Notes on MASHED interview and survey methods
The interview and survey methods used in the research project MASHED: Mashup Music, Copyright, and Platform Regulation.
For a detailed description of the method, see the downloadable documents.
The mashup producers (n=30) with whom we conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews in 2019 were selected partly in an effort to capture diversity in terms of location, background, age and gender, as well as their choice of distribution platforms, their mashup style, their level of popularity and the extent of their current involvement in mashups. The majority of interviews were conducted via online video calls, so as to reach mashup producers spread across fifteen countries (mainly European countries and the United States), with around a third of the interviews being face-to-face. Through the informed consent process, our interviewees had the choice to be quoted anonymously or using their artist pseudonym (i.e., their ‘stage name’ or production alias)—the vast majority chose the latter. When coding the interview transcriptions, we combined our pre-established codes with unanticipated ones which emerged through thematic analysis of the data.
The same year, we also surveyed ninety-two mashup producers via an online form. Respondents were recruited via social media posts (primarily Twitter), personal messages to mashup producers, mashup and remix online forums and word-of-mouth. The survey included a mix of open and closed scaled questions which we analysed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). Responses to this survey were anonymous (partly due to European data-protection regulations).
Our use of both survey and interview material—combining, as it does, quantitative and qualitative approaches—places our work within the sphere of mixed-methods research. However, unlike much mixed-methods work, we give epistemological primacy to a ‘qualitative-interpretivist’ approach rather than a ‘quantitative-experimental’ one (Howe 2004), consequently looking to interview material and free text-survey responses for ontological depth regarding producers’ experiences.
Ellis Jones and Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen, 22 May 2020