n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - Music's manumission : strategies for the music industry in a digital era

Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1019-567X



With the advent of the digitisation of music, a revolution is taking place in the music industry. For the first time musicians have the ability to market and distribute their music directly to the end consumer. At a keystroke, the virtual stranglehold enjoyed by the traditional music industry role players has been swept away, and they are increasingly seen for what they really are - middlemen who provide neither an individually-tailored personal experience, nor one that is fast, efficient and cost-effective. Introducing ideas from service simultaneity and dramaturgy, this study provides a simple yet powerful model for the conceptualisation and redesign for role players in the music industry. It is argued that those that are successful will be those who focus either on standardisation of activities in a back-office environment (a "music factory"), or high customisation of activities in a front-office environment (a "music theatre"). Those who cling to the outdated model so long enjoyed by the major role players in the music industry are doomed to obsolescence. While the lessons are specific to the music industry, there are broader implications for many other kinds of firms as well.

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