Reformatted: Code, Networks, and the Transformation of the Music Industry

ISBN : 9780199572410

Andrew Leyshon
224 Pages
156 x 222 mm
Pub date
Jun 2014
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The impact of digital technology on the musical economy has been profound. From its production, reproduction, distribution, and consumption, the advent of MP3 and the use of the Internet as a medium of distribution has brought about a significant transformation in the way that music is made, how it is purchased and listened to, and, significantly, how the musical economy itself is able to reproduce itself. In the late 1990s the obscure practice of 'ripping' tracks from CDs through the use of compression programmes was transformed from the illegal hobby of a few thousand computer specialists to a practice available to millions of people worldwide through the development of peer-to-peer computer networks. This continues to have important implications for the viability of the musical economy. At the same time, the production of music has become more accessible and the role of key gatekeepers in the industry-such as record companies and recording studios- has been undermined, whilst the increased accessibility of music at reduced cost via the Internet has revalorised live performance, and now generates revenues higher than recorded music. The early 21st century has provided an extraordinary case study of an industry in flux, and one that throws light on the relationship between culture and economy, between passion and calculation. This book provides a theoretically grounded account of the implications of digital technology on the musical economy, and develops the concept of the musical network to understand the transformation of this economy over space and through time.


1. Crisis? What Crisis?
2. Time-Space (and Digital) Compression: Software Formats, Musical Networks, and the Reorganization of the Music Industry
3. Scary Monsters? Software Formats, Peer-to-Peer Networks, and the Spectre of the Gift
4. On the Reproduction of the Musical Economy after the Internet
5. The Software Slump?: Digital Music, the Democratization of Technology, and the Decline of the Recording Studio Sector Within the Musical Economy
6. A Social Experiment in the Musical Economy: Terra Firma, EMI and Calling Creativity to Account
7. Afterword

About the author: 

Andrew Leyshon is Professor of Economic Geography and Head of the School of Geography (2011-2015), University of Nottingham. He has authored and edited several books and published over 100 academic papers and chapters. He was Editor-in-Chief of Geoforum between 1995-2006, has presented over 90 conference papers and seminars, been a Principal Investigator on six major Economic and Social Research Council grants. He was, until 2012, Deputy Director of the Financial Services Research Forum at Nottingham University Business School. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Environment and Planning A, and of the Editorial Advisory Board of Economy and Society.In 2007 he was elected as an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and he is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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