Brian Fauteux (University of Alberta), Brianne Selman (University of Winnipeg), Ian Dahlman (Canadian Heritage) and I have recently been awarded an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for a two-year research study entitled “The Cultural Capital Project: Digital Stewardship and Sustainable Monetization for Canadian Independent Musicians.” More information is available at our website.
Abstract: Three transnational corporations (Universal, Sony, and Warner) control roughly 80% of the global recording and publishing industries and 86% of the North American market. This three-pronged research project responds to the problem of music industry consolidation by rethinking a digital music industry based on sustainability and fair pay for artists. We will conduct a political economic analysis of royalty rates and market concentration. We will investigate creative labour in the digital age through interviews with Canadian independent musicians and industry stakeholders, and we will examine stewardship potential by testing the application of creative commons principles to the music industry. We expect our findings to imagine and advance new frameworks and models for advocating a sustainable livelihood for smaller Canadian music creators.