Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Innovation Dynamics and Evolutionary Economic Paths in the Music Industry

By Massimiliano Mazzanti and Caterina Cardinali


This work aims at analysing the evolution of music industry, since the beginning of music marketed as a product for the masses until the new frontiers of digital music. Our goal is to identify which factors played a key role in the evolution of the demand in the last years and in the largely discussed crisis of the international music market. In order to reach our goal, it is necessary to contextualise the analysis, starting from the definition of the so-called pop music, or popular music, that must not be confused with the expression “musica popolare†that in Italian defines folk traditional music. We analysed diverse sets of data, ranging from economic ones to sociology-related studies, which helped us to understand, through the contribution of several schools of thought, which factors influence music consumption and to what extent demand and supply influence each other. Our work focuses on the conception of the music market as an eclectic sector of cultural industry, halfway between entertainment, leisure and culture. Music can be used in several ways, and during the years the use has been modified by the implementation of new technological means (particularly referring to the phonograph) by the attempt to satisfy needs that change constantly, such as self-accomplishment, social aggregation or escape from the routine. On the basis of these needs the industry periodically tried to control demand through push strategies, trying to impose new musical trends and pull strategies, adapting to the consumption trends registered. It is important to determine to what extent acting on the market influenced the current situation and whether in this context music is the only element to take into account or not. Our idea is that music does not always play a key role in demand dynamics, that is to say music influences consumption to the extent it is able to meet specific requests by the public, that sometimes are not strictly related to the product itself. Because of the uncertainty of the record industry, technology, market situation and demand become extremely interdependent factors.Schumpeterian dynamics; Music industry; Appropriability; Radical innovations

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2010). (2006),The long tail-Why the Future of business is selling less of more (trad. it., La coda lunga-da un mercato di massa a una massa di mercati,
  2. (a cura di) (2010), Economia dell'innovazione, Roma : Carrocci Editore.
  3. (1996). A framework for patents and copyrights in the Digital Age. (Everytime you know about intellectual property is wrong), Wired, The Economy of Ideas.
  4. (1940). Dance we must, Haskell House,
  5. (2000). Diversificazione musicale e mercato discografico negli Stati Uniti,
  6. (2004). Economics of technological change,
  7. (2004). Elements of Economics (trad. it, Elementi di economia,
  8. (2003). Evolution or Revolution in the Music Industry?, Darden business publishing,
  9. (2005). Gli eventi culturali-Ideazione, progettazione, marketing, comunicazione,
  10. (2008). Il suono in cui viviamo-Saggi sulla popular music, Milano: Il Saggiatore.
  11. (2010). L'industria musicale,
  12. (2004). La musica registrata-dal fonografo alla Rete e all'mp3. La nuova industria musicale, Roma: Dino Audino Editore.
  13. (1986). Lead users-a source of novel product concepts,
  14. (2003). Metodi e strumenti di analisi per la valutazione economica del patrimonio culturale, Milano: FrancoAngeli s.r.l.
  15. (1988). Music for pleasure, Polity Press (trad. it, Il Rock è finito-miti giovanili e seduzioni commerciali nella musica pop,
  16. (2009). Music or hi-tech lovers? Inferring into the determinants of music consumption,
  17. (2008). Musica e Media Digitali-Tecnologie, linguaggi e forme sociali dei suoni, dal walkman all'iPod,
  18. (2004). Notes on the Determinants of Innovation: A Multi-Perspective Analysis, Nota di lavoro 42.2004,
  19. (2001). socialismo e democrazia,
  20. (2007). Technological change within hierarchies: the case of the music industry,
  21. (2003). The product market and the market for “ideas”: commercialization strategies for technology entrepeneurs,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.