Money for Nothing


Money for Nothing: Behind the Business of Pop Music

Money-for-NothingOf all mass cultural forms, popular music has historically been characterized by the greatest independence for artists and allowing access to a broader diversity of voices. However, in the contemporary period, this independence is being threatened by a shrinking number of record companies, the centralization of radio ownership and playlists, and the increasing integration of popular music into the broader advertising and commercial aspects of the market.

Narrated by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Money for Nothing features interviews with hip-hop legend and pioneer Chuck D, respected independent artist Ani DiFranco, Michael Franti of Spearhead, and Riot Grrrl co-founder Kathleen Hanna (of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre). It also includes interviews with popular music historian Professor Reebee Garafolo, ex-Rolling Stone editor Dave Marsh, political economist Robert W. McChesney, and Shirley Halperin, an editor at The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Money for Nothing succinctly explains how popular music is produced and marketed, and offers an accessible critique of the current state of popular music.



Sections: The Music Industry | The Gatekeepers: Radio, MTV, Touring, Retail | Music, Advertising, Marketing | Alternatives

Executive Producer: Sut Jhally

Producer: Kembrew McLeod
Associate Producers: Thom Monahan, Jeremy Smith
Editor: Jeremy Smith

Film Festivals

Official Selection, 2002 South by Southwest Film Festival

Official Selection, 2002 New England Film & Video Festival

Official Selection, 2002 REVelation Film Festival

Official Selection, 2002 San Francisco Documentary Film Festival

Official Selection, 2002 Experience Music Project Pop Music Conference

Official Selection, 2002 Lost Film Festival

Official Selection, 2002 Black Point Film Festival

Official Selection, 2001 Sound Unseen Festival


Rosa Luxembourg Award for Social Consciousness