Tropical Geography ›› 2023, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (4): 596-607.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003659

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Structural Characteristics, Evolution Trend, and Influence Mechanism of Urban Creative Networks in China: A Case Study of Chinese Digital Music

Wei Li1(), Jinliao He2,3(), Weidong Guo1   

  1. 1.School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2.The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    3.The Institute of Urban Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2022-09-12 Revised:2022-10-17 Online:2023-04-05 Published:2023-05-08
  • Contact: Jinliao He;


Urban creative networks, as distinct forms of production networks, differ from inter-firm-based urban networks. It is featured by flexible production, "temporary cooperation" and being "people-centered." This study attempts to address the concept of the urban creative network in theory, and based on the basic database of Chinese digital music, it integrates the social network, Geographical Information System (GIS) spatial analysis, and econometric model to empirically analyze the structural evolution characteristics and influencing factors of the creative cooperation network of Chinese singers in the past 40 years, which enriches the theoretical and empirical study of urban networks from the perspective of creative individual connections. The results suggest the following: (1) The scale of Chinese urban digital music collaborative networks grows rapidly and shows the characteristics of low density and a "small world", and network density is negatively correlated with network scale, with obvious social network properties. (2) The collaborative network as a whole presents a "core-periphery" structure and the development trend of polycentricity and high-centricity cities are mainly located in the eastern region, with relatively low centrality in the central and western cities, and gradually forms a triad structure of Beijing-Hong Kong-Taipei. (3) The evolution of the digital music cooperation network is characterized by both path dependence and path creation, and the main form of network extension is hierarchical diffusion, with the early high-intensity links between Hong Kong and Taiwanese cities gradually being replaced by mainland cities. (4) The coverage of city ties in the cooperative network expands with an uneven spatial distribution, and high-intensity ties are mainly concentrated in the eastern cities. Over time, the core cities' control over network resources through inter-high-intensity ties weakened. (5) The cooperative network has an obvious community structure, and the communities of this coproduction network appear to be expanding, grouping, and hierarchical, with dual-core and multi-core models as its main spatial organization modes. (6) A negative binomial regression model analysis shows that the scale of the urban economy, industrial structure, and the level of the network economy have significant impacts on the network structure, while the roles of human capital, opening up, urban administrative level, and traffic accessibility are not evident, indicating that the Chinese music cooperation network has obvious endogenous mechanisms and local embeddedness. The findings of this study provide in-depth theoretical and policy insights for understanding intercity interactions and promoting the development of creative industries under the influence of the creative (digital) economy. First, a study on city networks based on the production networks of digital creative industries should focus on the characteristics of creative production networks and the role of creative actors (people). Second, policymakers should fully understand the characteristics of digital creative production sector actors and production modes when formulating policies for the development of digital creative industries and choose development paths that fit the advantages of local resources to realize industrial development. Finally, we propose a future research agenda for urban creative networks.

Key words: music industry, Chinese digital music, urban creative network, social network analysis, China

CLC Number: 

  • F299.2