Case Study

Turmoil and revolution in the music industry

10 pages
October 2012
Reference: IMD-3-2343

Over the last thirty years, few markets have experienced the slew of major transformations that have revolutionized the music industry – again and again. In 2012, CD sales were down to less than a quarter of their peak, having continued to drop year by year as consumers of music moved away from ownership and experimented with accessing music temporarily through multiple services and devices. Three majors still controlled much of the music produced globally, but iTunes commanded 70% of legal digital downloads. Firms had merged; many more had folded or filed for bankruptcy; new competitors had emerged that shared few if any features with the incumbents; most of them were iconoclasts that did not respect conventional wisdom or existing business paradigms. While the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry reported continuing sales declines in both units and revenues, resulting in a ten-year recession, live concert sales and streaming-based music services were enjoying steady year on year growth. New business models were being introduced daily and everybody wondered how the industry would evolve and who tomorrow’s winners might be.

Learning Objective

To analyze the challenges facing individuals and organizations competing in the recorded music industry. To comprehend the blurring of industry boundaries and the inter-dependence that exists among the various actors’ value propositions.

Industry Analysis, Competitive Dynamics, Industry Transformation, Music
Published Sources
© 2012
Available Languages
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