Book Review: Getting Signed: Record Contracts, Musicians, and Power in Society


Getting Signed is a book that builds a powerful critique of one of the biggest and most influential music industries worldwide, unveiling how the ideological motive of getting signed brings individuals to sign their own exploitation in the promise of economic suc- cess. By tackling fundamental issues in contemporary capitalistic societies, the book brings to the fore additional questions, such as “How do social inequalities, in terms of class, race, and gender, intersect with power unbalances between labels and artists in the signing of record contracts?” “Does the ideology of getting signed trickle down into the cultural products of signed and independent artists, such as in music videos and lyrics?” “Will new technologies, such as NFTs, challenge or reinforce the current power structure between labels and artists?” These questions manifest the potential interest that this book can spark in audiences from different fields, including cultural and media studies, sociol- ogy, and communication science. By providing a toolkit of concepts, theories, and empirical evidence, Getting Signed is an important contribution to tackle fundamental questions about the unequal relationships of power that lie behind many of our daily cultural consumptions.

New Media & Society
Luca Carbone
Empirical Social Scientist