Online College Courses for Credit

Money and Music

Money and Music

Author: Amee Wittbrodt
  • Understand, analyze, evaluate, and use different types of print, digital, and multimodal media.
  • Critically analyze information found in electronic, print, and mass media and use a variety of these sources.
  • Explore a PBS Kids website called "Get Media Smart."
  • Describe how songs are chosen to be played on the radio and how/why songs are used in advertising.
  • Analyze why artists choose to sell their music for commercial play.
  • Explain who owns the popular radio stations where you live.

Is your favorite song a new commercial? Ever wonder who owns your local radio station? Music plays a big part in commercials. Advertisers use music to create a certain mood or style.  Music in commercials can also help people remember a product through a catchy jingle.  Find out the story about your favorite music by exploring a PBS Kids "Get Media Smart" website and answering questions about the information. Find out who owns your local radio stations by using

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Thoroughly explore this website by clicking on the links, reading the information, and watching the videos.


Discussion Questions

  1. What product was promoted with one of the first advertising jingles in 1939?
  2. T/F? Bruce Springsteen turned down $12 million from Chrysler in 1986 to use his song "Born in the USA."
  3. Which of the following musicians sold their music for commercial play? (Brittany Spears, Moby, Madonna)
  4. According to Hamilton Leithauser from The Walkmen, why did the group choose to sell their music to Saturn?
  5. According to the same interview, why did The Walkmen not "sell out" to the Gap?
  6. T/F? Clear Channel Communications and Viacom are two well-known companies that own thousands of radio and tv stations.
  7. T/F? The music that sells the most is played the most on the radio.
  8. T/F? NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears were all created by record companies for a specific audience.
  9. T/F? If I want to listen to new music that doesn't get much promotion by radio stations, I'm out of luck.
  10. Who decides what music gets played on the radio? Explain.
  11. How do bands and artists become popular? Explain.
  12. What do you think about this information?  Do you find any of it alarming?
  13. Go to the following website and enter your zip code or city and state. Click "Go." Find a couple of local radio stations and click on the i to find out who owns each station. I was shocked to learn that The Walt Disney Company owns 6 radio stations in the Minneapolis area. Explain what you learned about the radio stations in your area.