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October 2021

The US recorded music industry: on the relations between organization, location, and creativity in the cultural economy

Journal/Book: Environ Plan A. 1999; 31: 207 Brondesbury Park, London NW2 5Jn, England. Pion Ltd. 1965-1984.

Abstract: A description of the US recorded music industry is offered stressing (a) the two-tier structure of the industry divided as it is into majors and independents, and (b) the complex social division of labor that characterizes the overall production system. The locational characteristics of the recorded music industry are discussed, and it is shown that, although there is a wide scattering of companies across the entire United States, the main centers of production are in Los Angeles, New York, and Nashville. It is then demonstrated that Los Angeles and New York have a capacity to produce hit records that far exceeds their relative significance in terms of number of recording companies, even after abstracting away the effects of the majors. This capacity is conceptualized in terms of the creative field that is brought into existence by the dense agglomeration of many different specialized firms and workers interacting together in one place in the tasks of economic and cultural production.

Note: Article Scott AJ, Univ Calif Los Angeles, Dept Policy Studies, Los Angeles,CA 90095 USA


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