Loughborough University

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Tech start-up capitalisation in an oligopolistic copyright industry: the case of the contemporary music industry

journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-05, 10:46 authored by Allan WatsonAllan Watson, Andrew Leyshon, George Windsor

Over the past 25 years, the music industry has been radically transformed through the entry of venture capital funded digital platforms. This process continues, but whereas previous generations of tech companies successfully disrupted the industry, a new wave of MusicTech companies now seek to gain entry through collaboration and cooperation, reflecting a stabilisation of economic power in large record companies and platforms. In this paper we examine the business dynamics behind the evolving role of technology in the music industry. More specifically, we reveal the ways in which distinctive features of the music industry set considerable challenges to contemporary MusicTech entrepreneurs in relation to capitalisation and investor reluctance. Through a critical examination of MusicTech as a platform political economy, we draw attention to key business dynamics underpinning wider processes of platform reintermediation and capitalisation that are crucial in the contemporary restructuring of a wide range of economic sectors.



  • Social Sciences and Humanities


  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Cultural Trends


Taylor & Francis


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in Cultural Trends. [INCLUDE CITATION]. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Acceptance date







  • en


Dr Allan Watson. Deposit date: 1 September 2023

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