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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

 

Abstract

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.

 

Radio Content in the Digital Age
Conference

European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) - Radio Research Section
Cyprus University of Technology
Limassol, October 14-16, 2009

 

Abstract

Like any other medium, radio has been - and in certain ways still is - a major cultural agent, an articulator and at the same time a developer of values, attitudes, preferences, and ideologies in general, regardless of its organizational and operation model (public service, purely commercial, government controlled, or some hybrid).

This paper focuses on the social and cultural aspects of radio exploring the impact of the Internet on its qualities and functions that turned it into one important component of the music industries and a significant cultural force through its familiar programming practices as a content gatekeeper. The occasional use of the RF broadcast radio to establish social networks and promote alternative cultural expressions through innovative content, especially among young people, seems to be reinforced in the digital environment.

Based on an exploratory study of the Greek case and on previous research, the paper holds that there is a long distance between mere RF webcasting and taping the potential of the Internet it this direction. The paper outlines from this point of view some of the major changes brought about by the Internet radio. Lowering the barriers for audio broadcasting, loosening the ties with the recording industry, enabling new business models, introducing innovative practices and content, and finally favoring new types of radio culture, as well as forms of critical culture and even counterculture, Internet radio might succeed where the RF broadcast radio has failed - at least in the Greek case - namely in promoting content diversity.

Finally, in discussing the potential of the Internet radio as a cultural agent, the paper outlines the directions of the future research.

 

The Music Professional in the Digital Environment
Local conference within the framework of the EU DMET project (invited speaker)

Institute for Research on Music and Acoustics (IEMA)
Department of Communication, Media and Culture of the Panteion University of Athens
Athens, December 19-20, 2008.

 

Abstract

The impact of the internet and the new digital environment on the fields of the music creation, production, dissemination and reception, may be better understood taking into account the ambivalent features of the new medium, the complexities of the music industries as a system, the heterogeneity of the social groups involved (musicians, cultural intermediaries, audiences), as well as the dominant mode of production of symbolic goods in contemporary societies. This paper considers some of the new trends in the social space of music, as results of counterbalancing forces. It also accentuates the necessity for a dispassionate and unbiased analysis and evaluation of the changes observed in musical culture, to understand the transformation of the social roles of the musicians, of the structure, and the social functions of the music industries in general.

While bypassing prevalent stereotypes, avoiding flattening generalizations, and clarifying several social and cultural ramifications of the changes brought about by the digital environment, the paper argues that a better understanding of the current transitions may contribute to maximize the advantages of the new possibilities, extend the scope of the musicians and enhance the horizon for the audiences. It also argues that the needs emerging in the new environment, create another good opportunity - which should not be lost - to reconsider the laissez-faire policy in music, particular for the Greek case.

 

9th Conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA) European Society or European Societies?

European Sociological Association (ESA) - Research Network for the Sociology of the Arts (RN2)
Department of Sociology of ISCTE - Lisbon University Institute
Human and Social Sciences School of the New University of Lisbon (FCSH-UNL)
Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon (ICS-UL)
Portuguese Sociological Association (APS)
Lisbon, September 2-5, 2009

 

Abstract

Understanding globalization as a complex social phenomenon, this paper takes a different stance from both the cultural imperialism paradigm and the fragmented empiricism of several micro-level approaches of the arts. It is based on the approach of the arts as forms of communication, as systems for the creation, production, dissemination and reception of symbolic forms. In this context, the paper explores several features of globalization that affect the arts in numerous noteworthy ways.

These features include the introduction of alternative modes for the production of symbolic forms, associated with the development of digital technologies, the convergence of different forms of communication and the rise of social networks. They also include the collapse of the barriers in cultural exchanges, the opening of the cultural markets and the increasing importance of the global multimedia conglomerates - developments that entail new regulation problems, concerns about cultural diversity and the freedom of expression, as well as the intensification of the global cultural asymmetries.

It is argued that, nevertheless, these same developments created a new condition, reinforcing the proliferation of social networks and their eventual emergence as an alternative mode for the production of culture. The paper focuses on these peculiarities, supporting that globalization - even in its current, neoliberal form - affected in various, contradictory ways all six facets of the production of culture and created many more possibilities for the study of informal and alternative art worlds that have been hardly explored in the past.

The paper takes also a different stance from both the enthusiastic support and the complete rejection of the market mechanisms in the cultural field, as well as from the Internet Nirvana Theory and suggests that more research needs to be done in the conditions where networks displace communities and global marketization leaves less and less space for alternative form of cultural production.

 

2nd European Communication Conference

European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA)
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Barcelona, November 25-28, 2008

 

Abstract

This paper presents an exploratory study on content diversity in the local music radio and the recording industry in a small media market (Greece) analyzing the most heavily promoted output in a short period of time. This is the first study for the Greek case based on primary data and focuses on supplied diversity.

A sample of 563 songs aired most often by 57 stations dispersed in 28 regions of the country is analyzed considering variety, balance, and disparity as properties of diversity. The Simpson's D index, the Lorenz curve, and the Gini coefficient, have been used. To compare with the repertoire promoted by the recording industry, the charts published by the Greek branch of the IFPI before, during, and after the broadcast period, were used.

Analysis shows that although there is no significant correlation between the content promoted by the local music radio and the recording industry in terms of artists and albums, both media are very close in terms of lower diversity of genres, languages and countries represented in their repertoires. In this respect, a clear indication that various communities are inadequately served, was found. Nevertheless, diversity in the charts – i.e. in a far more concentrated industry – is larger. As this is an exploratory study, the limitations and the directions for future research are also discussed.