The Global Jukebox: The International Music Industry

By Robert Burnett | Go to book overview

Chapter 5

The production of popular music

Market segmentation, distribution, brand loyalty, new product launches…the industry fits quite neatly into the consumer goods category—especially if it is looked at from the top down.

(music company executive)


SYSTEMS ANALYSIS

Some of the most promising research developments in the study of the production and consumption of popular culture have been the attempts to use the tools of industrial and organizational sociology (see Lewis, 1978). This research attempts to answer the following types of questions. What sort of constraints do systems of production and consumption place upon one another? How do these systems affect the content and reception of popular culture? What is the relationship between culture industries and the larger societal institutions? This focus on ‘culture industries’ serves as a timely reminder that the mass media are first and foremost work organizations that depend upon the labour of workers, technicians, engineers and managers at a variety of levels of skill. This fact is often submerged below the otherwise exciting self-image the media projects of itself in various forms of ‘infotainment’.

DiMaggio and Hirsch (1976) have delineated three major organizational approaches to popular culture production, ranging from closed to open systems, or from micro to macro levels. The first of these approaches focuses on the individual and his/her occupational role or career in interaction with the popular culture organization. The studies of gatekeepers, occupational socialization and creators versus institutional constraints are typical subjects for attention.

The second type of research takes the culture organization as a whole, and its administration, as the focus of analysis, and hence examines production requirements and coordination tasks. The third approach is

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The Global Jukebox: The International Music Industry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Tables xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - Music and the Entertainment Industry 8
  • Chapter 3 - Music as Popular Culture 29
  • Chapter 4 - The Music Industry in Transition 44
  • Chapter 5 - The Production of Popular Music 64
  • Chapter 6 - The Consumption of Popular Music 81
  • Chapter 7 - The American Example 99
  • Chapter 8 - The Swedish Example 120
  • Chapter 9 - Future Sounds: a Global Jukebox? 138
  • Postscript 149
  • Bibliography 153
  • Index 166
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