Quelles formes de valorisation pour la musique aujourd'hui?
Conference (invited speaker)

Université Paris 8 (Vincennes-Saint-Denis)
Université Bordeaux 3
Université Stendhal, Grenoble 3
Université de Poitier
Supported by the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Paris Nord
Paris, January 18, 2010



The paper takes a critical stance toward the dominant notion of a single music industry and outlines a far more complicated and contradictory system: the system of the music industries. Some recent trends in the development of the recording industry as part of this broader system, are also discussed. A main argument developed in this paper, is that understanding recent developments and the crisis of the recording industry requires a broader perspective that includes the process of creative destruction in the context of globalization, as analyzed by Tyler Cowen, as well as the six facets of the production of culture at large, as explicated by Richard Peterson.

In terms of this perspective, the paper discusses some of the basic features of the recording industry in Greece and describes some of its recent developments to the extent that this is possible in a conference paper. Several peculiarities of the Greek case, are presented and associated with the features of the symbolic production in the capitalist periphery and at large as well. Research shortcomings are explained on the basis of political and economic reasons and the technophobic attitude of this industry is discussed. In contrast with the recording industry rhetoric, the paper holds that the current crisis is rather the crisis of a specific section within a particular sector of the music industries. What the recording industry experiences as a destruction – the paper maintains – might be a creative destruction for the system of the music industries, the creators, and the audiences.

Finally, the paper concludes that investing in research and development of new business models instead of litigation and wars against technology – as the recording industry has done throughout the last century – might be more fruitful and efficient. It might even help to find a way out of the labyrinth of the current creative destruction, as well.