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Understanding the Roles and Values of Zimeiti in Taiwanese Independent Music Networks

LIAO Hsueh-Min
PhD Student, Institute of Creative Industries Design, National Cheng Kung University.

Abstract

With the pandemic forcing the music sector to increase their reliance on online approaches, inspecting the potential of digital media is crucial to reshape the indie sector’s development. This qualitative research conducted in-depth interviews with three zimeiti leaders to understand their roles and values in Taiwanese indie music networks. By examining contextual evidence, this research identifies several crucial roles of such media beyond their informational intermediate natures, including promoters, value deliverers, incubators, gatekeepers, and culture shapers. Such pro-indie media are expected to enhance diversity in music scenes but can be subjective and biased due to the small ownership patterns, requiring audience participation to add balance. This research considers such zimeiti as cohesive hubs in Taiwanese indie music networks, in which they provide industrial, social, and cultural value to the indie sectors and accelerate the development of Taiwanese indie music with their media specialties.

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