module specification

LT6055 - Creative Practice and Digital Music Business Models (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Creative Practice and Digital Music Business Models
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 30%   Video presentation, 15 min
Coursework 70%   Written case study, 3500 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module will scrutinise conventional methods of the music business in both theory and practice, focusing on changing business models and creative innovation. Theoretical models will be critically assessed within the unique context of the music industry with particular attention being paid to the digitisation of content and networks. These theoretical approaches and creative phenomena will be explored with regards to the resulting transformation of modes of delivery, types of content, convergence of media and consumer equipment, threats from within and without the music industry through the prism of entrepreneurship and corporate decision-making in practice and theory.
Students will be expected to critically address deep-rooted practices and positions, examine the new sources of reliable research information regarding the new types of business customers and end users, tactical alliances and shifts in digital services and competing leisure markets. Innovation and change are explored within the context of old and new business models, from traditional portfolio/catalogue development to new media distribution to alliances between and within emerging businesses, both utilising and challenging key concepts in strategic management and recognising the relevance of cultural knowledge in research and development in this area of creative industries. Case study research and business simulation methods will be encouraged in analysis, aiming to develop new approaches to business modelling and innovation in this ever-changing area of business practice.

Module aims

1.  To examine the role and nature of entrepreneurial and creative practice and management in the music industry

2. To map the change and development of innovation, creativity and enterprise in decision-making, and transformation of music industry sectors in the changing business environment

3. To explore the concrete context within which management of change takes place in order to fully contextualise the analysis of enterprise and innovation resulting in new business models

4. To develop a multidisciplinary approach to creative management, innovation and product/service development as well as their implementation, recognising the multitude of factors that affect and shape a music industry ‘product’ or ‘service’

5.  To explore globalisation in its cultural, technological, economic and strategic contexts in order to analyse and devise sustainable and effective strategies for music businesses

6. To address key conceptual problems regarding the monetisation of cultural value

7. To address the skills sets for innovation and change management in the music business

8. To apply the understanding of strategy in the context of innovation

The module will also develop the following skills: researching and analysing data, applying knowledge and presenting data, communicating in writing and orally, critical thinking, problem solving and decision making, self/time management,


1. Conceptual analysis of the innovation in music and neighbouring industries within developmental and economic contexts.

2. Defining, analysing and contextualising business modelling in the music industry.

3. Analysing and applying existing music and entertainment industry literature to the contexts of business model development.

4. Industry sectors, segments, practices and niche markets.

5. Traditional and emerging business models: technological, legal, social and cultural challenges to the music industry.

6. The commercial value of cultural capital.

7. Advanced analytical and evaluation methods – means to ends planning.

8. New methods of strategic analysis, contextual and conceptual evaluation.

9. Corporate structures and organisational decision making.

10. Innovation, risk and leadership, collaborative entrepreneurship.

11. New business models in media networks, social networking applications, virtual reality and games.


Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered as a series of 3 hour workshops. Weekly workshops will focus on key areas of problem solving, training, teaching and learning with both theory and practice integrated into the content. Workshops will consist of groups of 30+ students and will focus on activities both group and individual: communications, problem solving and case study analysis, research skills and applications including the use of digital platforms and learning by doing, presentations. All of this will be connected to key industry contexts. Guest speakers will be invited to lecture.

Blended learning plays central part in this module: strategies such as formative assessment through online collaboration; summative assessment best practice will continue with the use of mp3 and other digital audio formats for assessment feedback sent by email. Online teaching materials will be used systematically and in conjunction with in-class interaction through lectures and seminar tasks.

Reflective learning will focus on both formative and summative assessment. Students will be required to write reflective accounts regarding any aspect of their business development work and assessment planning.

Employability will be enhanced through 1) an in-depth understanding of the key issues at stake in the context of changing industries (syllabus); 2) specific activities geared towards the practical use and understanding of key applications of reflection in individual and group work, including business modelling; 3) practice-oriented assessment requirements (formative/summative)

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Formulate and critically evaluate appropriate concepts relating to change management and innovation in the Music Industry.

2.  Analyse and synthesise principles behind emerging business models and strategic decisions within the Music Industry.

3. Explore the role of music within digital media, networks, live and home entertainment, and other creative industry sectors.

4. Address new approaches to market research and product development in relation to changing audience/consumer trends.

5. Identify sustainable strategies in response to shifts in production and consumption.

6. Examine policy decisions through evolving relationships between industry, government(s) and trade areas, concerning consumers/citizens

Assessment strategy

The assessment has two components: an individual case study oral presentation worth 30% of the module mark; a 3500-word case study worth 70% of the module mark.

1. A video presentation of the chosen case study (agreed with the tutor in advance), and
2. An individually written case study from the music industry selected by the student in agreement with the tutor.

The case study has to be relevant to the contemporary music industry. This means that it:
a) May explore a current existing case (company, business model, product/service or emerging sector/segment) within the context of strategic new creative and/or digital business models, or
b) Draw from past cases that may have predisposed the industry in its present position; when such a subject is selected, an industry-related case has to be proven relevant, e.g. a case needs to be presented to prove that a different scenario would have had a profoundly different outcome, or
c) The students may opt for a hypothetical case, i.e. to draw from existing theory, practice, and development so that the case appears viable and may form a foundation for strategic development, formation of new business models or speculating on new market segments/emerging sectors.


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