Morris_Jeremy.pdf (29.56 MB)
Download file

Making the brand : exploring the role of branding in popular music

Download (29.56 MB)
posted on 2021-05-23, 13:27 authored by Jeremy Morris
Music artists and their products share attributes with other branded commodities but are rarely discussed as such. Using Hirschman's "Culture Production System" model in conjunction with literature from popular music, communication and cultural studies, this thesis considers whether music artists and their products can be considered as brands? If so, how are music brands created? To explore these questions, I present case studies of marketing materials from albums by Keane, Radiohead, U2 and Wilco. Branding reveals itself as a process that creates expectations among consumers, critics and others. Expectations can hinder artist creativity and result in increased standardization of the music product. However, brands may offer artists a level of control. This investigation has implications for all parties involved in the business of music and provides cultural industry researchers a unique way of analyzing the impact of marketing and branding on commodities while accounting for the complexities presented by the consumption of cultural goods.





Master of Arts


Communication and Culture

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Catherine A. Middleton