Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

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

  • Michael Christianen
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.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Andersen, B., Hesbacher, P., Etzkorn, K.P. & Denisoff, R.S. 1980. ‘Hit record trends, 1940–1997’, Journal of Communication, Vol 30:2, spring 1980, pp. 3143
Burnett, Robert & Weber, R.P. 1988. ‘Concentration and diversity in the popular music industry, 1948–1986’. Unpublished manuscript, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Burnett, Robert. 1990. ‘Concentration and diversity in the international phonogram industry’. PhD Dissertation Dept of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Burnett, Robert. 1992. ‘The implications of ownership: changes for concentration and diversity in the phonogram industry’, Communication Research, Vol 19:6, pp. 749–69
Burnett, Robert. 1993. ‘The popular music industry in transition’, Popular Music & Society, Vol 17:1, pp. 87114.
Christianen, Michael 1994. ‘Culture industries and cultural diversity: the Dutch music industry’. Paper 8th International Congress on Cultural Economics, Witten/Herdecke, 08 24–27, 1994
Crane, Diana 1992. ‘The production of culture: Media and the urban arts’. Newbury Park: Sage
Hellman, Heikki & Soramaki, Martti 1984. ‘Video: commercial structures and cultural changes’. Paper XIV IAMCR Conference,Prague, Czechoslovakia,August 27–31, 1984
Hirsch, Paul M. 1985. ‘US cultural productions: the impact of ownership’. Journal of Communication 35, Summer 1985
Lopes, Paul D. 1992. ‘Innovation and diversity in the popular music industry 1969 to 1990’, American Sociological Review, Vol 57 (02), pp. 5671
Mondak, J. 1989. ‘Cultural heterogeneity in capitalist society: in defence of repetition on the Billboard Hot 100’, Popular Music & Society, Vol 13:3, pp. 4557
Peterson, Richard A. and Berger, David G. 1975. ‘Cycles in symbol production: the case of popular music’, American Sociological Review, vol 40, pp. 158–73
Powell, Walter W. 1982. ‘From craft to corporation: the impact of ownership on book publishing’, in: Ettema, James & Whitney, (eds) Individuals in Mass Media Organizations: Creativity and Constraints (Beverly Hills), pp. 3352
Radevagen, Thomas & Zielinski, Siegfried. 1984. ‘Video-software: Structuren des Marktes und Tendenzen des Angebotes’, Media Perspectieven (5)
Rothenbuhler, Eric W. & Dimmick, John W. 1982. ‘Popular music: concentration and diversity in the industry, 1974–1980’, Journal of Communication, winter, pp. 143–9
Schulze, Ralf. 1994. ‘Hit record trends on the German music market for popular music 1975–1993: cycles of market concentration and product diversity’. Paper 8th International Congress on Cultural Economics, Witten/Herdecke, 08 24–27, 1994
Visser, Henk. 1994. ‘Diversiteit en innovatie in de Nederlandse populaire muziekcultuur: Een onder-zoek naar het opgaan van een samenhang tussen economische en culturele processen’. MA-thesis, Vakgroep Communicatiewetenschap, Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Popular Music
  • ISSN: 0261-1430
  • EISSN: 1474-0095
  • URL: /core/journals/popular-music
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed