Dr Allan Watson

  • PGT Human Geography Programme Leader (Geography and Environment)
  • Reader in Economic Geography

Academic Career

  • 2023-: Reader in Economic Geography, Loughborough University
  • 2019-2023: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University.
  • 2016-2019: Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University.
  • 2011-2016: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Staffordshire University.
  • 2008-2011: Lecturer in Human Geography, Staffordshire University.

Professional Responsibilities

Allan is a cultural-economic geographer with research interests that focus on the geographies of the creative and cultural economy, and specifically the music, film and media industries. Drawing together economic-relational and sociological perspectives on cultural production, labour and innovation, Allan’s research focuses on three overlapping areas of concern:

1) The music industries, the digital marketplace for music, monetisation of music, MusicTech and the changing nature of music consumption. This work has been supported with funding from AHRC and ESRC via Innovate UK and RCUK.

2) Relational urban economies of music and media production, including the nature of local (urban and regional) and non-local knowledge sharing, business networks and production networks, digital business models and professional mobility. This includes research funded by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre and the Royal Geographical Society.

3) Relational work and creative practice in music and film, including online labour, emotional labour, precarity and the extensification and intensification of work. This includes work supported by the British Academy.

His teaching examines economic globalization with a particular focus on cities, the cultural economy and international finance.

Allan’s teaching focuses on globalisation, economic geography, and research methods.

Current Postgraduate Research Students

  • George Vincent: HealthTech: Critically appraising the innovation ecosystem of a transformative technology (ESRC collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with TechNation).
  • Louise Tompkins: Music in the time of COVID (ESRC collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with Sentric Music Ltd.).

Recent Postgraduate Research Students

  • Emilia Telese: The Making of the Artist: From “Genius” to “Professional” (AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with a-n The Artists Information Company)
  • Linda Naughton (2013): Geographical Narratives of Exercised Social Capital

Selected Publications

  • Watson, A (2023) “Supporting regional music production clusters in the post-pandemic era: placing business support at the heart of local cultural policy” International Journal of Cultural Policy.
  • Watson, A, Leyshon, A and Windsor, G (2023) “Tech start-up capitalisation in an oligopolistic copyright industry: the case of the contemporary music industry” Cultural Trends.
  • Watson, A, Watson JB, and Tompkins, L (2022) "Does social media pay for music artists? Quantitative evidence on the co-evolution of social media, streaming and live music” Journal of Cultural Economy 16 (1), 32-46.
  • Watson, A and Leyshon, A (2022) “Negotiating platformisation: MusicTech, intellectual property rights and third wave platform reintermediation in the music industry” Journal of Cultural Economy 15 (3), 326-343.
  • Watson, A(2020) “Not all roads lead to London: Insularity, disconnection and the challenge to ‘regional’ creative industries policy” Regional Studies 5 (11) 1574-1584
  • Ballico, C and Watson, A (eds.) (2020) Music Cities: Evaluating a Global Cultural Policy Concept. Palgrave Macmillan
  • Hoyler, M, Parnreiter, C and Watson, A(eds.) (2019) Global City Makers: Actors and Economic Practices in the World City Network. Edward Elgar
  • Watson, A(2014) Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio. Routledge