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Cycles in symbol production? A new model to explain concentration, diversity and innovation in the music industry

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 November 2008

Extract

With the publication of the article ‘Cycles in symbol production’ (Peterson and Berger 1975) a discussion started concerning the advantages and disadvantages of the production of cultural goods under market conditions. The analysis by Peterson and Berger showed a negative correlation between concentration in the recording industry, on the one hand, and the diversity and innovativeness of the music, on the other. Repetition of the analysis using data from the 1980s (Burnett 1990; Lopes 1992) has shown that for this period Peterson and Berger's hypotheses should be rejected. Is there a connection between concentration and diversity and innovation? Are there cycles in symbol production? There seems to be no conclusive answer. In this article, I will attempt to clear up this matter. First, I will repeat the analysis of the relation between concentration and diversity/innovation, using the same model as Peterson and Berger, but with different definitions for the variables concentration, diversity and innovation. Then I will suggest a new model, which can be helpful in uncovering other factors influencing diversity and innovation in the music industry. I will come to that later. Let me first give the reader a brief overview of previous research.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995

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References

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