Music Business Research 2019 – in retrospective

Dear all,

Music streaming has been still on the rise in 2019 as an international market analysis highlights. However, a closer look unveils that in some markets – especially in Scandinavia (part 1, part 2, part 3) – the streaming markets have matured and will be soon saturated. Therefore we can expect a market consolidation in 2020 with some stand-alone music streaming services disappearing. Spotify seems to be “to big to fail”, however, it will rely on strong partners to back the Swedish company in rough sea.

The Universal Music Group (UMG) will have a strong partner in 2020. Today it was announced that a consortium led by Chinese Tencent Holdings will buy up a 10% stake of UMG from the French parent company Vivendi. Since the world`s largest recording company will be partly owned by a Chinese conglomerate this could be a game changer in the music industry and the Chinese recorded music market will become even more relevant for the international music business. This blog will be the place to analyse the new situation.

And Asia will be also in the focus of the 11th Vienna Music Business Research Days on “Emerging Music Markets”, which will be held from September 21-23, 2020 at the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. We expect keynotes on the Chinese, Indian and South Korean music markets as well as short presentations and panel discussion on several Eastern European markets. The call-for-paper for the Young Scholars’ Workshop on Sep. 21 and the Conference Track Day on Sep. 22 are already open for submissions of abstracts.


The 10th anniversary Vienna Music Business Research Days were dedicated to the “Future of the Music Business”. The final Invited Conference Day on September 13th focused on the conference main topic the “Future of the Music Business”. The London-based entertainment lawyer Cliff Fluet held the introductory keynote “The Music Business & Technology – How Their Past and Present will Dictate Their Future” and joined the following panel discussion on “The Future of Music Copyright” with Ros Lynch (Intellectual Property Office, London) and the blockchain start-up founder Steve Stewart (vezt, Los Angeles), moderated by Sally Gross (University of Westminster, London). The panelists discussed the impact of new technologies such as the blockchain and artificial intellectual on copyright legislation.

Michael Smellie, the former COO of Sony/BMG and Australian start-up investor, closed the morning session by looking back into the music industry’s recent past with his keynote on the music industry’s “Seven Deadly Sins” to learn more about the industry’s future.

After the lunch break Paul O’Hagan of the University of Ulster had a conversation with music manager Peter Jenner on the concept of label service contracts, which Peter Jenner introduced by signing Billy Bragg to Cooking Vinyl. Label service contracts have become very popular among superstars such as Taylor Swift, since there is no need to contract away all rights to the labels. Peter Jenner was also a mastermind and initiator of the “Music 2025” project, which was introduced for the first to the public by him and Dennis Collopy (University of Hertfordshire, UK) in 2014 at the Vienna Music Business Research Days. This year Dennis Collopy presented the project’s results to an international audience.

In the following keynote “What Are the Key Drivers of Growth in Music Streaming?” music industry analyst Chris Carey outlined the past, present and future developments in the music streaming economy. This was a good starting point for the final panel discussion on “Future of the Music Business – What’s Next after Music Streaming?” with Rebecca Brook (music industry consultant, London), Chris Carey (Media Insight Consulting, London), Phil Graham (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia) and Michael Smellie (start-up investor, Australia), moderated by Dennis Collopy (University of Hertfordshire).

The conference was closed with awarding the best paper of the Young Scholars’ Workshop, which took place on the first conference day. An international jury voted for the paper “THE NEW MAGIC PEOPLE: An Ethnographic Study of East London’s Cultural Workers at Shoreditch House” by Sam Edrisi (Westminster University and King’s College London) and “Creativity, Constraints, and Copyright – Hired Music Guns and the Case of Soundalikes” by Konstantin Hondros (University Duisburg-Essen, Germany). Both papers will be published in the one the next issues of the International Journal of Music Business Research (IJMBR).


In 2019, two further issues of the IJMBR have been published:

Volume 8, no 2, October 2019

Editorial by Guy Morrow, pp. 4-5

Björn Boman: Achievement in the South Korean Music Industry, pp. 6-26

Anirudh Tagat, Hansika Kapoor & Anurag Tagat: Giving In: Crowdfunding for musical concerts in India, pp. 27-52

Tamara Goličnik: Balanced Scorecard as a pianist’s tool for the implementation and control of business strategies, pp. 53-79

Book review by Martin Ivan Mikulik: Spotify Teardown: Inside the Black Box of Streaming Music by Maria Eriksson, Rasmus Fleischer, Anna Johansson, Pelle Snickars & Patrick Vonderau, pp. 80-82

Volume 8, no 1, April 2019

Editorial by Peter Tschmuck, pp. 4-5

Bård Tronvoll: Digital enabled experience – listening experience in music streaming, pp. 6-38

Terrance Tompkins: An analysis of ticket pricing in the primary and secondary concert marketplace, pp. 39-66

Silvia Donker: Networking data. A network analysis of Spotify’s sociotechnical related artist network, pp. 67-101

Book review by Peter Tschmuck: The Music Business and Digital Impacts. Innovations and Disruptions in the Music Industries by Daniel Nordgård, pp. 102-105


The International Music Business Research Association (IMBRA) held its fourth general assembly within the 10th Vienna Music Business Research Days by electing a new board and presidency: president – Peter Tschmuck (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria), deputy president – Sarita Stewart (Belmont University, USA), secretary – Guy Morrow (University of Melbourne, Australia) and treasurer – Michael Huber (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria). The IMBRA is also editor of the International Journal of Music Business Research (IJMBR) and a music business research book series with Springer International. In 2019, the first two volumes have been published and presented to the public in a book presentation event in the evening of September 11th. Daniel Nordgård of the University of Agder in Kristiansand/Norway presented the first volume entitled The Music Business and Digital Impacts. Innovations and Disruptions in the Music Industries. Phil Graham of the University of the Sunshine Coast/Australia followed with talk on the second volume Music, Management, Marketing, and Law. Interviews Across the Music Business Value Chain.

