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 6: The influence of disruptive technologies on radio promotion strategies in the music industry: a case study of one micro-firm’s decision-making practice

David Schreiber

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


This chapter discusses a radio promotional strategy of a micro-firm during an extended period of disruptive technological change in the music industry. It explores one firm’s choice to alter its radio promotion strategy in response to shifting market forces. These changes persuaded the firm to ultimately abandon one strategy for another, which became feasible with the disintermediation of the value chain brought about through MP3 technology and the Internet, declining costs in music production and the use of the Internet as a way to educate managers on business practices. The case study provides a rich description of the influences on the strategic decision-making practice surrounding this choice including the use of heuristics, intuition and external advisors. The primary source data came from interviews by five employees of the micro-firm that were directly involved in the decision-making practice. Direct observation and note taking on company culture and employee interaction, analysis of artifacts in the form of company emails, websites, social media sites and magazines, and other items referenced in the interviews were also used as data sources.

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