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Saturday, September 14 • 4:46pm - 6:30pm
“Playing local: An exploratory study of the marketing practices of independent Edmonton musicians in the digital age”

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The nature of the Canadian music industry has changed significantly in recent years due to the demise of the traditional music distribution system. Digital technologies have afforded musicians the ability to write, record, and distribute their music without assistance from intermediary companies, by using easily accessible digital technologies. Furthermore, digital technologies, in combination with mass production of cheaply produced CD’s, have reduced the profit margin of album sales to the extent that they are no longer a profitable commodity. Consequently, the Canadian music industry is in a state of flux and has yet to stabilize in the digitized world. 

In the past, musicians have relied predominantly on professional record labels to record, produce, and market their work. In the age where nearly anyone can produce creative works without the assistance of traditional gatekeepers, musicians are less reliant on major record labels to facilitate their success. Given the fact that artists are increasingly choosing to produce and distribute their own work, they also must find ways to market their product independently. 

In addition to changing marketing practices, globalization is changing our perception of local practices, and the music industry has been no exception. For this reason, consideration of cultural, social, and economic context should be considered in order to understand how marketing practices are evolving in the music industry. This is especially true across Canada, due to the cultural diversity from region to region. 

The aim of this study is to identify the ways in which independent musicians in Edmonton are marketing their music in the face of an evolving industry. The study will also attempt to reveal any cultural, economic, or geographical phenomena in Edmonton that have impacted the local music industry. To this end, a minimum of 10 unstructured, in-depth interviews will be conducted using a combination of snowball and judgment sampling of professional musicians working in the Edmonton region. Results from the interviews will be collated in order to identify commonalities and associations within the context of the Edmonton music scene, in order to gain insight into the relationship between independent music, local culture, and emergent marketing practices. The results will be beneficial to the Edmonton community by affording insight into the local music culture, while also building upon the growing body of market research on the Canadian independent music industry. 

avatar for Kirsten Bauer

Kirsten Bauer

I'm a part-time M.A student in Communications and Technology at the University of Alberta, with a full time day job at the same University. I am passionate about technology, particularly the study of social media and the impact it has on nearly every aspect of our day-to-day lives... Read More →

Saturday September 14, 2013 4:46pm - 6:30pm EDT
Rowe Atrium

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