Title: Branding strategies and celebrity economy: a study of Mandarin pop music in the digital age

Authors: Fu-Mei Lin

Addresses: School of Journalism and Communication, Department of Communications Management, Shih-Hsin University, #1 Lane 17 Sec. 1, Mu-Cha Rd., Taipei, Taiwan

Abstract: This study examines the branding strategies employed by the music agencies for Mandarin pop music in an attempt to shed light upon how the rise of new technologies impact these cultural labourers and the popular cultural scene as a whole. In response to the rise of digital technologies in the 1990s, music agencies were required to restructure their A&R function (artist and repertoire: talent scouting and the product development) to leverage a brand|s value with increasing emphasis on the role of originally peripheral functions, such as music concerts, fan|s activities or featuring in commercial. This study holds that the glamorisation of digital labour in a |celebrity economy| has easily dismissed the possible continuities with the modern sweatshop and an increasing degradation of knowledge work. By looking at digital technologies as a specific instance of the fundamental role that restructures the economy, this study tries to highlight the connections between the changing role of branding the artists and their fans in the |celebrity economy| in the digital age.

Keywords: brand; cultural labour; music agencies; digitalisation; Mandarin pop music; music fans; branding strategies; celebrity economy; popular culture; China.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCCM.2009.029403

International Journal of Chinese Culture and Management, 2009 Vol.2 No.3, pp.221 - 234

Published online: 29 Nov 2009 *

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