How are young music artists configuring their media and sales platforms in the digital age?

Mark Leenders, Mark Farrell, Koos Zwaan en Tom ter Bogt
Soort object
Bijdrage aan periodiek
Research on how music artists generate sales from their content through different platforms is scant. In this study, configuration theory is used to show that different market access configurations are viable simultaneously and that young musicians differ significantly in how they generate revenues. Using data on the media and sales performance of 338 young musicians in the Netherlands, we show that there is an ‘Emerging Star’ group (7–13% of artists depending on regional scope) and that record labels play an important role in this configuration providing broad media access on all platforms, both old and new. Digital age ‘Independents’ (14% of young artists), mostly without a record label, seem to benefit from the use of social media while exploiting synergies around live music. All artists in the remaining groups ‘Question Marks’ and ‘Hobbyists’ experience low to very low performance on all platforms. This study shows that configuration theory can provide detailed insight into viable and unviable marketing strategies. In particular, it shows that the globally declining music CD platform can still be very important for specific artists that exploit synergies between live performances, on-site CD sales and social media fan relationship management. The implications for marketing theory and young music artists are discussed.