Music Business Research 2017 – in retrospective

Dear readers of music business research blog,

The music streaming boom dominated 2017. Market statistics highlight that music streaming revenue has become the most important income stream for the phonographic industry. The US figures for 2016 highlight a tremendous shift from selling music (CDs and downloads) to accessing music (by streaming services). In the US, music consumers paid for the first time more for music access by ad-supported and paid streaming services (US$ 3.9bn) than for CDs, music downloads and ringtones (US$ 3.5bn). In the UK, the massive growth of music streaming revenue also increased overall recorded music sales in 2016. Gains of £103m in the music streaming segment, thus, compensated not just for the loss of £5.8m of physical sales, but also for the £56m decrease in download sales in a year-to-year comparison, as a long-term analysis of the UK recording sales indicates. We can, thus, expect a further massive growth of music streaming revenue in 2017 also on markets with a still strong physical segment such as Germany.


Music Business Research 2017 – in retrospective

Besides the music consumers, the recorded music companies are the main winners of the emerging music streaming economy. Particularly the major companies – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment und Warner Music Group – adopted their business model to the music streaming market and benefit in form of increasing revenues and profits, as an in-depth analysis of Warner Music Group highlights.

The streaming boom was also the main topic of two panel discussions at University of Westminster in London (June 15) and at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce Vienna (September 13) linked with the presentation of the book “The Economics of Music”. Both discussion addressed the contested music streaming market too.

The digital revolution in the music industry does not end, however, with music streaming. The blockchain technology seems to be the next game changer as analysed in an international workshop with Carlotta de Ninni (Mycelia for Music Foundation, London), Peter Jenner (Sincere Management, London) and Benji Rogers (PledgeMusic & Dot Blockchain Music, New York) at the Department of Cultural Management and Gender Studies (IKM) of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna on March 3. The workshop evaluated the potential for a global music rights database, but also assessed the opportunities and challenges of the blockchain for intermediaries and artists.


The 8th Vienna Music Business Research Days (September 12-14, 2017) on “Unchaining the Digital Music Business?” also focused on the impact of blockchain and other disruptive technologies on the music business.  Daniel Nordgård from the University of Agder in Kristiansand/Norway held the introductory talk on “New Gatekeeping Processes in the Digital Music Business” and moderated then a panel discussion with Sally Gross (University of Westminster, London), Sarita Stewart (Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business, Belmont University Nashville/USA), Scott Cohen (The Orchard, London and New York) and Stefan Baumschlager (Record Bird, Vienna). In the following presentation George Musgrave from the University of Westminster in London talked on “Control and Autonomy in the Digital Music Business”. In the afternoon Alan Graham and Wolfgang Senges critically reflected in two keynotes – „The Applications of Blockchain Technology in the Music Business“ and „The Benefits and Challenges of Blockchain Technology in the Music Business“ the current hype about blockchain technology  and discussed with Carlotta de Ninni (Mycelia for Music project) and Kelly Snook (University of Brighton) its impact on the music business (video stream of the panel discussion).

The conference was closed with awarding the Young Scholars’ Workshop best paper, which took place on the first conference day. An international jury voted for the paper entitled „Virtual Songwriting: Fostering Creative Processes through ‚Challenge‘ and ‚Collaboration’“ by Benjamin Schiemer of the Johannes Kepler University Linz/Austria, which will be published in the International Journal of Music Business Research (IJMBR).


In 2017, two further issues of the IJMBR have been published:

Volume 6, no. 2, October 2017

Editorial by Peter Tschmuck, pp. 4-5

Per Frankelius: Innovation in the arts – lessons from the creation of Dalhalla, pp. 6-40

George Musgrave: Collaborating to compete: the role of cultural intermediaries in hypercompetition, pp. 41-68

Stephan Klingner & Julia Friedrich: Status quo and perspectives of licensing synchronisation rights, pp. 69-86

Book review by Dennis Collopy: The Economics of Music by Peter Tschmuck, pp. 87-91


Volume 6, no. 1, April 2017

Editorial by Peter Tschmuck, pp. 4-5

Lorenz Grünewald-Schukalla: A methodology for cultural music business research, pp. 6-34

Juko-Mart Kõlar: The impact of digitalisation on the recorded music consumption. An Estonian case study, pp. 35-50

Arilova A. Randrianasolo & Jeremiah Sala: Song product characteristics and music commercial performance, pp. 51-75

Book review by Daniel Nordgård: The New Music Industries: Disruption and Discovery by Diane Hughes, Guy Morrow, Sarah Keith and Mark L. Evans, pp. 76-78


The IJMBR is published by the International Music Business Research Association (IMBRA), which held its second general assembly in the course of the 8th Vienna Music Business Research Days. The delegates decided to foster international collaboration and to enlarge the emerging scientific community also by setting up an international music business research book series with Springer International. All researchers interested in the new scientific discipline are invited to become a member in 2018: http://imbra.eu/


The third IMBRA general assembly will be held in the course of the 9th Vienna Music Business Research Days on “Music Life is Live” at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. The call-for-papers for the Young Scholars’ Workshop on September 12, 2018 as well as the Conference Track Day on September 13, 2017 have been still published. Researchers of all disciplines are invited to submit paper proposals latest until April 9, 2018 to:

Young Scholars’ Workshop: youngscholars@imbra.eu

Conference Track Day: vmbrdays@gmail.com


In the next section you can find a list of all theses & papers which were added to the blog in 2017:

Schönbichler, Johannes, 2017, Perspektiven in der Musikverwertung – Eine Analyse von Geschäftsmodellen angesichts technologischer Trends. Masterarbeit, University of Applied Sciences Kufstein.

