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


  • A J Scott


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.

Suggested Citation

  • A J Scott, 1999. "The US recorded music industry: on the relations between organization, location, and creativity in the cultural economy," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 31(11), pages 1965-1984, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:31:y:1999:i:11:p:1965-1984

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    Cited by:

    1. Brass, Jennifer N., 2012. "Why Do NGOs Go Where They Go? Evidence from Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 387-401.
    2. repec:kap:jculte:v:42:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10824-017-9304-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Joel West, 2014. "Too little, too early: California’s transient advantage in the photovoltaic solar industry," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 487-501, June.
    4. Julia Hiscock & David E. Hojman, 2004. "Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Coase Theorem Failures in English Summer Cultural Events: The Case of Sidmouth International Festival," Research Papers 200406, University of Liverpool Management School.
    5. repec:eee:touman:v:31:y:2010:i:2:p:240-249 is not listed on IDEAS

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