  Then, the two companies would have been taken to Federal Court, most likely the Supreme Court which is the ultimate arbiter in the judicial branch. 

While the main institutions that regulate media rest in the executive branch (FCC & Department of Justice), the two other branches play pivotal roles in monitoring the industry. The public also plays a large role through actions such as voting and becoming involved with public interest groups. My case study of the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger shows that the government works to protect a competitive media industry. Without the FCC and the Department of Justice intervening, the deal could have been passed and go on to damage the market while poorly treating customers around the world.

Comcast / Time Warner Cable / Charter Transactions Terminated. (2015, April 24). Retrieved February 07, 2018, from
Brodkin, Jon. Comcast/TWC merger may be blocked by Justice Department. (2015, April 17).  Retrieved February 07, 2018, from
Ajit Pai. (2017, October 13). Retrieved February 11, 2018, from
Representative Marsha Wedgeworth Blackburn (Marsha) (R-Tennessee, 7th) - Biography from LegiStorm. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2018, from
Tune, H. (2015). Positive Law vs. Good Intentions: The Legality of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger. Elements, 11(1). Retrieved February 7, 2018.

Wallsten, S. (2014). An Economic Analysis of the Proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger. Retrieved February 7, 2018.