module specification

LT5055 - Global Digital Music Distribution (2016/17)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2016/17
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Global Digital Music Distribution
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School London Metropolitan Business School
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 50%   Individual presentation
Unseen Examination 50%   2 hrs unseen
Running in 2016/17 No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module will seek to develop students’ understanding of the international market for music and creative media products and services.  The creation, management, and exploitation of music by transnational corporations, SMEs, independent record companies, and artist owned “self releasing” entities will be explored against the background of processes of globalisation and digitalisation. Particular emphasis will be given to developing an understanding of new and diverse market territories for the distribution and exploitation of music based products and services. 

Module aims

1. To understand the major forces of globalisation and their effects on international music and creative media retail and distribution

2. To analyse the evolution of the transnational music organisation and the stages and strategies associated with market expansion and decline
3.  To investigate the rise of new music companies and their distribution strategies
3. To analyse music product development, retail policy, and distribution channel structure in a global context

4. To identify differences and similarities in international music and creative media markets
5.  To understand how digital formats have allowed new platforms for the distribution of music disrupting existing supply chains and industry practice
6.  To explore the commercial threats and possibilities presented by digital formats and the rise of new markets
7.  Reading
8.  Researching
9.  Analysing Data
10.  Application of Knowledge and Presenting Data
11. Communicating/presenting– orally and in writing, including inter-cultural communication
12.  Interpersonal, including. collaborating / working with others, cross cultural awareness,having a positive attitude, negotiation and persuasion
13.  Commercial Awareness, including vision, corporate social responsibility and governance



Introduction to Globalisation
State music policies and protection of domestic culture
Introduction to Modes of Market Entry
Licensing and the Structure of cross-territory arrangements:
JVs, licensees, local subsidiary, export only etc
PEST analysis for the setting up of regional offices
License Agreements
The rise of the independent music company
Relationships between major and independent labels
New platforms for music distribution, new digital business strategies
Music as “content” for other sectors
Revenues and accounting practice
Music territories, regions and markets
Marketing across territories
Manipulating repertoire for greater global “appeal”


Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered by way of weekly 1 hr lectures and 2 hr seminars.  Lectures shall comprise formal content delivery with some interactive opportunities and seminars shall comprise class discussion, interactive class exercises, and from week 6, delivery and group discussion of student individual presentations.

Seminars shall be supported by the use of directed reading, videos and other media.
The seminars shall develop students’ confidence in subject discipline as well as in generic skills such as written and oral communication, business acumen, numeracy, critical and analytical skills.   Students will be expected to undertake prior directed reading and digest weblearn provided materials.

Seminars shall also provide an opportunity for students to consider and reflect upon career opportunities within the international music and creative media industries.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will:

1. Understand processes of globalization and its effects upon the market for music across different territories using analytical frameworks derived from globalisation and international business theories
2. Evaluate and appraise different methods of market entry
3. Understand music distribution and retail platforms and evaluate international release strategies
4. Appraise the role of new media and social networking in effective international release strategies
5. Be aware of the contractual issues involved in the international distribution of music between the various rightsholders
6. Understand the revenue streams arising in the trading of music internationally and be able to interpret basic international accounting practices.


Assessment strategy

Diagnostic and formative assessment will take place weekly during the seminars where in addition to the formal transmission of content students will have the opportunity to develop theoretical, analytical, numeracy, and oral and written communication skills

There are two components to the formal summative assessment strategy.

Assessment 1

An individual presentation requiring students to select and research an international music market (territory) and explain its global and local characteristics and commercial imperatives in the context of module themes.   Students analytical, research, critical, and oral presentation skills shall be assessed.  This assessment will also have a formative aspect through the scheduling of early review of presentation content during seminars

50% weighting

Assessment 2

There will be a 2 hour unseen exam requiring students to use business frameworks and strategies and display their knowledge of the international music and creative media industries.  Students analytical, theoretical, critical, and written communications skills shall be assessed

50% weighting



Bartlett, C.A. & Goshal, S. (1995) Transnational Management
Doyle G (2008) Understanding Media Economics, Sage Publications

Bennett, R. (1999) International Business
Klein, N. (2000) No Logo, Randomhouse

Passman D (2009) All you need to know about the Music Business Penguin Books

Burnett, R. (1996) The Global Jukebox, Routledge

Negus, K. (1999) Music Genres And Corporate Cultures, Routledge

BPI Statistical Handbook (Yearly Publication)

IFPI The Recording Industry In Numbers 2011 (Yearly Publication)


The Law Gazette
Music Week
The Guardian Newspaper – Monday edition Media section
The Financial Times – Tuesday edition – Creative Business
Business Week
The Economist
The Stage
Screen International
‘Five Eight’ Music Business Insight