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Editors: George M Zinkhan, Anastasia Thyroff, Anja Rempel, and Hongbum Kim (The University of Georgia, USA)

Reviewer: Bettina Cornwell (University of Michigan, USA)

A good business model is a story that explains how an enterprise is designed to work (Margretta 2002). A business model identifies sources of competitive advantage and describes the firm’s pathway to profitability and success. From a marketing perspective, the business model describes customers and what they value. From a managerial perspective, the business model describes how an organization makes profit. See [link] .

In this section, we review some emerging models in the music industry, in order to illustrate how such models can serve as a source of innovation. That is, a traditional way for organizations to remain profitable is to introduce a series of related goods. As shown earlier in [link] , the organization introduces eight products (labeled A through H). Over time, the sales for product A begin to decline, so the organization is under considerable pressure to introduce new successful products. If [link] represents the cumulative sales for a record label, then product A might be a hip-hop CD, while product B is a CD created by a rock artist. In this section of the chapter, we present an alternative source of innovation—the innovation that results from successfully introducing new business models. All our examples are derived from the music industry, but related industries (e.g. films, books) are undergoing similar transformations and creating similar opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Examples of business models from the music industry

Since the late 1990s, the availability of online music has caused a lot of confusion in the marketplace. Traditional business models are no longer applicable for explaining the current business opportunities. The music industry in the twenty-first century provides a classic illustration of a “disruptive technology”, whereby new technologies drive out established technologies and established ways of doing business.

Here, we briefly review eight business models in the music industry. We distinguish among these models via five characteristics: current implementation, feasibility, legality, consumer satisfaction, and record label satisfaction (See Table 3). Note that some of these models are currently implemented, while others are speculative in nature.

Traditional business model

In this business model, the artists create music and try to be signed by a record label. After the artist is signed by a record label, then that organization provides a number of services, including financing music recording and production; organizing concert tours; producing and selling merchandise; marketing the band’s creation; promoting the band through exposure on mass media; and more.

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Source:  OpenStax, Business fundamentals. OpenStax CNX. Oct 08, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11227/1.4
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