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From audio broadcasting to video streaming: The impact of digitalization on music broadcasting among the Swedish-speaking minority of Finland

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This paper investigates how digitalization has affected the role that Finland’s Public Service Broadcasting Company (YLE) plays for the popular music culture of the Swedish-speaking minority of Finland. Drawing on theories from popular music and cultural industry studies, the study explores to what extent new technology has changed practices, structures and perspectives of minority artists. The paper, which forms a sub-study of a larger research project on the impact of digitalization on minority music, focuses on two case studies, the comic duo Pleppo and comedian/artist Alfred Backa. The analysis illustrates how important the public service broadcasting company still is for minority culture despite the structural changes caused by digitalization. However, the radio’s quality norms have led to a paradoxical situation where the digital productions of the musicians need to compete with the technical standards of the international entertainment industry, whereas the channels’ own productions can follow DIY norms. As the broadcasting company is increasingly moving its focus towards the web, it must in the future achieve a balance between the different dynamics of commercial interests, controversial creativity and traditional public broadcasting objectives.
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Keywords: Public Service Broadcasting; comedy; digitalization; media convergence; minority; music industry; participatory culture; popular music

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Åbo Akademi University

Publication date: October 1, 2019

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  • The Journal of European Popular Culture investigates the creative cultures of Europe, present and past. Exploring European popular imagery, media, new media, film, music, art and design, architecture, drama and dance, fine art, literature and the writing arts, and more, the journal is also of interest to those considering the influence of European creativity and European creative artefacts worldwide.
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