Tupinambá Campos, Pablo, 2010, Novos modelos de negócio na indústria fonográfica: Um estudo exploradório sobre as gravadoras no Brasil, Master Thesis, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

Waldenberger, Philip, 2017, Die Wirtschaftlichkeit von On-Demand-Musikstreaming für österreichische Independent-Labels. Eine Datenanalyse des österreichischen Content Aggregatoren „Rebeat“. Master Thesis, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.


The following studies, reports and working papers with a music business/industry focus were published in 2017:

Amerine, Mary C., Searching for a Sound: A Proposal for Creating Consistent De Minimis Sampling Standards in the Music Industry, Entertainment Law Initiative Tribute Journal, 2017.

Beard T. Randolph, George S. Ford & Michael L. Stern, Safe Harbors and the Evolution of Music Retailing, Phoenix Center Policy Bulletin No. 41, May 2017.

Bruijl, Gerard H. Th., Digital Marketing Developments Within the Music Industry, report by BizChange (NZ) Ltd., August 2017

Haampland, Ola, Power Laws and Market Shares: Cumulative Advantage and the Billboard Hot 100, Journal of New Music Research, 2017: 1-25.

Lim, Jooyoung, Minki Kim & Geonhyeok Go, Do Media Type and Time of Day Matter in Social Media Engagement? The Case of the Music Industry, International Telecommunications Policy Review, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2017.

Montoro-Pons D., Juan and Manuel Cuadrado-García, ‘Let’s make lots of money’: the determinants of performance in the recorded music sector, Journal of Cultural Economics, May 2017: 1-21.

Phillips, Ronnie J., The Long and Winding Road: Musicians on Tour from the Big Band Era to Rock and Roll, Colorado State University working paper, September 2017.

Priest, Eric, Meet the New Media, Same as the Old Media: Real Lessons from China’s Digital Copyright Industries, George Mason Law Review, Vol. 23, No. 4, January 2017.

Trabucchi, Daniel Elena Pellizzoni, Tommaso Buganza & Roberto Verganti, Interplay between Technology and Meaning: How Music Majors Reacted?, Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 26, Issue 4, pp. 327-338, 2017.

Watson, Jeremy, What is the Value of Re-Use? Complementarities in Popular Music, NET Institute Working Paper No. 17-15, October 2017.

Yang, YongHyeon, Copyright Royalty Regulation and Competition in the Music Retail Market, KDI Journal of Economic Policy 39(1): 83-102.


Music business/industry books published in 2017:

Huber, Michael, Musikhören im Zeitalter Web 2.0. Theoretische Grundlagen und empirische Befunde. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

Kühn, Jan-Michael, Die Wirtschaft der Techno-Szene. Arbeiten in einer subkulturellen Ökonomie. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

Luck, Geoff, The Experience Factor. How Hit Music Hacks Your Mind, Heart and Body to Keep You Listening Again and Again. Self-published.

Meier, Leslie M., Popular Music as Promotion: Music and Branding in the Digital Age, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Saintilan, Paul und David Schreiber, Managing Organizations in the Creative Economy. Organizational Behaviour for the Cultural Sector. New York: Routledge.

Schoop, Monika E., Independent Music and Digital Technology in the Philippines, New York: Routledge.

Storstein Spilker, Hendrik, Digital Music Distribution. The Sociology of Online Music Streams, New York: Routledge.

Tschmuck, Peter, The Economics of Music. Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing.

Tschmuck, Peter, Beate Flath und Martin Lücke (Hg.), Musikwirtschaftsforschung. Die Grundlagen einer neuen Disziplin, Wiesbaden: Springer VS.


Finally, I would like to thank 59,483 visitors of the blog for 34,121 visits in 2017 – 163 visits per day. Most of the visitors came from the US, UK, Germany, Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands and India. Traffic, however, comes from almost all countries except a few countries in Africa and North Korea as well as Afghanistan.


The top-10 most visited blog entries in 2017:

  1. The economics of music streaming: Spotify with 5.074 visits
  2. The global music publishing market – an analysis with 3.795 visits
  3. The recorded music market in the US, 2000-2014 with 2.939 visits
  4. The recession in the music industry – a cause analysis with 2.686 visits
  5. The recorded music market in the US, 2000-2013 with 1.935 visits
  6. The music business in the blockchain with 1.659 visits
  7. The US recorded music market in a long-term perspective, 1990-2016 with 1.446 visits
  8. Money from music – a study on musicians’ revenue in the U.S. with 1.294 visits
  9. Live Nation in the digital paradigm shift with 898 visits
  10. The fate of the CD – an international CD-market analysis with 661 visits


To sum up, all articles and sites on the blog has been visited more than 400,000 times since March 2010 when I started this blog – thank you for your interest! Please come back all in 2018 to read e.g. about 9th Vienna Music Business Research Days on “Music Life is Live” (conference call and call-for-papers for the Young Scholars’ Workshop) that will be held at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna from September 12-14, 2018. The seventh volume of the International Journal of Music Business Research will be published issues in spring and autumn 2018. And as usual you will find new blog entries on music business/industry topics, book reviews, conference announcements and updates of the several databases.

Hope I see you all again on the blog in 2018. Best wishes and a successful New Year,



0 Responses to “Music Business Research 2017 – in retrospective”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

December 2017



RSS Unknown Feed

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Blog Stats

  • 583,852 hits

%d bloggers like this: