module specification

LT6084 - Digital Music Business Models (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Digital Music Business Models
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
30 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
70 hours Guided independent study
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
10 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 30%   Orals/panel (Individual: NB: to Experts and Peers) 15-minutes
Coursework 70%   Report (case study) 3000-words
Running in 2021/22

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module will analyse, scrutinise and critically evaluate new and conventional methods of the music business in both theory and practice, focusing on changing business models and creative business innovation. Theoretical models will be critically assessed within the unique context of music business with particular attention being paid to the monetisation of music through the utilisation of streaming, apps and networks. These methods, approaches and creative phenomena find application with regards to the transformation of modes of delivery, types of content, convergence of media and consumer devices. Opportunities and threats from within the music business and lateral phenomena (e.g. digital strategies) will be analysed through the prism of entrepreneurship and corporate decision-making in both practice and theory.

Students will be expected to critically evaluate business practices and market positioning, examine new sources of reliable research information regarding the new types of business customers and end users, and evaluate tactical alliances and shifts in music services and competing leisure markets.

Innovation and change are explored within the context of new business models, from traditional portfolio/catalogue development to new delivery models, to tactical alliances between and within emerging businesses. This will be done by utilising and challenging key concepts in strategic management and recognising the relevance of cultural knowledge in Research & 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. Best practice will entail synthesis in business modelling.

Module Aims:
This advanced module aims to equip students with a refined and robust skillset for analysis, evaluation and implementation in business modelling and strategic practice.

1. To map and analyse patterns of change and development in innovative management practices through the transformation of music industries and music-related sectors
2. To explore specific contexts within which management of innovation takes place and fully contextualise the analysis of enterprising practice behind the development of new business models
3. To develop multidisciplinary synthesis of creative management, innovation and implementation in music experience/service portfolios, identifying multiple factors that shape music business modelling in practice
4. To address key conceptual solutions, operations and skills sets utilised for monetisation of cultural/creative value by means of innovation and strategic management within music business contexts
5. To apply the understanding of strategy and tactics within the context of music business innovation


1. Conceptual analysis of the innovation in music and neighbouring industries within operational and economic contexts. LO1

2. Innovation, risk, leadership, and collaborative entrepreneurship in music and related sectors.

3. Corporate decision-making and organisational structures in music and related industries.

4. Traditional and novel business models: technological, legal, and social value of creative capital.

5. Defining, analysing and contextualising business modelling in the music business. LO2

6. Analysing and applying music- and CCI/entertainment industry literature within contexts of business model development across industry sectors, segments, practices and niche markets.

7. Advanced analytical methods – means to ends planning in strategy, operation, logistics, conceptual and tactical evaluation of music business modelling.

8. New music business models for networks, applications, and emerging experience platforms.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will utilise a combination of teaching and learning methods, addressing a variety of learning styles. These include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, peer- and team-study, group tasks and interactive learning. Students will be encouraged to reflect and draw on own experiences, aspirations and goals to facilitate inclusive learning.

Inclusive, active and collaborative learning will form the pivotal tactics for learning on this module. This will include: peer-moderated study and teamwork; the use of video, audio and online resources and VLEs; student-centred learning activities will include class interaction, problem-solving tasks and roleplay; uploading and reviewing team-based materials in ungraded formative assessment which will facilitate further class-collaboration among students.

Problem-solving activities will be facilitated by the lecturers in seminars and workshops, encouraging team effort and individual student input. Tasks in class and in preparation for classes will include research- and investigation-driven exercises utilising a variety of sources such as music business blogs, market research reports and industry trade body websites.

The proposed format for class delivery and class contact time will consist of 3-hour workshops.

Special industry events including VP training days would supplement the module T/L.

Students will be able to utilise VLEs, such as WebLearn and interact through digital media supplied this way, to facilitate independent guided learning and inquiry.

