The iTunization of pop

Mobile music and youth social networks


  • Anthony Y.H. Fung The Chinese University of Hong Kong



iTunes, music consumption, technology, mobile music, youth culture


This article explores the cultural consequences of music on iPhone, iPad and iPod, a context in which youth today use the same digital and online iTunes platform to download, play, store and organize music. iTunes, coupled with smartphones (either iPhones or Android phones) and the availability of other social network sites (e.g. Facebook, YouTube) constitute a set of ready-made tools for young people to connect themselves with music, which serves as a common interest for networking under the context of a new internet culture. In other words, former massmediated music choices are being replaced by the selective choices of peers, who can now use the available platforms and new music technologies to locate their own musical tastes. Based on systematic in-depth interviews and analysis of lists of songs provided by interviewees, the article argues for a process of iTunization—a term describing the cultural phenomenon in which youth of the same cohort store and share much the same music resources, with these resources being quite stable over time.

Author Biography

Anthony Y.H. Fung, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Anthony Y. H. Fung is a Professor at, and Director of, the School of Journalism and Communication, Chinese University of Hong Kong. His current research projects include youth culture and the consumption of popular culture in Hong Kong and China; globalization of TV formats; transnational media corporations in China and Asia; and new media and online communities. He is the author of Global Capital, Local Culture: Transnational Media Corporations in China (Peter Lang, 2008) and numerous articles and book chapters.


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How to Cite

Fung, A. Y. (2015). The iTunization of pop: Mobile music and youth social networks. Perfect Beat, 15(1), 23–43.




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