Business Innovation and Disruption in the Music Industry

Business Innovation and Disruption in the Music Industry

Edited by Patrik Wikström and Robert DeFillippi

Over the past fifteen years the music industry has experienced a disruptive process of digital transformation that has reshaped most aspects of the industry; in 2015 the contours of a “new music economy” have begun to emerge. The structure and mechanics of these evolutionary processes vary considerably between continents, and this book examines these processes within Europe, America and Asia. The contributors offer a range of theoretical perspectives, as well as empirical findings from the social sciences and business, as well as the media industries. They offer a holistic understanding of the forces shaping the new music economy, and shed some light on the impact of these forces on the ways in which music is created, aggregated and distributed, and on the economic and social consequences for industry producers and consumers.

Chapter 1: From record selling to cultural entrepreneurship: the music economy in the digital paradigm shift

Peter Tschmuck

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, organisational innovation, innovation and technology, knowledge management, organisational innovation


The entire music economy was revolutionized in the digital paradigm shift. It was not just a disruption caused by technological change, but a much broader cultural revolution that fundamentally reshaped the network of music production, distribution and consumption of music. Instead of the record, the artist moved centre stage in the value-added process. The Internet and digital media empower artists to finance their music productions by crowdfunding campaigns, to distribute their music online by themselves and via content aggregators respectively, to promote their concerts by social media applications and to market themselves to companies and media partners. This chapter analyses the possibilities offered to musicians by the new digital environment, but also highlights the limitations of the do-it-yourself approach.