Many authors have pointed to the internet’s potential to increase connectivity across the world, which would imply an equalizing effect, yet few researchers have examined this. At the same time, the increasing usage of social media by popular culture celebrities for self-promotion has been signaled. We study the extent to which social media can reduce inequalities in mainstream media attention between artists from central cities in popular music production (e.g., New York, London) versus more peripheral cities. We distinguish between media attention by institutionally embedded music critics and lay users on the internet. The results show that artists coming from more central cities have higher chances to get attention in mainstream media—both by institutional critics and lay users—than artists from peripheral cities. Building a fan base on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace can compensate for some of this inequality, but not for all of it.

dx.doi.org/10.1080/15405702.2015.1019073, hdl.handle.net/1765/87688
Popular Communication
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Verboord, M.N.M, & Noord, S.V. (2016). The online place of popular music: Exploring the impact of geography and social media on pop artists’ mainstream media attention. Popular Communication, 14(2), 59–72. doi:10.1080/15405702.2015.1019073