From ‘Spiral Scratch’ to PledgeMusic: The Birth & Rebirth of Punk Culture’s Entrepreneurial Spirit
Punk has come a long way from its prematurely declared death in the early-1980s to being not-so-dead after all in the 1990s to still being ‘alive, loud and kicking' today. This paper examines how punk culture's inherent entrepreneurial DIY spirit has kept it alive after returning to its underground origins. While much has been made in the recent literature about social media and the digital revolution's role in democratising the access to the marketplace, (self-)branding, entrepreneurship, crowdsourcing and co-creation of products and meaning have been at the heart of punk culture since its beginning - and long before people ever dreamed of digitalisation. Buzzcocks' self-funded EP ‘Spiral Scratch' is widely credited with being the first independent and crowdfunded record ever to hit the marketplace. Although most classic punk bands were actually signed by major record labels, numerous independent record labels have followed the ‘Spiral Scratch' business model ever since. In recent years, after being dropped by their labels, many of those bands have moved to PledgeMusic, not only to crowdfund and sell their new albums, but also to revive the entrepreneurial spirit of the past that has truly 'democratised' the marketplace. Interestingly, PledgeMusic's most popular music format is vinyl.
Citation : Wohlfeil, M. (2017) “From ‘Spiral Scratch’ to PledgeMusic: The Birth & Rebirth of Punk Culture’s Entrepreneurial Spirit”. Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Annual Conference 2017, University of Hull, UK, July 2017.
Peer Reviewed : Yes