Second Edition of iTake-Over Published!

This weekend I received a big surprise in the mail. I received my copies of iTake-Over: The recording industry in the streaming era. Notice the change in title from recording era to streaming era. The changes that I made emphasize the dominant role streaming has taken in the recording industry. This is also the first book published in the new Lexington book series I edit, Critical Perspectives on Music and Society.

From the Lexington Books page:

The second edition of iTake-Over: The Recording Industry in the Streaming Era sheds light on the way large corporations appropriate new technology to maintain their market dominance in a capitalist system. To date, scholars have erroneously argued that digital music has diminished the power of major record labels. In iTake-Over, sociologist David Arditi suggests otherwise, adopting a broader perspective on the entire issue by examining how the recording industry strengthened copyright laws for their private ends at the expense of the broader public good. Arditi also challenges the dominant discourse on digital music distribution, which assumes that the recording industry has a legitimate claim to profitability at the expense of a shared culture.

Arditi specifically surveys the actual material effects that digital distribution has had on the industry. Most notable among these is how major record labels find themselves in a stronger financial position today in the music industry than they were before the launch of Napster, largely because of reduced production and distribution costs and the steady gain in digital music sales. Moreover, instead of merely trying to counteract the phenomenon of digital distribution, the RIAA and the major record labels embraced and then altered the distribution system.


In the first edition of iTake-Over, Arditi mapped the myriad ways that the music industry, claiming to be the victim of piracy, sought legal protection against file-sharing and bent the digital transformation to its bottom line. Six years on—a virtual lifetime in the digital world—he has updated his compelling analysis, adding new players to the debates over copyright and -left, and assessing the impact of streaming and subscription services on both the production and consumption of music. The result is critical reading for anyone with an interest in how the music industry has adapted to the digital ‘revolution’; restructured the ways in which we produce, find, and listen to music; and expanded its market dominance.
Nancy Weiss Hanrahan, George Mason University

David Arditi has done musicians and listeners as well as scholars of culture industries a real service by updating iTake-Over. In the past five years, streaming has come to dominate our experiences and analyses of the business of music, yet Arditi’s cogent account of the “piracy panic narrative” remains an authoritative critique of the record industry’s initial response to digitization. And while the bogey of file-sharing has come and gone, in this second edition, Arditi adds a detailed consideration of the political-economic stakes of music consumption’s reorganization from acquisition to access in the streaming era.
Michael Palm, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill