It’s always bugged me that you see the term ‘music industry’ referred to in the press (usually by a representative of it) as if it were a single phenomenon. If you work in music, you’re acutely aware of the fact that it is a complex, unruly, changeable mess of organizations, activities, markets, opportunities and legal strictures. But to read some of the stuff that’s aimed at would-be musicians, you’d think that there’s only one route into music, being a singer-songwriter, making a hit album and living off royalties.
So I was pleased to come across Rethinking the music industry in Popular Music that says all this and more much better than I can. The authors argue that we should talk rather of ‘music industries’ and show how organizations with partisan interests often seem to present themselves as if they represented a single (but in reality, non-existent) industry.