Inquiry- and research-focused learning will form the central part of student-focused activities in class and in independent study. Students will be expected to attend all classes and do so prepared for class, this being further facilitated through tasks given between seminars and lectures on a weekly basis. Independent inquiry, research and reflection will be facilitated through the use of multiple academic and industry resources through our digital library and online sources, books and journal articles as well as news entries from leading music business publications.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Critically analyse and evaluate the strategic, tactical and operational settings of music business innovation and model development within the context of lateral ICT sectors
2. Synthesise a critical contextual exploration of innovation methods that determine success or failure of advanced music business models affecting content industries

Assessment strategy

Assessment will combine formative and summative methods, designed for inclusivity and feedforward constructivist loops [as per CPED inclusive curriculum guidelines]. For instance, the Oral/Panel presentation with immediate (and added VLE) feedback with feedforward: A1 with built-in early warning system guidance/delivery, designed to enhance A2 performance and facilitate workshop interaction and incremental development of student work in workshops leading up to enterprise-focused A2. The important aspect of this is the enhancement of graduate employability as the assessment models emulate project-, portfolio-development, and/or investor pitching.

Assessment 1: 30%
Oral/Panel presentation (individual). To be delivered by students to panel of students, VPs, MT/ML, with rich use of ICT/AV media. Defending a case/proposal emulating consultancy/enterprise presentations. Fact-finding exploratory proposal of a business model in music, approved by ML/VP, drawing on referenced enquiry of business methods. Feedforward delivered by Panel in class, and in formative VLE feedback. [NB: Timing to relate to w.7 practice/industry/employability activities across LMU/GSBL.]

Assessment 2: 70%
Case study/report. To be submitted through VLE. To construct reflective synthesis of a business model in music: case study based on Orals/panel pres. and panel feedforward (A1), drawing on referenced facts, desktop research and/or fieldwork, underpinned by recognised theory and analysis of business methods. Reflective/synthesis aspect addresses any possible application of the case study in business practice. Built from weekly feedforward of in-class workshop activities; followed by formative workshops.



Core Text:
Todorovic, M (2016) Rethinking Strategy for Creative Industries: Innovation and interaction, Routledge Research

Other Texts:
Bogusky, A., & Winsor, J. (2009). Baked In: Creating products and businesses that market themselves. Agate Publishing

Christensen (2016) The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) Harvard Business Review Press

Eyal, N. (2014). Hooked: How to build habit-forming products. Penguin

Kagermann, H, Osterle, H & Jordan, J (2011) IT-Driven Business Models: Global Case Studies in Transformation, Wiley

Mintzberg, H, Lampel, (2013) The Strategy Process: Contexts, Concepts, Cases, Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall

Demers, C (2007) Organizational Change Theories: A Synthesis, London: Sage
Du Gay, P (1997) Production of Culture/Cultures of Production, London: Sage
Fuchs, C (2008) Internet and Society: Social Theory in the Information Age: 9, London: Routledge
Ha, L S, Ganahl, R (eds.) (2010) Webcasting Worldwide: Business Models of an Emerging Global Medium, Malwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Hutchison, T, Macy, A and Allen, P (2016) Record Label Marketing, Focal Press
Jarzabkowski, P (2005) Strategy as Practice: An Activity-Based Approach, London: Sage
Johnson, G, Scholes, K & Whittington, R (2008) Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text & Cases, London: Prentice Hall
Kusek, D & Leonhard, G (2005) The future of music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution, Boston, MA: Berklee Press
McNeil, R (2005) Business to Business Market Research: Understanding and Measuring Business Markets (Market Research in Practice), London: Kogan Page
Miles, G, Miles, M & Snow, C (2005) Collaborative Entrepreneurship: How Communities of Networked Firms Use Continuous Innovation to Create Economic Wealth, Stanford: Stanford University Press
Mintzberg, H, Lampel, (2013) The Strategy Process: Contexts, Concepts, Cases, Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall
Passman, D (2015) All You Need to Know About the Music Business, London: Penguin
Stacey, R and Mowles, C (2015) Strategic Management and Organisational Dynamics, London: Pearson
Journal of Product Innovation Management, Wiley
Journal Of Production And Operations Management, Wiley
Convergence, Sage


Electronic Databases:
Mintel UK
(a variety of industry reports)

Social Media Sources