Networks of Value in Electronic Music : SoundCloud, London, and the Importance of Place

Allington, Daniel, Dueck, Byron, Jordanous, Anna (2015) Networks of Value in Electronic Music : SoundCloud, London, and the Importance of Place. Cultural Trends, 24 (3). pp. 211-222. ISSN 0954-8963. E-ISSN 1469-3690. (doi:10.1080/09548963.2015.1066073)

Abstract

While recent debate has often focused on a reified ‘cultural value’ (whether opposed to or aligned with monetary value), this article treats ‘value’ as a verb and investigates the acts of valuing in which people engage. Through ethnographic research in London’s electronic music scene and social network analysis of the SoundCloud audio sharing website (which is dominated by electronic dance music and, to a lesser extent, hip hop), it uncovers substantial patterns of geographical inequality. London is found at the very centre of a network of valuing relationships, in which New York and Los Angeles occupy the next most privileged locations, followed by Berlin, Paris, and Chicago. Cities outside Western Europe and the Anglophone world tend to occupy peripheral positions in the network. This finding suggests that location plays a major role in the circulation of value, even when we might expect that role to have been curtailed by an ostensibly ‘placeless’ medium for the distribution and valuing of music. While there are reasons for the metropolitan emplacedness of dance music – given the importance of the relationship between production, consumption, and live DJing – the privileging of particular cities also mirrors patterns of inequality in the wider cultural economy. That London should appear so supremely privileged reflects both the exporting strength of British creative industries and the imbalanced nature of the UK’s cultural economy.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/09548963.2015.1066073
Uncontrolled keywords: cultural value, electronic dance music, ethnography, social network analysis
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming, > QA76.575 Multimedia systems
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming, > QA76.76 Computer software > QA76.76.I59 Interactive media, hypermedia
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming, > QA76.9.H85 Human computer interaction
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing
Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing > Computational Intelligence Group
Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing > Data Science
Depositing User: Anna Jordanous
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2015 15:50 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 14:46 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/49284 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Jordanous, Anna: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2076-8642
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