Marketing and Music in an Age of Digital Reproduction

Special issue call for papers from European Journal of Marketing

Special section Guest Editors

Gary Sinclair
Michael Saren
Douglas Brownlie


This special section of EJM will bring together the latest research and thinking about new questions for marketing that are highlighted by the revolution in the technologies of music reproduction and consumption. These may be based on various academic disciplines such as   musicology, social marketing, marketing communications, consumer behaviour, management, cultural industries, sociology, psychology and others.

Music carries significance at individual, social, political, cultural and economic levels. The industries it has spawned as a recording and performance-based ‘product’ (among others) and its positon as an atmospheric in influencing consumer behaviour (Milliman, 1982) has long attracted the attentions of marketing academics and practitioners. Beyond the economic imperative, music has provided a context in which to explore broader issues concerning social class, subcultures and resistance (Hall and Jefferson, 1976), identity and the senses (Hesmondhalgh, 2008), gender (Goulding and Saren, 2009), commercial and artistic tension (Bradshaw et al., 2006) and materiality (Magaudda, 2011).

In particular, attention to issues of music production and consumption has intensified in recent years as a consequence of disruptive technologies (e.g. peer-to peer sharing) and the apparent economic ‘decline’ of the recording industry as a consequence. The influence of new digital technologies has been more pronounced in more ‘visible’ activities like the recording industry which may explain this focus by academics, practitioners and the mainstream media.

The ‘disarticulation’ of the marketplace status quo (Giesler, 2008) initially focused attention on the morality of consumers and strategies of technological containment whilst the industry tried to get to grips with the economic uncertainty of new music technologies. However, recent research is starting to broaden the discussion further and consider new questions for marketing that are highlighted by the revolution in the technologies of music reproduction and consumption that speak to individual, social, cultural and political issues rather than just economic-centred outcomes of disruptive music technologies.

Aims of the Special Section

It is the new questions for marketing that are central to the aims of this special section. For example, what can we learn from this context about contested issues such as ownership, the sharing economy, how our consumer data is tracked and used as a means of engagement? What about the strategic use of music by users in everyday life and producers in the marketplace? What can we add to our knowledge of consumer resistance, transformation and innovation from research on the ‘consumption’ and ‘production’ of music? How well do current fashionable marketing concepts and theories, such as value co-creation, consumer engagement and consumer tribes, apply to this new music techno-marketspace?

We welcome contributions that offer new ways of understanding how music is created, reproduced, stored, accessed and shared.  EJM has actively published articles from a wide range of research traditions that develop novel approaches and intellectual developments across a variety of markets, including the arts, in a cutting-edge and contemporary fashion. In continuing this tradition we seek contributions that explore how traditional contexts of marketing and music research can be reviewed and critiqued in the context of evolving digital technologies of re/production

Potential Topics

Submissions should focus some important aspect(s) of the production, use and marketing of music and associated technologies. We encourage papers and commentaries that draw from a range of methodologies, stakeholders and inter-disciplinary frameworks to address issues and questions raised here. Topics may include, but are not limited to, those listed below:
•    Music and the post-ownership economy
•    The role of marketing in music practice
•    Everyday music consumptive practices
•    The role of music in shaping space and place
•    Innovation and transformation: This should focus on a variety of stakeholders (artists, promoters, consumers)
•    Music communities
•    Fandom and identity
•    DIY and co-creation of music, consumer empowerment
•    Music as a facilitator of the economy
•    Materiality and intangibility
•    Nostalgia and music generations
•    Piracy and ‘ethical’ consumption of music
•    Philosophy of technological change
•    Commercial and artistic tension
•    Big data and music


Any enquiries should be directed to the guest editors:

Gary Sinclair:
Michael Saren:
Douglas Brownlie:

Submitted papers must be a maximum of 10,000 words and comply with the guidelines for European Journal of Marketing. Instructions can be found at:

Submissions are made online through the Scholar One system. Instructions are available on the author guidelines page. Please ensure you select this special section from the drop down menu provided as you go through the submission process.

The closing date for submissions is October 31st 2017.

Illustrative Readings

Bradshaw, A., McDonagh, P., and Marshall, D. (2006). The alienated artists and the political economy of organised art. Consumption Markets & Culture, 9(2): 111–117.
Dennis, N. and Macaulay (2007). “Miles ahead” – using jazz to investigate improvisation and market orientation. European Journal of Marketing, 41(5-6): 608–623.
DeNora, T. (2000). Music in everyday life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gamble, J. and Gilmore, A. (2013). A new era of consumer marketing?: An application of co-creational marketing in the music industry. European Journal of Marketing, 47(11/12): 1859–1888.
Garcia-Barididia, R., Nau, J.P., Rémy, E. (2011). Consumer resistance and anti-consumption insights from the deviant careers of French illegal downloaders. European Journal of Marketing, 45(11/12): 1789–1798.
Giesler, M. (2008). Conflict and compromise: Drama in marketplace evolution.  Journal of Consumer Research, 34: 739–753.
Goulding, C. and Saren, M. (2009).  Performing identity: an analysis of gender expressions at the Whitby goth festival. Consumption Markets & Culture, 12(1): 27–46.
Hall, S. and Jefferson, T. (1976). Resistance through rituals: Youth subcultures in post-war Britain. London: Hutchison.
Heidegger, M. (1977). The question concerning technology, and other essays. New York: Harper & Row.
Hesmondhalgh, D. (2008). Towards a critical understanding of music, emotion and self-identity. Consumption Markets & Culture, 11(4): 329–343.
Magaudda, P. (2011).When materiality “bites back”: Digital music consumption practices in the age of dematerialization. Journal of Consumer Culture, 11(1): 15–36.
Milliman, R. E. (1982). Using background music to affect the behaviour of supermarket shoppers. The Journal of Marketing, 46(3): 86–91.
Saren, M. (2015). ‘Buy buy Miss American Pie’ The day the consumer died. Marketing Theory, 565– 569.
Sinclair, G. and Tinson, J. (2017). Psychological ownership and music streaming consumption. Journal of Business Research, 71: 1–9.