All researchers interested in joining IMBRA in 2020, please check here: http://imbra.eu/


The following studies, reports, articles and working papers with a music business/industry focus were published in 2019:

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Global Music Report 2019, short version, London: IFPI.

Kjus, Yngvar, “The Use of Copyright in Digital Times: A Study of How Artists Exercise Their Rights in Norway“, Popular Music and Society, December 2019, DOI: 10.1080/03007766.2019.1698206

Mulligan, Mark, Keith Jopling and Zach Fuller, The Classical Music Market. Streaming’s Next Genre?, Midia Research report, London.

Negus, Keith, “Nation-states, transnational corporations and cosmopolitans in the global popular music economy”, Global Media and China, Volume XX: 1–16, DOI: 10.1177/2059436419867738

Rémy, Guichardaz, Laurent Bach and Julien Pénin, “Music industry intermediation in the digital era and the resilience of the Majors’ oligopoly: the role of transactional capability”, Industry and Innovation 26(10):1-27, January 2019, DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2018.1561357

Saragih, Harriman, Togar Simatupang and Yos Sunitiyoso, “Co-Innovation Processes in the Music Business”, Heliyon 5(4), DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01540

Tschmuck, Peter, “Die ökonomischen Wechselwirkungen von Musikindustrie und Medien” in Holger Schramm (Hg.), Handbuch Musik und Medien, 2nd, revised and enlarged edition, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, pp. 551-568.

UK Music, Music by Numbers 2019 Report. London: UK for Music.

Wlömert, Nils & Dominik Papies, 2019, “International Heterogeneity in the Associations of New Business Models and Broadband Internet with Music Revenue and Piracy”, Working Paper Universität Tübingen, forthcoming in International Journal of Research in Marketing, Vol. 36 (3).


Music business/industry books published in 2019:

Eriksson, Maria, Rasmus Fleischer, Anna Johansson, Pelle Snickars and Patrick Vonderau, Spotify Teardown. Inside the Black Box of Streaming Music, Cambridge: MIT Press.

Forde, Eamonn, The Final Days Of EMI: Selling the Pig, London: Omnibus Press.

Gesellschaft für Musikwirtschafts- und Musikkulturforschung (ed.), Musik und Stadt. Jahrbuch für Musikwirtschafts- und Musikkulturforschung, Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

Graham, Phil, Music, Management, Marketing, and Law. Interviews Across the Music Business Value Chain, Heidelberg etc.: Springer.

Henley, Darren and Daryl Easlea, Decca: The Supreme Record Company – The Story of Decca Records 1929-2019, London: Elliott & Thompson.

Krueger, Alan B., Rockonomics. What the Music Industry Can Teach Us About Economics (and Our Future), New York: Currency.

Nordgård, Daniel, The Music Business and Digital Impacts. Innovations and Disruptions in the Music Industries, Heidelberg etc.: Springer.

Schramm, Holger (Hg.), Handbuch Musik und Medien, 2nd, revised and enlarged edition, Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

Seliger, Berthold, Vom Imperiengeschäft. Wie Grosskonzerne die kulturelle Vielfalt zerstören. Berlin: Edition Tiamat.

Sun, Hyojung, Digital Revolution Tamed. The Case of the Recording Industry, New York: Palgrave-MacMillan.


Finally, I would like to thank 20.320 visitors of the blog for 35.803 visits in 2019 – 98 visits per day. Most of the visitors came from the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Austria, Canada, the Netherlands, France and India. Traffic, however, comes from almost all countries except a few countries in Africa and North Korea, Papua-Neuguinea as well as Afghanistan.

The top-10 most visited blog entries in 2019:

  1. The US recorded music market in a long-term perspective, 1990-2016 with 2.984 visits
  2. Towards a music streaming economy – an international market analysis with 1.450
  3. The recorded music market in the US, 2000-2014 with 1.313 visits
  4. Music majors in the streaming economy: Universal Music Group with 1.227
  5. The economics of music streaming: Spotify with 1.029 visits
  6. The recession in the music industry – a cause analysis with 970 visits
  7. The UK Recorded Music Market in a Long-Term Perspective, 1975-2016 with 703
  8. The global music publishing market – an analysis with 664 visits
  9. Spotify goes public – an economic background analysis with 589 visits
  10. The fate of the CD – an international CD-market analysis with 555 visits


Thank you for visiting the blog almost 500,000 times since March 2010 when I started this blog! Hope you will be back in 2020 to read e.g. about 11th Vienna Music Business Research Days on “Emerging Music Markets” that will be held at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna from September 21-23, 2020. The ninth volume of the International Journal of Music Business Research will be published issues in April and October 2020. And of course you will find new blog entries on music business/industry topics, book reviews, conference announcements and updates of the several databases.

See you again and I wish all the best for 2020,



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December 2019




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