The Swedish Model: Balancing Markets and Gifts in the Music Industry
Baym, Nancy K.
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Article, scholarly/refereed, author accepted manuscript
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The internet has destabilized media industries. This article uses the case of Swedish independent music labels, musicians, and fans to articulate one model for understanding the new roles each can take in this new context. Interviews, participant observation, and popular media coverage are used to show how labels and musicians in this scene loosely organize with fans to create a gift economy among themselves. Although they seek to earn money, they are not focused getting it from the audience. Instead, they engage the audience as equals with whom they can build a larger community that benefits them all. The article shows how they use giving songs away and engaging directly with audience members through the internet to pursue this goal. In contrast to discourses against file sharing, the analysis demonstrates how media producers may reconcile themselves to the participatory culture of the Internet.
This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final publication is available from Taylor & Francis at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15405702.2011.536680.
Baym, N. K. (2011). The Swedish Model: Balancing Markets and Gifts in the Music Industry. Popular Communication, 14(1), 22-38. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15405702.2011.536680