Music as an Investment – Part 1: An Overview

Until a few years ago, music publishing was considered to be a rather boring business field in which music rights are acquired and licensed for various uses. This business model has not principally changed, but music rights have become a speculative investment in recent years, when new players such as Hipgnosis, Primary Wave and Round Hill entered the market with spectacular music catalogue acquisitions in the multi-digit million range.

This blog entry traces the development of the music rights market and the most important players in recent years and is the introduction to a multi-part blog series on “Music as an Investment”.

Continue reading ‘Music as an Investment – Part 1: An Overview’


13th International Music Business Research Days in Retrospective


After the Poplive! project team of the Erasmus University Rotterdam had successfully organized the International Music Business Research Days 2021, the conference took place again this year at the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Based on the main topic of the partner conference – Parallel Societies – this year’s talks and discussions focused on “Parallel Worlds in the Music Industry” on 20 October 2022.

On the morning of the third day of the conference, Beate Flath from the University of Paderborn dealt with the “New Virtual Worlds for Music”. Based on case studies such as the avatar artist Hatsune Miku, the ABBA Voyage Music Hall in London and the concert performances of musicians in the video game Fortnite, Beate Flath showed that these virtual music applications are by no means parallel worlds, but are extensions or supplements to real music life. A kind of parallel world was also created by the numerous lockdowns during the COVID 19 pandemic in the past two years. The manifold effects of the pandemic are discussed in the recently published anthology “Rethinking the Music Business”, which was presented by Guy Morrow from the University of Melbourne. The subsequent panel discussion with Guy Morrow, Beate Flath, Zarja Peters and Daniel Nordgård referred to both the new virtual music worlds and the book presentation and tried to trace new developments in music business.

The afternoon, which was also the kick-off event for the conference “Parallel Societies” of IASMP-DACH and the Society for Popular Music Research (GfPM), was entirely dedicated to the topic “Parallel Worlds of Music Streaming”. Hyojung Sun (University of York) and David Hesmondhalgh (University of Leeds) addressed current developments in the music streaming economy in their presentations. Hyojung Sun’s keynote, entitled “Asset Economy in the Music Streaming Business”, focused on the current acquisitions of music catalogues by the music majors and new players such as the Hipgnosis Songs Fund. David Hesmondhalgh went on to show how the algorithms of music recommendation systems not only determine music selection, but can also foster social inequalities. These effects of the music streaming economy were then discussed in detail by the two keynote speakers with the Vienna-based musician Yasmo and the founder of the label collective Analogsoul, Fabian Schütze, under the direction of Hannes Tschürtz (ink music).

On the previous day, October 19, the Conference Track Day took place, in which researchers from Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the USA presented and discussed current results of music industry and business research. Among the topics were the production network perspective in the music industry, the functioning of netlabels, the Internet of Musical Things, the live music industry in the Netherlands and the role of blockchain technology and NFTs in the music business.

The 13th International Music Business Research Days traditionally kicked off on the first day – October 18 – with the Young Scholars’ Workshop, in which PhD and master students from Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, the USA and the UK presented their projects and discussed them with mentors. The presentation of the Best Paper Award, this time to Farley J. Joseph from the University of the West Indies/Trinidad & Tobago for his paper entitled “Sustaining innovation: Online concert models in a post-COVID-19 Trinidad & Tobago”, amarked the end of the conference on October 20.

Continue reading ’13th International Music Business Research Days in Retrospective’


International Journal of Music Business Research – October 2022, vol. 11, nr. 2


Volume 11, no 2, October 2022

Editorial by Peter Tschmuck, p. 45

Kjersti Livesdottir Thorkildsen & Anders Rykkja: Showcase Festivals: Gatekeepers and Bridge Builders in the Music Industries, pp. 47-58

Mihail Miller & Stephan Klingner:  Reframing the Economic Rationale of Music Publishers’ Relationships with Rights Management Entities – Shifting to a Systematic Approach, pp. 59-76

Nadia Whiteman-Charles: The Hustla Playbook: Negotiating the Business Politics of Reggae in the Jamaican Rock Music Scene, pp. 77-87

Book review by Erik Hitters: Richard Osborne and Dave Laing† (eds.) (2021) Music by numbers. The use and abuse of statistics in the music industries, pp. 89-90





Introducing our guests: Hyojung Sun (University of York, UK)

Foto_Hyojung_SunDr Hyojung Sun is our keynote speaker in the afternoon of October 20th. She will talk about “Parallel Worlds of Music Streaming” and is also a participant in the following panel discussion with Yasmo (musican, Vienna/Austria), Fabian Schütze (analogsoul, Leipzig/Germany) and David Hesmondhalgh (University of Leeds, UK) under the guidance of Hannes Tschürtz (ink, Vienna/Austria).

