Rethinking “the music industry“Abstract
This article examines a very basic question for popular music studies: whatis “the music industry?” It surveys the usage of the term in various arenasand argues that it is often used in ways which state or imply that the industryis a homogenous unit with shared objectives and interests. However, thereality is that this picture is, at best, outdated and an inaccurate portrayal of the organisational structure of the global music economy in the mid-2000s.In addition, to think of a single “music industry” rather than music industr
,plural, is simplistic and does little to aid understanding of those culturalindustries which are primarily concerned with the creation, management andselling of music, either as a physical/digital product, a performance or as abundle of intellectual property rights. We tease out the implications of this,especially as they relate to understanding what is routinely referred to as“the music industry” and the development of policies for it.
Our argument here is a simple one – that the notion of a single musicindustry is an inappropriate model for understanding and analysing theeconomics and politics surrounding music. Instead it is necessary to use theterm music industries (plural). We show that this apparently simpledistinction has a number of important implications, most especially for theunderstanding of those industries and the designing of policies for them.