Patrons, Curators, Inventors and Thieves
The Storytelling Contest of the Cultural Industries in the Digital Age
I spent most of my career working in industries referred to as 'cultural': music, film, theatre, and publishing.
So, why write a book?
Early in the new millennium the recorded music business was in decline globally.
Being on the frontline of a digital revolution, it faced an existential crisis. It believed it was a victim of the explosion of unauthorised peer-to-peer filesharing sites such as Napster, the first in a long line of 'pirate' sites.
Why was the sector finding it so hard to adapt? Why could people see only threats rather than opportunities?
I was very fortunate that my employer (EMI Music) supported my desire to engage in serious research to address this question. The resulting part-time Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) comes with a moral obligation to publish one's research in one form or another. Academic journals have a long lead-time, so I chose the quicker publishing model known as the 'academic monograph'. This ensures targeted international distribution of the book through libraries which give institutional subscription access to academic researchers in relevant fields. The downside of this strategy is that the book is not accessible to a wider readership, so as a 'taster' I have provided below a few summarised and updated extracts to view online.
Three reasons to read the book
see how power operates in the cultural and knowledge industries through rare empirical insights from 'insider' accounts of industrial disruption.
understand how and why the music industry evolved in the way it did since Thomas Edison's invention of recorded sound in 1877, and where it is now heading. Its predictions have proven to be accurate thus far.
discover new insights about navigating the shaky ground of organisational strategy and resistance to change.
At its most optimistic, the book aims to contribute to a reform of copyright which would promote a more equitable society.