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Mr Toby Bennett

Research interests

My doctoral research examines the nature and understanding of work in major labels as the music industry reinvents itself in a digital light. 

The ‘digital revolution’ has been accompanied by a great deal of talk about the music industry in ‘crisis’ (particularly recorded music), as it seeks to establish new business models, take advantage of new technologies, and reinforce the relationship between artists and consumers. I am looking to map the tensions inherent in between creative and non-creative work, different cultures of production, and across techno-industrial change. 

I'm interested in the changing nature of work; cultural and creative production, consumption, and circulation; the history of the recorded music industry and music technologies; political economy; and various philosophies and sociologies spinning out from and intertwining these fields.

Biographical details

I received a BMus (Music) from City University, London, and a Masters in Cultural and Critical Theory at Birkbeck, where I was interested in music and digital aesthetics, representations of inhumanity, conspiracy theory, and linguistic polysemy. Concurrent to this, I have spent over half a decade working in licensing at Universal Music Group. My PhD draws on elements of all of these areas.

In 2016, I am working with the Cultural Institute at King's to develop resources that help navigate the funding landscape for collaborative projects bringing together cultural practitioners with academics.

In 2015, I published a short piece of qualitative research for UK Music, the sector policy body, looking at young people's transition from a (HE-level) music industry degree into work.

Between 2013-2015, I collaborated with The Hub, a leading music development organisation, on ‘Joining the Dots’, a seed-funding and support for promoters, producers, artists and entrepreneurs to develop game-changing technological approaches to problems facing the live independent music sector. 

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