AbstractThis study investigates whether folksonomies and social networking sites are useful tools when searching for music from independent record labels. It uses questionnaires, and interviews to collect the users' views and awareness of these tools for discovery. It gathers the data generated and relates it back to the existing scholarly literature within the field of folksonomies and social networking sites.
This study also investigates from an independent record label's perspective, the usefulness of social networking sites and recommendation systems as tools for promotion. Finally, Chris Andersen's “Long Tail” theory and digital distribution are examined as they relate to independent record labels and artists.
Results showed an overall unawareness of the newer folksonomic approach towards music discovery, with respondents generally using social networking sites for music discovery. Respondents who were aware of music folksonomies as tools for information retrieval tended to shy away from it again staying with the more established social networking approach towards music discovery. When the users did use and contribute to the folksonomy, most respondents were found to tag for personal retrieval purposes rather than attempting to aid the retrieval purposes of the population of site users as a whole.
Results from 4 record labels showed a unanimous agreement that social networking sites are having a major impact on the way independent music is being discovered and is a future area which needs to be examined more thoroughly. Digital distribution was also found to have a major impact on independent record labels allowing them to be discovered in areas outside of the record shop, however also creating new promotional dilemmas as digital distribution continues to develop.
Due to the overall low response rate to questionnaires and a lack of awareness of many of the new tools for information retrieval investigated in this research, further research is required as these tools continue to develop. Digital distribution is continuing to make inroads in the purchased music market; with physical cd sales falling drastically and digital sales increasing, continued
examination of digital distribution and its effects on the music industry is suggested.
|Date of Award||2008|
|Supervisor||Pauline Rafferty (Supervisor)|