Controlling attention and visibility in the record industries
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The background for the thesis in hand is the changed environment of the record industries due to digitalization. Various democratizing and decentralizing expectations on digitalization exist in the academics. Research have been conducted towards the changed structures of the record industries, leaving an image of a decentralized supply chain. This opens possibilities for independent labels and artists to circumvent the traditional intermediaries. Contrasting, the record industries' market shares have not changed significantly in the past decades. It is questionable if the digitalization has led to democratizing and decentralizing structures and if it can fulfill those optimistic views in general. The purpose of this work is to make the shifted structure and power relations of the record industries visible. By applying an exploratory research approach and a scoping literature review as a method, the structure of the record industries before and after the digitalization will be depicted. Thereby, Porter’s five competitive forces and the supply chain model will help to structure the pre- and post-digitalized states of the record industries. After gaining significant knowledge about the record industries’ structure, immanent power relations will be analyzed. The present study focuses on the record industries’ supply chain. This model will help to identify power relations between different intermediaries. Those enable the actors of the record industries to set up bottlenecks within the production flow of recorded music, which provides them with control over the supply chain. This paper will provide an innovative perspective on the nature and location of a new bottleneck within the record industries’ supply chain. This bottleneck occurred due to the disruption of the supply chain and re-intermediation, which is based on power relations between the different actors. With that, this work reveals a lack of current research and provides suggestions for future studies.
Master's thesis in music management MU501 - University of Agder 2016