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Toby Bennett

Dr Toby Bennett PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

School of Media Arts and Technology

023 8201 6987 ext. 6987 Room no. RM226


Dr Toby Bennett has a BMus (Music) from City University, MA (Cultural and Critical Studies) from Birkbeck College, and a PhD (Culture, Media and Creative Industries) from King’s College, London.

His research is concerned with work, production and organisation within the cultural economy, particularly the music industries. His PhD took the form of an auto-ethnographic inquiry into working life in major record labels, after the recorded music industry’s digital 'crisis' period.

He has particularly been interested in 'non-creative' work in this context, as well as ways in which music has harmonised with 'knowledge economy' business and policy imperatives. More recently, he has been interested in the burgeoning field of activity around the 'Music City'.

His responsibilities as a postdoctoral researcher include:

  • Conducting and publishing research in the area of creative and digital industries,
  • Presenting research at conferences and in public engagement,
  • Developing new individual and collaborative projects, within Solent and externally,
  • Contributing to the Researcher Development Programme,
  • Contributing to the growth of the internal research community,
  • Advising on institutional activities in relation to creative industries,
  • Representing the institution in external academic and industry-facing research networks.

Further information

  1. Research interests

    Toby's research interests lie at intersections between: the study of popular music; work, organisation and management; knowledge production; creative industry policy-making; critical and social theory; and qualitative methodologies.
  2. Projects

    Toby is currently working on projects and outputs relating to: music cities, music/labour/knowledge, non-creative work in creative industries, and 'passionate' work.
  3. Recent publications

    Follow the link below for a list of Toby's recent publications.

    Bennett, Toby (forthcoming) ‘“Essential: Passion for Music”. Moral Economies of (Non-)Creative Labour’, in Wilson, Nick and Lee Martin, Handbook of Creativity at Work (London: Palgrave)

    Bennett, Toby (2017), ‘The Production and Consumption of Music in the Digital Age’, Popular Music and Society 40:2, 242-244 [review article]

    Bennett, Toby (2015), Learning the Music Industry: Evaluating the “Vocational Turn” in Music Industry Education (London: UK Music) 

  4. Consultancy

    Toby has conducted extensive consultancy work within the industry. Follow the link below to find out more.

    Toby has worked in and with the music industry in various capacities, including licensing, digital archiving and data management, HE policy, and music entrepreneurship. He spent five years working at the major record label Universal Music Group.

    He has authored or contributed to reports on intersections of culture, higher education, and funding for bodies and agencies such as UK Music, King’s Cultural Institute and MeWe360.

    In 2013-15, he contributed to the 'Joining the Dots' funding and mentorship programme for developing digital solutions to live music problems, run by The Hub and funded by the Arts Council/Esmée Fairbarn Foundation. 

  5. Teaching experience

    Follow the link below to find out more about Toby's teaching experience.

    Toby has previously co-developed and delivered courses (levels 4-7) relating to the following:

    • contemporary formations of media and cultural studies (relations of theory and practice);
    • transformations of work (digitisation, precarity, global divisions of labour…);
    • cultural policy/political economy in an international context;
    • qualitative research methods.

    He has also developed and run workshops, reading groups and discussion series for PGR students.

    He is involved with the Researcher Development Programme at Solent University.

  6. Awards

    Associate of King’s College (2015)