Hyojung Sun is a Lecturer in Business of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of York. With her academic background in Science and Technology Studies (STS, University of Edinburgh, PhD), she explores the contemporary issues impacting popular music such as Music Creators’ Earnings in the Digital Era and Music 2025 – the Music Data Dilemma. These projects have made a significant contribution to the evidence base, gaining industry-wide support, and are acting as a catalyst in bringing industry, academia and Government together.

Prior to joining York, she worked as a research associate in the Creative Industries at Ulster University, working as part of NESTA’s Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) programme. Hyojung has a rich background crossing industry and academia. She worked in the IT industry where she observed the early Internet policy making process which prompted her to go back to education to further study IT policy for her MA at the Graduate School of Public Administration, Seoul National University. She applied her knowledge in practice during her time at the National Assembly Research Services (NARS) in Korea, as a legislative researcher, helping policy makers and politicians make sound decisions in the field of media, culture and tele-communications.


Introducing our guests: Yasmo (musician, Vienna/Austria)

Yasmo_4_CarinaAntl_Foto4Yasmo is an Austrian rapper, who will join the discussion on “Parallel Worlds of Music Streaming” from 15:00-16:00 on October 20 in Joseph Haydn Hall of mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna with Hyojung Sun (University of York, UK), Dave Hesmonhalgh (University of Leeds, UK) and Fabian Schütze (analogsoul, Leipzig/Germany).

Yasmo is a Vienna-based rap artist and poet, who is artistically active since 2007. In 2009, she was the first Austrian artist to win the German speaking U20 Poetry Slam and in 2013 she was the first female artist to win the Austrian Poetry Slam competition. She travels with her texts around the world. In 2019, Yasmo and her band Klangkantine released her fourth studio album Prekariat & Karat, for which she was nominated twice for the Amadeus Austrian Music Award. And she was a co-curator for the Popfest Wien 2019.


Introducing our guests: David Hesmondhalgh (University of Leeds, UK)

Foto_Dave_HesmondhalghProf. David Hesmondhalgh is one of our keynote speakers on “Parallel Worlds of Music Streaming” from 14:00-14:45 on October 20 in Joseph Haydn Hall at the mdw – University of Music and Performings Arts Vienna. He also joins the following discussion panel with Hyojung Sun (University of York, UK), Yasmo (musician, Vienna, Austria) and Fabian Schütze (analogsoul, Leipzig, Germany).

David Hesmondhalgh is Professor of Media, Music and Culture in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds. He currently leads Music Culture in the Age of Streaming, a research project funded by an Advanced Research Grant from the European Research Council (2021-2026). He is the author of a book-length report Music Creators’ Earnings in the Digital Age (co-authored with Richard Osborne, Hyojung Sun and Kenny Barr, 2021) and numerous books, including The Cultural Industries (4th edition, 2019) and Why Music Matters (2013). His talk draws on a literature review he conducted for the UK Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, co-authored with Raquel Campos, Bondy Kaye and Zhongwei Li.


Introducing our guests: Zarja Peters (musician and Ascencia Business School in Paris/France)

Zarja Peters - PortraitThe classical trained pianist and music business researcher, Zarja Peters, is one of our discussants on “Rethinking the Music Business” from 11:30-13:00 on October 20, 2022 in Joseph Haydn Hall at mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

Zarja Peters started her piano career at the young age of 5. In her long-standing experience onstage and backstage in performing arts she is award winner of numerous international piano competitions. Ms. Peters studied piano performance at the State Conservatory Klagenfurt (Austria) under the supervision of Professor Alexei Kornienko and subsequently completed her piano master program at the Bern University of Arts (Switzerland) in the class of Professor Patricia Pagny. She acts as Art Director of Swiss based Sonus Nobilis Art Promotion, using her extensive track record in art promotion and event management to deliver bespoke event concepts and productions predominantly with academically trained performing artists. Upon completion of her degree MBA in performing arts management and cultural industries with Institut d’études supérieures des arts in Paris/France she has been appointed as associate head of program for the performing arts DBA curriculum of Ascencia Business School in Paris/France.


