© 2019

Digital Revolution Tamed

The Case of the Recording Industry

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Hyojung Sun
    Pages 1-10
  3. Hyojung Sun
    Pages 11-27
  4. Hyojung Sun
    Pages 97-134
  5. Hyojung Sun
    Pages 135-170
  6. Hyojung Sun
    Pages 171-226
  7. Hyojung Sun
    Pages 227-256
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 287-328

About this book


This book explores why widespread predictions of the radical transformation in the recording industry did not materialise. Although the growing revenue generated from streaming signals the recovery of the digital music business, it is important to ask to what extent is the current development a response to digital innovation. Hyojung Sun finds the answer in the detailed innovation process that has taken place since Napster. She reassesses the way digital music technologies were encultured in complex music valorisation processes and demonstrates how the industry has become reintermediated rather than disintermediated. 

This book offers a new understanding of digital disruption in the recording industry. It captures the complexity of the innovation processes that brought about technological development, which arose as a result of interaction across the circuit of the recording business – production, distribution, valorisation, and consumption. By offering a more sophisticated account than the prevailing dichotomy, the book exposes deterministic myths surrounding the radical transformation of the industry.


Digital Recording Industry digital technology copyright regulation Evolution of Music Technologies Napster CD's Youtube Peer-To-Peer iTunes Networks of Creativity Networks of Reproduction Networks of Distribution/Promotion Networks of Consumption

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Creative Industries InstituteUlster UniversityBelfastUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Hyojung Sun is currently working as a research fellow at Ulster University, UK, leading a UK-government sponsored research project entitled Music 2025, which aims to untangle the complex issues involved around the transparency of data in digital music contents. She obtained her PhD in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies from the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Bibliographic information


“Hyojung Sun’s Digital Revolution Tamed focuses on the most recent developments in the disruption of the recorded music industry, highlighting the mismatch in the impact of the digital era between the initial predictions and what actually happened. The qualitative methodology includes a range of robust supporting official statistics along with case studies to describe the innovations over the past 25 years. A book such as this should be essential reading for those wishing to understand how the entire recorded music industry has been forced to evolve to meet the needs of its customers and stakeholders and, even, it is hoped to become more transparent and fair.” (Dennis Collopy, Senior Research Fellow, University of Hertfordshire, UK)