- 2016- : Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University.
- 20011-2016: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Staffordshire University.
- 2008-2011: Lecturer in Human Geography, Staffordshire University.
- 2017- : Editorial board member, Journal of Urban Cultural Studies
- 2014- : GaWC Associate Director (Cultural and Creative Industries).
A cultural-economic geographer with research interests that focus predominantly on the geographies of music and the musical economy, as well as film and media.
Drawing together both geographical-relational and sociological perspectives on cultural production, labour and consumption, his research focuses on three overlapping areas of concern:
- The nature of the new digital market place for music, including the monetisation of music, and the changing nature of music consumption.
- Relational economies of music and media production, including the nature of local (urban and regional) and non-local knowledge sharing, business networks and production networks, and professional mobility.
- Relational work and creative practice in music and film, including emotional labour, precarity, and the extensification and intensification of work.
His work has been published in a range of leading Geography journals including Environment and Planning A, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Area, Global Networks, and Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, as well as in a research monograph (Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio, Routledge, 2014).
He is a member of the University’s Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC).
Recent research projects
North west music economy research RGS (2015-16)
His teaching examines economic globalization with a particular focus on cities and the cultural economy.
Current postgraduate research students
- Louise Tompkins: Music Rights Management in the Digital Age (ESRC collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with Sentric Music, Liverpool).
- Emilia Telese: Seeing oneself: Artists, self-perception and value (AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with a-n The Artists Information Company, London)
Recent postgraduate research students
- Linda Naughton (2013): Geographical Narratives of Exercised Social Capital.
- Watson, A and Beaverstock, JV (2016) Transnational freelancing: Ephemeral creative projects and mobility in the music recording industry Environment and Planning A 48(7) 1428-1446
- Watson, A and Taylor, C (eds.) (2015) Rethinking Creative Cities Policy: Invisible Agents and Hidden Protagonists.Routledge: London and New York
- Watson, A (2014) Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio. Routledge: London and New York
- Watson, A (2013) Running a studio’s a silly business: work and employment in the contemporary recording studio sector Area 45 (3) 330–336
- Watson, A and Ward, J (2013) Creating the right ‘vibe’: emotional labour and musical performance in the recording studio Environment and Planning A 45(12) 2904–2918
- Hoyler, M and Watson, A (2013) Global media cities in transnational media networks Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 104 (1) 90-108
- Watson, A (2012) The world according to iTunes: mapping urban networks of music production Global Networks 12 (4) 446-466
- Watson, A (2008) Global music city: knowledge and geographical proximity in London’s recorded music industry Area 40 (1) 12–23