Introducing our guests: Fabian Schütze (Analogsoul, Leipzig/Germany)

Fabian-Schuetze_photoFabian Schütze is our panelist in the discussion on “Parallel Worlds of Music Streaming” with Hyojung Sun (University of York, UK), Yasmo (musician, Vienna, Austria) and David Hesmondhalgh (University of Leeds, UK) from 15:00-16:00 on October 20 in Joseph Haydn Hall at mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

He is the founder of the creative collective Analogsoul in 2008, toured as an artist himself for years, but has always been more interested in the business part of the venture. Today his boutique agency Golden Ticket takes care of Martin Kohlstedt, CATT, SALOMEA, Black Sea Dahu and Max Prosa in booking and management. Fab is part of the Regional Council East of the VUT – the german association of independent music companies and cooperates in a variety of projects with partners like Kick The Flame, recordJet, Believe, Broken Silence, listenrecords, Greenhouse Talent and many more. His music business newsletter and the corresponding magazine “Low Budget High Spirit” are among the most read in the german speaking part of the industry. He also consults high profile independent musicians and projects on brand building, strategy and digital marketing. Fab lives and works in Leipzig, Germany.

More via https://lowbudgethighspirit.com/


Introducing our guests: Daniel Nordgård (University of Agder, Norway)

Foto Nordgard photo by Jørund Pedersen 2021

Photo: Jørund Pedersen 2021

Daniel Nordgård is the co-editor of the recently published book Rethinking the Music Business, which will be be presented by him along with Guy Morrow (University of Melbourne) in the conference’s morning session of October 20, 2022 at mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

Daniel Nordgård is associate professor at the University of Agder and also the author of the book The Music Business and Digital Impacts (2018). He has a broad background from music, foremost as musician and artist, but also has experience from concert promotion and festival management. Nordgård teaches music business and management at the University of Agder. His research is very much devoted to the music industry and the cultural industries, with a special emphasis on digital change. Nordgård holds several positions in different boards, nationally and internationally, including Gramo (Norwegian collecting society for neighboring rights), The Norwegian Film Institute, Gramart (The Norwegian featured artist organization). He also sits on the board of the International Music Business Research Association (IMBRA).


Introducing our guest: Beate Flath (University of Paderborn, Germany)

Beate Flath

Photo credit: Harald Morsch

Beate Flath is our keynote speaker on “New Virtual Worlds for Music” on October 20 in the 13th International Music Business Research Days at the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and she will also join the following morning panel on “Rethinking the Music Business” with Guy Morrow (University of Melbourne, Australia), Zaria Peters (IESA Paris, France) and Daniel Nordgård (University of Agder, Norway).

Prof. Dr. Beate Flath studied musicology, art history, and business administration at the University of Graz, where she also received her doctoral degree in musicology. She conducted research at the University of Graz, the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, and Paderborn University. Since 2021, she has been a Professor of Event Management with a focus on pop music cultures and digital media cultures at Paderborn University. Her research interests are transdisciplinary event studies, socio-political and cultural-political dimensions of event management, co-creation and participation in the context of digital media, and music business research as music culture research.

Selection of latest publications:

Beate Flath, Christoph Jacke & Manuel Troike (eds.) (2022), Transformational POP. Transitions, Breaks, and Crises in Popular Music (Studies) (~Vibes – The IASPM D-A-CH Series 2)

Beate Flath & Christoph Jacke (eds.) (2022), PopEventKulturen zwischen Management und Politik. Transdisziplinäre Perspektiven, Bielefeld: transcript

Beate Flath, Ina Heinrich, Christoph Jacke, Heinrich Klingmann & Maryam Momen Pour Tafreshi (eds.) (2022), Druckwellen. Eskalationskulturen und Kultureskalationen in Pop, Gesellschaft und Politik, Bielefeld: transcript

Beate Flath & Maryam Momen Pour Tafreshi (2021), Work-related practices of local managers of live music events in Ostwestfalen-Lippe (OWL) and their impact on cultural participation. Arts and the Market, Vol. 11, No. 2, 109-122.

Further information: www.beateflath.net

March 2023




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