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Toby Bennett

Dr Toby Bennett PhD

Research Fellow

School of Media Arts and Technology

023 8201 6987 ext. 6987 Room no. RM201


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.

Both Toby’s academic and prior professional career has been in the UK music industry. He is currently publishing aspects of his doctoral project, an ethnography of working life in major record labels after digital crisis, and extending it in new directions. More broadly, he is interested in all aspects of commercial life in the cultural economy.

As a Research Fellow within the Research, Innovation & Enterprise team, he spends his time:

  • Conducting and publishing research in the area of creative and digital industries
  • 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
  • Presenting research at conferences and in public engagement
  • Representing the institution in external academic and industry-facing research networks.

Further information

  1. Research interests

    Rooted in the fields of cultural and economic sociology and media and communications, Toby’s research interests lie at intersections between: popular music studies; work, organisation and management; professional knowledge and expertise; technology and technical infrastructure; creative economy politics/policy; critical and social theory; qualitative methodologies.
  2. Projects

    Toby is currently leading a project entitled “Southampton: A Music City Genealogy”, with Chris Anderton and Martin James, funded through the internal Research, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange scheme.
  3. Recent publications

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

    Since 2013, he has authored or contributed to a number of reports, as well as support programmes, for bodies and agencies in the music and broader cultural sector, particularly in the areas of higher education, skills and funding.

  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.